|About the Book|
Quite an interesting premise here. A practicing psychoanalyst writes a book about the fictitious therapy that takes place between Tony Soprano and his therapist in the TV show, and to a lesser extent reflects on portrayals of therapy in TV and film. I picked this up 2nd hand in a charity store, and since I was wading for the umpteenth time through a Sopranos box-set I thought Id give it a go. Two precursors are worth mentioning. The first is that youll need to know the TV show really well to get much out of this (I do). The second is that this book came out at the end of the third season of the Sopranos (Gabbard originally wrote a column in Slate Magazine) - that is to say, at the half way point. Consequently a few of Gabbards judgments seem slightly comical with the benefit of hindsight. Moreover because he focuses so much on the therapist/patient relationship he sometimes rather ignores the fact the relationship exists as a narrative tool, and occasionally as a moral compass- as is ultimately seen in season six with the ending of the therapy. That said, if like me you havent read much psychology its quite an interesting introduction to Freud and concepts like transference and splitting. Sopranos creator David Chase has said that The Sopranos is about people who lie to themselves on a daily basis and the mess it creates, so there is ample material for this and many other books.