Set This House in Order
I mentioned Set This House in Order in a previous post about the author Matt Ruff. It’s a story about a couple of people, Andy and Penny, with Multiple Personality Disorder (or DID) who try to come to terms with their past while also attempting to put things in order in the present. It started off incredibly promising. The dynamic introduced by MPD created a unique and fascinating story. Unfortunately the book didn’t completely carry its promise to the end.
Andy has managed to get his personalities in order with the help of his psychiatrist Dr. Grey. He can control which personality manages the body, or even leave the body unattended while all of the personalities meet inside his mind. Andy makes for an extraordinary character when the reader first meets him. I’ve not read a book before with this kind of narrative device. However, midway through the book it becomes a tad stale, particularly after Penny is introduced. Penny is a woman who cannot control which personality has dominance. During times of high stress she loses control to other personalities and then “wakes up” minutes, hours or days later. It might be this second character with MPD that caused me to feel like it became a little too much. In addition, one of Penny’s personalities enjoys using using the F-bomb a little too much for my taste, nearly every other word.
Although I have some complaints about Set This House in Order, it was still an enjoyable read. I recommend you at least give it a try. It was good enough that I look forward to picking up another book by Matt Ruff.