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Submitted Literature

Howling at the Moon

By Paul Sayer


Paul Sayer’s  “Howling at the Moon” examines morbid jealousy and subsequent deterioration into psychosis.

His most well-known novel “The Comforts of Madness” brilliantly represents the experience of catatonia, with an accurate depiction of nihilistic delusions and an ontological focus. “Men in Rage” concentrates on our ever-increasing levels of anger, while “The Absolution Game” looks at the pressures on social care professionals.

Key Themes:

  • Carer Issues
  • Creativity and Madness
  • Morbid Jealousy
  • Psychosis
  • Revealing Reads

Significant Quotes / Pages

155 – “And in massive relief, on each of the walls, in every available corner, were more dreadful, fantastic likenesses of her.  In some her eyes were empty circles, in others this feature had been made huge and exaggerated.  Above the door she saw herself reclining.  Sleeping?  Dying?  To the left of where she was standing, on the biggest expanse of available wall, the crazed artist had painted an enormous face, its mouth open and distorted, caught as if responding to an unimaginable depravity.  […] Susan wrung her hands tightly about the strap of her bag.  How could she have so underestimated the extent of Michael’s madness?  She struggled to comprehend the significance of the flames of colour before her, the screaming images, thinking to take in as much as she dared, as quickly as possible.  She turned over a heap of pencil drawings on his desk and they slithered to the floor, the slight hush of paper caressing paper, the movement, startling her into abject fear.  She ran back through the door and on the dark landing turned her face to the wall and cried softly.  […] Arms encircled her.  Strong, muscular.  Warm breath on her neck.  She screamed."

Reference: Paul, Sayer. 1990. Howling at the Moon. London: Sceptre, 1991


- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Monday 23rd March 2009