Nineteen-year-old Len Tarbutt is serving a life sentence for attempted murder. Following a brief period in jail, he is transferred to the maximum-security ward of a mental hospital. After many months and countless clinical evaluations, he is finally allowed the promise of release. But freedom isn’t as near as it seems. The machinations of a mental health practice that is nothing less than criminal threatens to overpower him. Reassembling the fragments of his damaged psyche into a healthy wholeness will prove to be a task almost beyond his reach.
This is the story of a young man’s progression from the hells of depression and jail, to the temporary limbo of incarceration, and finally to the imperfect possibility of redemption and recovery.
The novel’s ample ensemble of droll characters and moments of absurdity and anarchy will remind readers of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The Treatment and its award-winning sequel, The Cure, presented here as a single story offer a compelling, disturbing, and often humorous account of one man’s fight to survive incarceration and return to a life worth living.
“The writing is spare, compassionate and enlivened by the wry wit of the born storyteller.”—Australian Book Review
“Compelling throughout, tense and intense, [The Cure is] a moving image of a consciousness under siege.”—The Melbourne Age
“Kocan writes with a chilling authority imbued with strong irony and wit.”—Library Journal
Peter Kocan was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, in 1947 and grew up in Melbourne. He left school at fourteen to work on country New South Wales properties and in factory jobs. He served a decade in custody for a shooting offence and it was then that he began to write. He has published three previous novels and five collections of verse.