The Mask of Sanity

The Mask of Sanity

by Jacob M. Appel

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Overview

The Mask of Sanity by Jacob M. Appel

On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief at his hospital, a model son to his elderly parents, fiercely devoted to his wife and two young daughters. On the inside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a high-functioning sociopath—a man who truly believes himself to stand above the ethical norms of society. As long as life treats him well, Balint has no cause to harm others. When life treats him poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity.

At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called "sociopaths" who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance, The Mask of Sanity offers an antidote to implausible tales of "evil gone right." In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevesky's Raskolnikov and Camus' Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already "has it all"—and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781579624958
Publisher: Permanent Press, The
Publication date: 03/31/2017
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 820,848
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

Jacob M. Appel is a physician, attorney, and bioethicist based in New York City. He is the author of six collections of short fiction, two novels, and a collection of essays. His short stories have been published in more than 200 journals and have been short-listed for the O. Henry Award, Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. His commentary on law, medicine, and ethics has appeared in the New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and many other major newspapers. He taught for many years at Brown University and currently reaches at the Gotham Writers' Workshop and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

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The Mask of Sanity 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Review better than the book
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Blaint is a well-known, well-liked Cardiologist - the youngest division chief at the hospital. His parents love him. He adores his beautiful wife and two young daughters. Dr, Jeremy Blaint is a sociopath. He's a happy man until he discovers his wife is having an affair with another doctor. And that's where the trouble starts. Jeremy has dark thoughts .. of killing the man who is sleeping with his wife. But he has to be smart about it. He can't possibly get caught and ruin his reputation and his daughters' lives. He has a plan ... and he's willing to do whatever it takes to keep his family. This is a dark, disturbing story of a sociopath who thinks he is normal. He kills without regret, without empathy, and goes on about his life. It's a compelling read. The only thing I did not like .. the ending is abrupt and doesn't tell the reader anything. It made no sense to me. I've looked high and low and find no continuing story. It's like the author wasn't sure where to go and just stopped. Many thanks to the author / The Permanent Press / Netgalley for the digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
BettyTaylor More than 1 year ago
Doctor Balint, upright citizen and prominent physician, is a serial killer. The book is publicized as getting inside the mind of a sociopath. Well, he is definitely not a sociopath as his killings are not impulsive and are well planned. He really is not even a psychopath – he is killing for revenge. However the book is still really good. Appel goes inside the head of this man who has been wronged as he thinks through how he is going to kill his wife’s lover and how to cover it up. Lots of suspense. And the ending – I felt like I was on a speeding bullet train that abruptly stopped. Like slamming me into a brick wall.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
I received a free hardback copy of this novel from Jacob M. Appel in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for sharing your hard work with me! I'm not sure anyone but Jacob Appel could bring you to the point of accepting that a serial killer should go undetected. This is a fast read, a book you will find it hard to put down. You will reach the perfect ending much too soon.
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
The Mask of Sanity by Jacob M. Appel Even though the book is sold as the canvas of a sociopath, I thought the book was very entertaining. I found myself laughing at some of the scenes and not because I'm a sociopath. The book follows the life of Jeremy Balist, a 34 y/o cardiologist who when he accidentally runs over a dachshund with his Mercedes-Benz, chance interferes. He runs over to his colleague house - Dr. Warren Sugarman a thoracic surgeon, thinking that perhaps he could save its life, but instead, he discovers his wife in the act of her affair with such doctor. It is then that Balist decides he will kill Sugarman. He spends several months studying how to get away with murder and then carefully sets in motion his plans to not only kill the doctor but includes a plan that will involve killing six people - reasoning that it will ensure not being connected to the man he wants to kill. Balist, in the meantime, hooks up with Dalila Navarre, the daughter of one of his very sick patients. He starts an affair of his own. The plot takes on several twists and turns until Balist seems to be getting a new and younger wife, a promotion to head of Medicine and a very prestigious medical award. Will he get away with it? Readers are kept at the edge of their seats until the very last page. Sociopath or not, it was a great and fun read. Written from the third person point of view, it was hard to put the book down. I think it is Appel's best book yet!
gloriafeit More than 1 year ago
From the publisher: On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief at his hospital, a model son to his elderly parents, fiercely devoted to his wife and two young daughters. On the inside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a high-functioning sociopath - - a man who truly believes himself to stand above the ethical norms of society. As long as life treats him well, Balint has no cause to harm others. When life treats him poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity. At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called “sociopaths” who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance, The Mask of Sanity offers an antidote to implausible tales of “evil gone right.” In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevsky’s Raskolnikov and Camus’ Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already “has it all” - - and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has. The author’s Foreward lets us know immediately the source of the title phrase: “I have come to know a number of individuals who wear . . . ‘The Mask of Sanity,’ yet at their cores proved incapable of feeling empathy or compassion for their fellow human beings. . . Only recently, especially as a result of the exposure of gross misdeeds in the financial services industry and of large-scale Ponzi schemes, has the public become aware that many amoral individuals lurk in the highest echelons of power, be it business, law, and even in medicine. They are all around us, smiling and perpetrating evil.” Himself an attorney, physician and bioethicist, the author obviously knows whereof he speaks. And then he introduces us to Dr. Balint. Married to his wife, Amanda, for 9 years, and with two daughters he adores, at 47 he has just been appointed chief of cardiology, the youngest in the hospital’s history to have that distinction. He has known the man he now discovers to be his wife’s lover since they both attended Columbia and then medical school, who is now a transplant surgeon at the same hospital as he. He becomes obsessed with killing the man. And not getting caught. “Inevitably, avoiding detection meant selecting additional targets.” Not a page-turner in the usual sense of the word (i.e., taut suspense), the plot nonetheless pushes the reader to keep reading to see how it will unfold, and I rather unexpectedly found myself unable to put it down, consuming the novel in less than 36 hours. The final page will leave you, as it did me, startled, if not shocked, and saying “WHAT??” This is a novel that grabs the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go. It is, obviously, highly recommended.