Families are our first line of defense against the world. And when that line crumbles, brothers can turn away from one another. Christoph Fischer’s Conditions examines the horrific consequences of shattered familial relationships in a poignant and sad manner.
This work of contemporary fiction also addresses the issue of mental illness through a close magnifying glass, and begs the question of what qualifies as “mental” degeneration.
At the forefront as a poster child for mental illness stands Charles; however, as the novel progresses, there are times when Charles is the only one who makes sense in the cavalcade of characters that prance and plod through Conditions. His brother Tony struggles for years with jealousy of Charles, thinking that his condition is one that lets him off the hook for responsibilities. As is the case in far too many families, assumptions made in childhood only multiply and fester if not addressed…
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