The setting is in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne where’hills’ communities are located. The tennis-playing mates of Hans de Jongprovide both enjoyment and solace to him at the Mountain Dale TennisClub. Whilst Barry Warren, a close friend of Hans undergoes minordiscomfort from his medical concerns, Hans is beset with schizophrenia.The thought processes and behaviour patterns of such a sufferer areoutlined, as well as his awareness of a ’personal countdown’.
One particular psychotic episode merges with the reality of the AmericanVenus space probe in 1989. Hans, suffering psychotic delusions, makes adesperate attempt to forestall the Venus countdown and space launch. Oneof his tennis pals, Mervyn Trevor, a great clubman, plays an importantpart in a steadying role as well as transporting him to MaroondahHospital.
Detained in a psychiatric ward Hans develops and refines a crypticmessage to be delivered to Prime Minister Bob Hawke with the aim of avoiding Armageddon on Earth. Hans resolutely and singlehandedly attemptsto save the world.
There is a romantic angle to the book, and a suggestion that a morespiritual existence is needed, if life is to be fully enjoyed. Strongcharacter development is blended in with a story of utter confusion,triumph, ascent to a higher plane of consciousness, the gaining of wisdomand personal fulfilment. Everyone should go mad occasionally!
Also incorporated into the story is a hint that mental illness needs tobe more understood in terms of a reaction to overwhelming change, ratherthan merely an expression of psychiatric disorder. It is furthersuggested that individuals like Hans can develop new mental powers andabilities arising from what are known as ’Near-Death Experiences’.
Read alsoThe Counselor's Companion
Students and recent graduates of counseling and human services programs will consider The Counselor’s Companion an indispensible tool to enhance professional practice, knowledge, and skill. The text is a reference-style resource that provides new counselors with a way to bridge the gap between what they learned in the classroom and the…