"I confess, tears fell in some spots, as Ben came to know what had happened to him as a child. Harnisch has chosen the perfect way to express what a mentally ill mind actually FEELS like. The incessant repetition of Georgie's morning routine, with new variants every time, his "first dates" with Claudia, over and over again--all gave a disturbing and VERY uncomfortable "edge" to the book that left my brain spinning by the end. It's brilliant."
"As I an undergrad, I was required–emphasis on required–to read Jean Genet’s Our Lady of the Flowers, a very early example of transgressive fiction, and although I could appreciate the literary value of the book, it was almost impossible to read because of Genet’s approach to his characters–he didn’t seem to like any of them, and his prose seemed more to ridicule than explore their foibles. As a result of reading Genet’s work so many years ago, I have never thought I liked transgressive fiction, never thought I’d read it again, and then along came Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography. Wow. What a difference. Harnisch's Georgie Gust is such a beautifully written, tragic character, who the reader can’t help but cheer on. You want Georgie to be happy. What an accomplishment. Harnisch wades into a genre in which disconnected, ugly sexual encounters predominate, and yet you just want Georgie to get it together, be happy, and see the world as his friend. Genius. I loved this book."
"Harnisch's sense of the inner machinations of human experience spring into life through text. An almost ritualized sojourn, much like the classic hero's journey, takes place before the reader's eyes and leads to insights both sanguine and sometimes disturbing. True to the modern form of literature, Harnisch uses all tools available to catch the reader in a spider's web of story while exposing humanity's own false prophets. Truly a great read!"
"Harnisch has chosen the perfect way to express what a mentally ill mind actually FEELS like," enthuses one reviewer on Amazon.com. "What an accomplishment. Harnisch wades into a genre in which disconnected, ugly sexual encounters predominate," the Amazon reviewer explains. "Genius. I loved this book," the reviewer concludes.
If you are an experienced reviewer or an established copywriter, apply for one of the free copies of Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography that Harnisch Productions LLC has now made available. Your copy is free on one condition: that you write an unbiased review to be posted on the Amazon page where the novel is currently for sale.
Interested reviewers can find out more about Jonathan Harnisch and the new novel at the author’s blog or the dedicated site for Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography. Harnisch chose the transgressive style of fiction for his first novel, following the inspiration of Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers. Literati enthused by this method will find a review of Harnisch's novel an enjoyable task. Specialists in the psychiatric conditions of schizophrenia, comorbid schizoaffective disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder NOS (not otherwise specified), and Tourette’s syndrome (which is not a mental illness) would also bring the insight of their educational experience to any review.
As a sufferer, Harnisch hopes to illuminate the condition of schizophrenia through this novel, explaining the perceptions of sufferers to the general public. This mission forms part of Jonathan Harnisch's commitment to his work as a mental illness advocate. Any campaigner with a similar aim would be able to bring a depth of empathy to a review of the novel.
The novel extends to 804 pages and was first published in May 2014. Harnisch Productions has pursued a fierce and energetic campaign of promotion since the novel's launch. Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography has been publicized throughout the English-speaking world, bringing considerable exposure to any reviewer whose work is posted on the Amazon page for the novel. Amazon.com is also an outlet for the general public to resell their copies of the book, meaning that the exposure gained by association with the novel will last for years. Interested reviewers should emailHarnisch Productions to obtain a complimentary copy of the novel.
Jonathan Harnisch is a sufferer of comorbid schizoaffective spectrum condition, and this is the inspiration for the plot of his novel. Harnisch has exploited the insights he has acquired through
“Jonathan Harnisch is a legend in the world of mental health education and advocacy and a Twitter phenomenon with over 177,000 followers,” Knabel explains at Queensland Mental Health. “He is someone I have got to know really well in the Twittersphere. When I found out he was launching a new book, I had to get in touch and find out more about it.”
Knabel is a prominent mental health advocate in Australia. His eagerness to grill Harnisch, a fellow advocate for schizoaffective disorder sufferers, is palpable. Harnisch’s completion of his first novel has caused chatter on the Bush Telegraph, but Knabel was the first Down Under to nab an interview with the author. Knabel’s involvement with the issues surrounding mental illness began when his wife was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. However, Harnisch has personal experience with the condition, and as an author with schizophrenia, he is ideally suited to produce an illuminating study of the disorder.
When people face situations that are difficult, challenging, or frightening, they say they “put on a brave face” to get through them. Ben Schrieber, Harnisch’s protagonist, went one step further when faced with obstacles in his life and put on a whole other person. Georgie Gust was Ben’s braver champion. However, as always happens in cases of schizophrenia, this alter ego put more effort into asserting his identity than fighting in Ben’s corner. Georgie is an invisible friend who never went away, eventually asserting himself as an independent being, albeit occupying Ben’s body.
It has to be noted that although Ben has a tendency to hide, he too asserted his right to his identity. He did not fade away and assume the name and attitude of Georgie Gust. This resulted in these two separate men living parallel lives in the same physical existence.
