'Frank Tallis brings a lifetime's clinical experience and wise reflection to a condition that, by its own strange routes, leads us into the very heart of love itself. This is a brilliant, compelling book' Ian McEwan
Love is a great leveller. Everyone wants love, everyone falls in love, everyone loses love, and everyone knows something of love's madness. But the experience of obsessive love is no trivial matter. In the course of his career psychologist Dr Frank Tallis has treated many unusual patients, whose stories have lessons for all of us.
A barristers' clerk becomes convinced that her dentist has fallen in love with her and they are destined to be together for eternity; a widow is visited by the ghost of her dead husband; an academic is besotted with his own reflection; a beautiful woman searches jealously for a rival who isn't there; and a night porter is possessed by a lascivious demon. These are just some of the people whom we meet in an extraordinary and original book that explores the conditions of longing and desire - true accounts of psychotherapy that take the reader on a journey through the darker realms of the amorous mind.
Drawing on the latest scientific research into the biological and psychological mechanisms underlying romance and emotional attachment, The Incurable Romantic demonstrates that ultimately love dissolves the divide between what we judge to be normal and abnormal.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Can we truly control our desires? Or are they time bombs primed to wreak havoc on our lives without warning? Clinical psychologist Frank Tallis investigates the nature of love in his consistently fascinating and sometimes unsettling memoir. He recalls encounters with patients consumed by obsession—including a once-wealthy man almost bankrupted by his need for sex and a barrister’s clerk who woke up from a dental procedure besotted with her dentist. A successful writer of crime and horror novels, Tallis explores his complex subject with sympathy, clarity and poetic flair. His book became our own minor obsession.