Picks and Pans Review: Fridericus

UPDATED 04/28/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/28/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Frederic F. Flach

New York psychiatrist Frederic Pleier, a specialist in depression, discovers from an old document that a 17th-century German doctor with a similar name also studied melancholia. One of Pleier's patients, the troubled teenage son of friends, disappears from a clinic, and Pleier begins to have dreams so vivid his living room is wrecked. The supernatural ensues. With a mix of fortune-telling, poltergeists, reincarnation, insanity and pop psychiatry, writer Flach, a New York shrink, is reaching for those millions out there who get high on the occult. But his elaborate and bizarre impossibilities never suspend disbelief. The book is fun only when its competing psychiatrists do battle with each other. (Lippincott & Crowell, $9.95)

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