The Minds of Billy Milligan
7/10 If you regularly remind yourself that this is actually a real story and not a fictitious one, it all becomes truly mind-boggling. All in all an enjoyable read giving you a glimpse into the reality that only a miniscule percentage of people will experience. At times a bit too descriptive and slow, making the reading a little boring. But sudden personality changes, literally, made up for the slower pace. But if you were to read just one book from Daniel Keyes, then Flowers for Algernon it is! No question there.
Billy is raped and physically abused as a kid by his step-father. It is then when his mind splits into 24 personalities because he is no longer able to deal with the abuse. He goes onto regularly switching from one personality to another, while his family and friends become to see him as a weirdo and a systematic liar. As he grows up, the multiple personality disorder prevents him from finishing high-school and integrating into the society. He mingles with the wrong people, deals drugs, and eventually commits variety of crimes. In the end, three rape crimes get him in front of the court, where thanks to a hard work of his lawyers, he is deemed NOT guilty by reasons of insanity. From there on, his life becomes a quest to either survive in prisons or fight through his treatment at mental insitutions. The ultimate goal is to fuse his personalities into one, however, bad publicity and further judicial hearings result in Billy being moved from one institution to another. The rest is to be found out by you. Happy reading :)
- I’m not an expert into how courts work these days, however, it is a bit worrying how they worked in the past. Everything seemed to be at the dicretion of the judge, and there was virtually no weighing of evidence with regards to the expertise/experience of the witness (at least in Billy’s trial and subsequent hearings).