Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day) Thar be a hunt for treasure, Mateys!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Mask of Sanity by Jacob M. Appel

The Mask of Sanity

by Jacob M. Appel

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
10337166,684 (4.41)None



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)

The story starts out with something that I personally hate the most, cheating on your partner. So right off the bat, I was already on the side of the Dr. Jeremy Balint. No matter what he did, he had my sympathy and therefore my support. The direction he chooses to take after finding out about his wife's affair is something you don't necessarily see all the time. Most people would choose to confront it immediately and get a divorce. But my man over here decided to eliminate the competition and keep his marriage intact. And by eliminate, I mean kill.

The writing was captivating. I initially didn't want to read the book, mainly because of the cover. I have a thing about covers. But after reading a few chapters, I was completely hooked. I personally love the stuff behind the scenes. I loved seeing Balint's thought process about the murders he was going to commit. The lengths he went to, to make sure he wouldn't be charged for the crime. And I loved the irony in this book. On one hand, he is going around killing people. But on the other hand, he's got promotions and awards at his job as a doctor. And on top of that, he's having an affair of his own. Something that irked me, but I came this far so might as well finish the damn thing.

The ending was a bit unexpected. But when I look at the book in its entirety, I think it was probably the best way to go about things. What's the point of two people staying together if there is no love? And lastly...Who knows?

*I would like to thank the authors and LibraryThing for giving me a free copy of this book. * ( )
  Perrin.Goldeneyes | Aug 19, 2018 |
An enjoyable book with a slightly macabre feel about it. It kept my interest right up to the end, well written and thought out. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a little gruesome story, and without doing any spoilers (I HATE spoilers) it will keep you interested right to the end.....and beyond ( )
  Kay.Ashton | Jul 25, 2018 |
In the foreward the author writes, "I have come to know a number of individuals who wear what the late Hervey M. Cleckley, once
the world’s foremost authority on sociopathy, termed “The Mask of Sanity,” yet at their cores proved incapable of feeling empathy or compassion for their fellow human beings. What follows is an effort to capture as authentically as possible the mind-set of one such miscreant."

What follows is a deeply disturbing, compelling, well-written examination of the world from the point of view of what can only be described as a well-socialized sociopath. The protagonist is all the more frightening for being, from all outward indications, so well adjusted and both professionally and personally successful.

Balint, is not an outsized evil genius, nor is he a mustache twirling villain. He has no basement filled with grotesque trophies. You don't wonder why none of his neighbours realized the evil that lived next door. He is a successful doctor who loves his wife and children. And granted his premises his actions seem logical and even obvious.

Fair warning, the book doesn't "let you off the hook" by having the protagonist act in ways that allow you, the reader, to feel assured that you would not be deceived by Balint were you his colleague. You are left with the disturbing sense that perhaps you too have worked next to, or even collaborated with, a sociopath.

Appel's writing style is perfectly tuned to the task at hand. I literally didn't stop reading after what I had intended on being an initial quick glance at the foreward until I started to see double from tiredness and realized I had read the first 189 pages at one clip. ( )
  mmyoung | Jun 9, 2018 |
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I don't even know where to start with this book. I just finished reading it a minute ago, and I usually give myself some time to collect my thoughts before I write my review, but honestly, this book disturbed me so much that I don't want more time to think about it. Thinking about it gives me the creeps. It's not an overtly scary read, but the main character Dr. Balint is so disturbing that I literally got chills from this book. Which is also why it took me so long (3 days) to read it. I took many breaks during this one to absorb my family, life and surroundings before delving back into Balint's sociopathic mind. I've read a lot of books, and watched a lot of serial killer documentaries, but none of them have ever affected me quite the way this novel did. The writing of this book was absolutely amazing. The story had such a realistic quality to it, and the mind of the serial killer was characterized so well that I had to remind myself a few times that this book was fiction. The overall flow of the book was pretty good, it felt like there was always something happening. The serial killer plot line went hand in hand with the marital issues Balint was experiencing but at the same time they were kept separate. Funnily enough by the end of the book I actually disliked Balint's wife far more than Balint himself. The author did a great job at detailing the married life that Balint and his wife shared and what sort of social experiences they had together. The pages in which Balint was planning his next murder and victim did get a little dry at the end, but only because his thought processes were all the same, understandably the gist of it was 'kill this person and don't get caught'. And because he was so meticulous in the planning, the descriptions of it tended to be a bit drawn out. This book brings to light the seriousness of mental health issues and offers a very clear picture of what the mind of a sociopath looks like. It is absolutely terrifying how well Balint can hide his true personality whilst maintaining a full and meaningful life both with his family and professionally, and no one's the wiser for it. This is definitely a book that, though I may never read again, I am not likely to forget any detail of it anytime soon. To read my full review please go to https://opinionatedbw.blogspot.ca/
  OpinionatedBookworm | May 10, 2018 |
If you're a thriller fan, you've likely ready many stories about serial killers. This one is different in that it's more strongly focused on the killer rather than his crimes. This killer has every advantage (looks, intelligence, education, etc.) by most common standards and this is an interesting look into his psyche. What is most stunning about this book is the amazing ending. To say more would give away more than you should know before you read this one. Highly recommend for thriller readers. ( )
  ewhatley | Jan 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Killing, Balint discovered, was the easy part.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"On the outside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a pillar of the community: the youngest division chief at his hospital, a model son to his elderly parents, fiercely devoted to his wife and two young daughters. On the inside, Dr. Jeremy Balint is a high-functioning sociopath--a man who truly believes himself to stand above the ethical norms of society. As long as life treats him well, Balint has no cause to harm others. When life treats him poorly, he reveals the depths of his cold-blooded depravity. At a cultural moment when the media bombards us with images of so-called sociopaths who strive for good and criminals redeemed by repentance,The Mask of Sanity offers an antidote to implausible tales of evil gone right. In contrast to fictional predecessors like Dostoyevesky's Raskolnikov and Camus' Mersault, Dr. Balint is a man who already has it all--and will do everything in his power, no matter how immoral, to keep what he has."--Amazon.com.… (more)

LibraryThing Member Giveaway

Jacob M. Appel's book The Mask of Sanity is currently available from LibraryThing Member Giveaway.

LibraryThing Author

Jacob M. Appel is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.41)
3 2
4 19
4.5 1
5 18


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,816,657 books! | Top bar: Always visible