My friends and I for some years have got into the habit of making a “wish list” for the birthday and for Christmas, in order to be sure to make and receive only what we like, but above all to not collect spares.
In my 2016 list there was a book that I am very, very happy to have received: “Therapy” by Sebastian Fitzek.


I’m only asking for five minutes and then you can tell me to my face.’
‘Tell you what?’
‘Whether or not you’re interested in my case.’
‘I don’t have time for patients,’ he said weakly. ‘Please, just go.’
‘I will go, I promise, but I want you to hear my story. It’ll only take five minutes, and you won’t regret a single second.’[1]

I immediately felt attracted by the title, having always been interested in psycho-thrillers and having been in abstinence from the genre for a while. And then as soon as I read the back cover[2], I completely convinced myself. What happens in the mind of a man, when the time comes when he goes crazy, what are the mechanisms that make the human mind crazy? ….. And why do we get to this point?

I had to wait mid-February to be able to read it, but since then it was a vortex that completely absorbed me. Five nights of insatiable reading (during the day I was too busy with work, theatre and editing), wrapped in the warmth of the blankets and the fears of the shadows. Every time the drape moved away, it caused a heart attack, but despite the growing anxiety, I never managed to disengage from the book until my eyes requested and collapsed into restless sleep.


“certain situations, even the most rationally minded people behave in absurd and illogical ways. Nine times out of ten, a person in possession of a remote control will press the buttons harder if the battery runs low. But a nickel cadmium cell isn’t like a lemon, and squeezing it firmly won’t produce more juice.” [3]


So, if you want a relaxing and sweet novel, you can stop reading this post, because Therapy is exactly the opposite, it is one of those books that insinuate themselves in the mind even during the day, and that start to show you strange things.
Maybe I loved it because of this (in)natural skill to make itself real despite the plot was going to complicate more and more towards the unreal.
Like Shutter Island, even in this thriller nothing is as it appears, the protagonists, the antagonists, are all confused, the plot and the rhythm are exceptional. Nothing seems to make sense, nothing fits, everything is so sparse and ethereal that it seems impossible to clarify something, until the surprising (and believe me I had not foreseen it!) final!

I recommend reading it accompanied by a hot pistachio chocolate[4], definitely comforting, because you will need it! Fitzek places his plot first of all in the inscrutable textures of our intellect, tells the facts through an oscillating membrane, which distorts everything and not too veiled. In the end it leaves you with an unclear feeling that you can’t understand: was the reading of this novel an escape or an entrapment?


“Hope is like a shard of glass. Tread on it, and you’ll end up wincing with every step. The best policy is to tweezer it out. Sure, it will hurt like billy-o and the wound will take a while to heal, but after that you can walk again.” [5]



I found out that Fitzek wrote three more novels and I swing between wanting to read them all and throwing myself completely away from the category.

Have you ever tried something like this???



[1] From the novel.
[2] No witnesses, no evidence, no body: Star psychologist Viktor Larenz’s twelve-year-old daughter, Josy, who had suffered from an inexplicable illness, has vanished under mysterious circumstances during a visit to her doctor, and the investigation into her disappearance has brought no results. Four years later, Viktor remains a man shattered by this tragedy. He has retreated to a remote vacation cottage on a North Sea island, where a beautiful stranger named Anna Glass pays him a visit. She claims to be a novelist who suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: all the characters she creates for her books become real. While writing her most recent novel, Anna has been tortured by visions of a little girl with an unknown illness who has vanished without a trace, and she asks Dr. Larenz to treat her. Viktor reluctantly begins therapy sessions with the stranger, but very soon these sessions take a dramatic turn as the past is dragged back into the light. What really happened to Josy? Do Anna’s delusions describe Josy’s last days? And is Larenz a danger to himself and others?
[3] From the novel.
la terapia
graphic by: Federica
INGREDIENTS (for 2 cups)
 _ 300 ml of milk
_ 80 g of white chocolate
 _ 80 g of milk chocolate
_ 15 g of corn starch
_ 20 g potato starch (or rice flour)
 _ 2 teaspoons of chopped pistachios
 _ Sugar
Dissolve cornstarch and potato starch (or rice flour) in cold milk, stirring very well.
We chop the two types of chocolate and pour them into a saucepan along with all the ingredients. We heat on medium heat, continuing to mix until you get the desired consistency, finally we sugar to taste and decorate with the pistachio grain.
[5] From the novel.