Although the novel is a work of fiction, Harnisch admits that much of the book stands as a written account of his own experiences. Written as transgressive fiction, this story is now shedding light on the experiences of schizophrenics in a language that the non-sufferer can understand. The novel’s entertaining and accessible style makes it a “must read” for anyone interested in psychiatric thrillers and for those Australians who would like to learn more about dissociative disorders.
Harnisch is a sufferer of comorbid schizoaffective spectrum condition, and this was the inspiration for novel’s plot. He has exploited the insights brought to him by his condition to become an accomplished mental health advocate, film and TV producer, musician, and fine artist.
"Harnisch's sense of the inner machinations of human experience spring into life through the text," writes one reviewer. "An almost ritualized sojourn, much like the classic hero's journey, takes place before the reader's eyes and leads to insights both sanguine and sometimes disturbing," the reviewer continues. "True to the modern form of literature, Harnisch uses all tools available to catch the reader in a spider's web of story while exposing humanity's own false prophets. Truly a great read!"
Dissociative disorders have become well-known themes in literature since the release of Sybil in 1973. The public has become familiar with the syndrome of alternative personalities and the issues that arise when some alters choose to overcome their situation by handing over their being to another person.
Jonathan Harnisch introduces the reader to Georgie Gust, the friend, contact or “alter-ego” of Ben Schrieber. Georgie is real, and Ben can see him. However, this is but one string in Harnisch’s bow. The average reader may know that the hosts of multiple alters are unaware of their existence, although the various alters know intimately of the host’s life and often speak disparagingly of the original identity’s existence. This is not the case with Georgie.
Two personalities sharing the same body usually succumb to jealousy and conflict. The introduction of a romantic interest into the two men’s lives could be expected to result in a schism. Although the alluring Claudia attracts both men, Ben is content to thrill in the experiences that Georgie enjoys from his sexual contact with Claudia.
Practitioners and students of psychiatry will find this exploration of schizoaffective disorder a fascinating insight into the mental conflicts and defense mechanisms of sufferers of the condition, and the lay reader will enjoy the plot twists of this psychiatric thriller. The premise of the novel gives rise to a transgressive style, which is most familiarly expressed in the works of Jean Genet. However, readers that find Genet difficult to follow will find a more palatable example of this genre in Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography. The novel is an inspirational and brilliant tearjerker, which arises from the genius of an intricate, mentally ill mind.
Jonathan Harnisch suffers from schizoaffective disorder and associated comorbidities, which serve as the inspiration for his novel. Harnisch has exploited the insights brought to him by his condition to become an accomplished mental health advocate, film, and TV producer, musician, and visual artist.
'People frighten me. Real people do, for that matter, and I detail a great deal of this in my story. I often dissociate to rid myself of bad memories and delusional thinking, and yet I test high for metacognition', declared Harnisch in a recent interview. 'My mind often frightens me, too. It’s all a balancing act', he explains.
In a few sentences, Harnisch illustrates, with his personal experience, the fascinating irony of dissociative disorders like schizophrenia—he wants to hide, but ends up hiding behind himself. The average person on the street may wonder what Harnisch is talking about in this quote and other statements he makes about his book. He is talking about his own experiences with schizoaffective disorder.
Harnisch's struggle with his condition is interlinked with the incomprehension of non-sufferers and this provokes him to explain his reality. He has explored a range of media, including film, music, and now the written word, to help the general public understand exactly what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. By fictionalising the day-to-day meetings of multiple personalities, he is illuminating a corner of psychiatry that few understand.
As an author with schizophrenia, Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as 'mental illness'. Harnisch is not dealing with an altered reality, but a double reality, and his main characters, Ben and Georgie, perfectly illustrate how two lives can share the same body.
Both Ben and Georgie are real people, but Ben is the only one of the two who has a birth certificate. It could be said that Georgie is the only one who has a life. Ben exists on paper, but would rather hide away; Georgie exists on the streets and in bars. He is the outspoken one and Ben watches his successes from the shadows. Both men find themselves attracted to Claudia, Ben's alluring neighbour, but only Georgie has the confidence to approach her. The 'third wheel' angst of Ben in this relationship forms the main plot of the novel.
Harnisch formed this ground breaking novel as transgressive fiction. This is a genre that is probably most commonly encountered in the works of Jean Genet. However, you do not need a degree in literature to understand the plot because Harnisch sheds light in this written account in order to reach out to the general public. The novel is not, therefore, a difficult read. The entertaining and accessible style of the novel has created a buzz around Jonathan Harnisch: An Alibiography.
Jonathan Harnisch is a sufferer of comorbid schizoaffective spectrum condition and this is the inspiration for the plot of his novel. Harnisch has exploited the insights brought to him by his condition to become an accomplished mental health advocate, film and TV producer, musician and fine artist.