A dark psychological novel by the author of ‘Depravity’, ‘The dream’, ‘The machine’ and ‘(Un)happy Christmas’.

‘Meltdown’ is a tough story that will not be an easy read for many. And yet it should resonate with most as it is about friendship, about kids at school and their often brutal, strange and uncompromising worlds, about the complex and often difficult relationship between children and their parents, about difficult changes in people’s relationships with each other, and about jealousy and envy between friends. It is a story about the tragic psychological collapse of a person who seemed quite normal as a teenager but who, for various reasons, broke down mentally as an adult and never recovered – a psychological meltdown many of us will have witnessed amongst people we know.
Although the story is set in former West Germany between the 1970s and the present, this is not a particularly ‘German’ story. Indeed, it could be set in any place that shares the social, economic and cultural problems, pressures, traps and challenges that shape individuals’ modern life pathways and that, at times, can severely affect individuals’ psychological wellbeing. After all, we all go to school, we all make friends at school and beyond, and we are all dependent on the vicissitudes of life that may toss us one way or another – almost always in unpredictable ways. And we are all psychologically vulnerable to greater or lesser extent, whether we like to admit it or not.
May this story, therefore, be a warning to all those parents, daughters, brothers, friends, sisters, grandparents, sons and acquaintances of fragile personalities who do not realise that psychological meltdowns are frequently the result of a series of seemingly innocuous and unrelated events that can add up to immense psychological pressure and that may break a person’s fragile disposition. It is often also the, in hindsight, unwise personal choices in life, when one reaches one of these important bifurcations in one’s complex decision-making tree of life, that, ultimately, define the psychological fate of an individual, and which can cast her or him on a pathway of irretrievable psychological meltdown.
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