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Winged Creatures: A Novel by Roy Freirich
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Winged Creatures: A Novel

by Roy Freirich

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Winged Creatures is an event-centered, realistic novel by Roy Freirich. The story revolves around four groups of characters who are suffering from PTSD after a random shooting at a local diner. A doctor, two children, a single mother, and a goofy driving instructor struggle for weeks to regain a purpose and normality to their shattered lives. They all have new and dangerous secrets, desires, and feelings bottled up that transform many of them. As their loosely connected lives overlap, these survivors must eventually return to the ordinary world.

I think Winged Creatures had some good themes, but told the story in a difficult to follow way. The biggest problem for me was the large number of main characters. Every few pages, the novel would switch the perspective from one character to the next. This left a very fragmented understanding of the characters. I was often left to wildly guess at a character's true intentions or feelings. While I do not know much about PTSD, all of the survivors developed a very severe case of it. The characters' actions throughout the novel often did not make sense to me or seem realistic. Overall, I would probably not recommend this novel to a friend, unless they were looking for a book about PTSD. ( )
  ahsreads | Sep 30, 2009 |
The murder of several men in a fast food eatery by an anonymous gunman rips apart the lives of several families in a small Michigan town. Although those involved truly need grief counseling, they all avoid the state-funded psychologist sent to meet them at the hospital. This denial leads each survivor to his or her own tragic breakdown.

It was especially painful to read the account of the survivor who heads to a casino to gamble away his family's entire life savings.

Favorite quote:

Page 162 provides insight on the disregard often given to mental health care:

Abler understands the waffling; he knows enough from his studies to realize his field meets the same resistance its exact subject meets; the emotional pain of others will always be a chore to fathom, because to understand it one must empathize with it, which is to say feel it as well, a prospect which for most is always at least unpleasant and preferably avoided. Despite all the "we feel you pain" hand-wringing after the latest natural or otherwise disaster, the very idea of a money-costing program devoted to exactly that remains deeply unpopular at every administrative level, particularly in these days of runaway deficits and the bipartisan hue and cry for fiscal accountability. ( )
  kivarson | Feb 20, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312378955, Paperback)

Shots ring out in a local fast food restaurant.  Teenager Anne Hagen and her best friend Jimmy hide under a table, watching a suicidal gunman randomly murder her father and others. Winged Creatures tells the stories of the survivors. . .

Struggling to understand her father's death, Anne develops a religious hysteria. Jimmy becomes mute, protecting a secret that he and Anne share until it nearly destroys him and his already fractured family.  Grazed by a bullet, driving instructor Charlie becomes obsessed with pressing his luck at a casino. By dangerous degrees, restaurant cashier Carla loses her ability to care for herself and her infant son.  Dr. Laraby, an ER physician who failed to revive the shooting victims, turns to his wife as someone to “save,” while psychologist Ron Abler tries to counsel the witnesses, but meets suspicion and resistance.

Winged Creatures intimately depicts the inner lives of five people driven by secret torments and dangerous compulsions, in flight from their own memories and dreams, as they struggle to regain their trust in the ordinary world.

 ROY FREIRICH is a screenwriter and songwriter living in Malibu, California. Winged Creatures is his first novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:34 -0400)

After witnessing the random shooting of her father, and several others, by a suicidal gunman, teenager Anne Hagen, her friend Jimmy, and others struggle to come to terms with this traumatic event.

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