Book Review: Letters from the Looney Bin by Thatcher C. Nalley

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Dear Bookworms,

I chose this weeks read to fulfill a category on my 2017 Reading Challenge, a book of letters. So while pursuing Amazon for something to fit this category I came across this read, Letters from the Looney Bin. Being that I work in mental health, the synopsis sounded interesting so one click, 2 day shipping, and I was in business!

Although made to look like a work of non-fiction, it is, in fact fiction. No one ever found out what happened to Emerson Rose mental institution. It’s patients, doctors, and staff mysteriously disappear with no clues as to what happened or where everyone went. Years later, as the property was set to undergo demolition, a cache of letters was found hidden within a mattress. The letters were all addressed to a Dr. Quill and were written by patients in the months leading up to the mysterious disappearances. Detailing their torrid pasts as well as the heinous conditions of the institution, they provide a brief glimpse into the events leading up to the disappearances. 

Let me just go ahead and rip the band aid off quickly, this was not a great read. While the concept and idea were really interesting and had so much potential, the writing quality was poor and the book was FILLED with typos. They were so distracting as I was reading I just really couldn’t get past them. There was really no resolution at the end of the book, the letters just….ended….The patients back stories and descriptions were interesting, and with a little fine tuning in the writing department, I think they could have been even better. It had a sort of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest mixed with a little American Horror Story Asylum feel. I assume this is one of a series and I would give the second one a go since I did like the idea of this book, in the hopes that the writing improves and someone actually edits the book for typos. 

Until next week friends!




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Real-life bookworm with a taste for adventure. Coco enjoys reading as much as she enjoys good coffee. Coco is an experienced book reader, and expert book reviewer. If you need a book reviewed, you are in good hands.

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