John Dexter has problems. Real problems. We're talking episodes in psychiatric hospitals, and then some. Woe betide any woman he falls in love with. But he's no mad stalker. He knows himself, understand his own motives and behavioural patterns all too well. The problem is, he can't stop himself.
Then he meets Carla. Twenty-two years his junior, with family problems of her own.
CARLA is a novel of obsession, love and loss, exploring very real mental health problems. It centres around an average flat and an average pub in an average English town, but its originality, realism and edgy humour has earned it a certain 'cult' status in some internet circles.
Here's what people are saying about Carla:
"I started to read this book at five o'clock this afternoon, and have just finished it. I haven't done that in ages. What a brilliant piece of work."
"If I say that I read this in less than a day and I didn’t want it to end you get the picture."
"A lovely but dark tale of love with hints of Wuthering Heights. Deep, passionate, beautifully penned. A definite must read!"
"Highly recommended if you like a dark, psychological read."
Check all the Amazon reviews for Carla below.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an extraordinary book, a ferocious story told with a mix of wit and gut punching candor, that offers an unflinching view of living with mental illness. Told in the first-person narrative of a 42-year-old man from a wealthy English family who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, the reader is taken on a wild ride with the brilliant but emotionally ravaged John as he launches, yet again, in a quest to find warmth and love in the arms of a woman. In this case, the titular Carla.
Exploration of mental illness has been taken on by many an author and often quite successfully. Too Bright To Hear Too Loud To See by Juliann Garey covers the territory in a powerful tale of bipolar disorder; even James Frey's notorious A Million Little Pieces (a book I loved) dealt with the mental illness aspects of addiction. But Mark Barry's treatise not only digs deep into the particular disorder he's exploring, but it also brings a brilliant sense of humor to the proceedings,...
Remember the scene in Forrest Gump where he is sitting on a bench waiting for a bus to go see his "Jenny" and he is telling his story as people come and go?
Well, I felt like I was in a pub, on a barstool, as he drank his ale and I, mine, and he spoke quietly as he told me his story about Carla and him. He spoke from his perspective and quite literally I was enamored. Being taken into the depths of his mind, thoughts, actions and reactions to situations real or perceived was an amazing and sometimes scary journey.
Scary....as in....I know that kind of feeling....kind of scary.
Carla is a beautiful person who has been projected to be exactly who she is: an open minded, busy, young, and attractive woman who knows her mind and also deals with her own set of insecurities giving Carla a mixture of attributes that makes an appeal to the reader.
Sharna is the dedicated friend to Carla and it is interesting to watch how she projects herself as...
Have a seat, sip on your foamy pint of something cold and bitter, and make yourself comfortable while author Mark Barry weaves a story skillfully told in the first person point of view of Jonathan (John) Dexter - a man with secrets. And stories. Stories that will haunt, disturb and perhaps even enrage you.
A kitchen sink full of acronyms, disorders, diagnosis' and labels from his doctors, caregivers and medical experts couldn't accommodate John's entire medical health history that he imparts to the reader with wry, at times humorous candor. Each word pulled me into his life, past and present. What struck me was John's acceptance of who he was, and what he perceived himself to be. No blame, and little bitterness for (what I, the reader, believed were) the injustices done to him, even as, at times, he was his own judge, juror and punisher, while individuals and the society that wronged him got away with their own crimes.
This story was startling, stunning, and so...
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