New Reviews for Tales of Psychology

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Tales of Psychology
Alma H. Bond, Ph.D
(Reviewed by The Editor-Rebecca Brown)
2002 Paragon House, St. Paul, MN
ISBN: 1557788065

Book Review by RebeccasReads   

Tales of Psychology: Stories to Make You Wise — collected by the author/editor over her life to which she has added her 40+ years of professional insights.
Dr. Bond offers us 19 short stories from the obscure writer to the Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Each story is a glimpse into the conflicts we humans stumble upon & through. Sometimes we grasp significance, & sometimes we stagger blithely on. At the end of each story, Dr. Bond offers her insights into the psychological aspects of the drama around which the authors & their Muse wrote their prose.
Tales of Psychology is a unique & fascinating collection of complex & colorful fragments of literature accompanied by a psychologist’s insights into the human emotional terrain each story illustrates, as well as her occasional personal comments about how she was affected upon reading the story.
From perhaps the most horrific of Dr. Bond
’s choices — Paul Bowles’ A Distant Episode — in which everymans nightmare becomes real when a linguist is kidnapped, bound & then has his tongue cut off. Both the story & Dr. Bond’s observations leave an indelible impression.
To Alice Adams’ Roses, Rhododendron in which we get to relive those teenage years when we are so hungry for someone/something to adore, to melt into, to incorporate. Dr. Bonds insights here are diamond bright.
To Angelica Gibbs
The Test which brings back memories, not of the 1940s about which it was written, rather of Chicago in the 1960s when I was witness to such racial & gender intimidations.
Each story Dr. Bond has chosen for Tales of Psychology revolves around the darker spectrum of emotions. Some stories offer redemption, others don’t. Dr. Bonds observations & comments at each storys end, offer us further insights about both the history of psychology, as well as aspects we might not have noticed. Sometimes, I wished her comments had been longer!
I certainly did feel wiser after reading Tales of Psychology. With her recapitulations & observations, Dr. Bond has breathed new life into these remarkable literary snacks.
As Dr. Bond comments, the stories: ...should be required reading for...” — everyone interested in other ways to think about what we read.


Reviewed by G. Marudhan Critique Magazine

The best way to begin one’s life is to begin it well. Like how the young daughter, the protagonist of “ Verona : The Young Woman Speaks” did. We gladly allow ourselves to share the child’s blissful thoughts as she recalls the glorious trip from Rome to Salzburg with her charming parents. Her life would be nothing less than remarkable.
But we can also foresee the futures of children who, unlike Verona , are denied parental love and guidance. The adverse effects of such an upbringing are usually unpleasant, unhealthy and far from being normal.
In “Silent Snow, Secret Snow,” by Conrad Aiken, we discover much to our horror the secret world of Paul, a young boy, who fancies an unreal world which utters such strange things to him like ‘peace’, ‘remoteness’, ‘cold’, ‘sleep’ and ‘death’. Paul slowly begins to withdraw from the real life finds asylum in his fantasy land. Paul’s illness, Dr. Alma H. Bond says, is likely to culminate in schizophrenia.
In “How to Win,” Christopher, a six-year-old boy suffers from Intermittent Explosive Disorder; he surprises and shocks his mother by his erratic behavior patterns. In “Teenage Wasteland,” Donny, a “noisy, lazy, and disruptive” lad, simply runs away from his home, leaving no significant clues to his troubled, puzzled parents. “Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather, Dr. Bond observes, is “a story that has saved lives”. She recommends the tale to the depressed and potentially suicidal patients. This deeply moving story shows how the main character’s depression leads him to pay for his dream with his life. The story brilliantly records how the disturbed mind of a deviant thinks and works.
The opening story, “A Small Good Thing,” is a portrait of a mother’s traumatic experience following her son’s fatal accident. One story deals with the profound growth of relationship between a father and a son. In another, we find a young would-be priest’s instability of mind and his fear to face the truth. In "The Distant Episode" we are introduced to a series of torturous treatments that are inflicted upon a Professor. Dr. Bond calls them some of the most horrible passages ever written in all literature.
Tales of Psychology is a wise and curious collection of many such stories compiled by Dr. Alma H Bond, herself a practicing psychologist and a writer. The stories are reflective in nature and are carefully selected from diverse literary origins with the objective to enrich and broaden our understanding of human behavior. The collection’s wisdom creates meaningful ripples in the reader’s mind. Each story is followed by a crisp and scholarly analysis by Dr. Bond, which highlights the plot’s psychological symbols. In search of the nucleus of the stories, Dr. Bond analyses varied themes including defense mechanisms, systematic lying, alcoholism, split personality traits, mental retardation and sadomasochism.
“The stories”, Dr. Bond observes, “are selected for their insight into human nature and [for] their merit as fine works of literature”.
The best part of the volume is its ability to encourage the reader to explore serious works of psychology. Nothing could be more curious than to learn about ourselves—how the mind works, how we control our emotions, how we understand and act. For the same reason, psychology is a complicated subject. It cannot be otherwise because it is about us.
A story that breathes life is incapable of death. It reverberates; it haunts and disturbs the reader. Tales of Psychology belongs to this select genre. It contains all the excellent qualities—extraordinary observations, insightful remarks, moving passages and wonderful lessons—necessary to make one be both attendant and gentle with life.

Review for Denise's Pieces and MidWest  

Book Review by Michael Bogert

Title: Tales Of Psychology
Short Stories To Make You Wise
Author: Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.
Publisher: Paragon House

Tales Of Psychology consists of 19 short stories written from the years of World War II to the eighties. They all have lessons within them to discover and learn, and is discussed at the end of each story. The main themes deal with how people think and behave from a psychological standpoint, in the hopes that those who read it will be able to identify different behavior patterns of people they encounter in life. There is one word I can use to describe this book: Deep. It isn't the type of book you buy for Aunt Jane or Cousin Fred, but for those who really love to get 'into' their reading. It takes a person who can dig into a book, and come out with more knowledge than when they started. According to the introduction, those who read certain stories may actually change the way they think about themselves or the way they live. The authors involved in this work range from very well known to obscure, and as stated before span almost a half-century of time.
I enjoyed most of the stories contained in the book, though I kept my mind focused on the main issue, which was to see the different types of behavior that manifested throughout each work. Each story was different not only in author, but also in theme and content. This is one book you really have to sink into and let it consume your reading time!
Of course, the professionalism of Dr. Bond is clearly evident in her teachings and authorship. I'm sure her skills have healed many people, and can now help them through this book.
I heartily recommend this book to those who seek a well-conceived idea of teaching psychological issues through short stories and the lessons that follow.
Michael Bogert, Reviewer


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