Book: Knots - R. D. Laing

Book Review: Knots – R. D. Laing

Not what you’re expecting… well worth reading. Perhaps my favourite book ever.

Title:Knots
Author:R. D. Laing
Year:1971
Importance:4/5
Accessibility:5/5
Recommended:5/5

OK, disclaimer. I think this might be my favourite book ever.

The love affair started off a bit rocky, though. I’m a keen sailor, and I thought this was going to be a book about, you know, knots. I thought I couldn’t believe my luck – a book written by an interesting psychiatrist, and about boats.

Alas, it was knot to be. The knots Laing writes about here are instead the emotional ones we tie ourselves up in, when we communicate with our loved ones. OK… equally as interesting!

This is a strange book, written entirely in long poems and dialogue. It’s really easy to read. And it’s really weird. I love it. Laing takes us round these poetic emotional circles, showing us the core fears and wounds often at the root of our struggles.

I found it particularly relatable when I read it during a tough time when my own complex childhood trauma was unravelling all around me.

It also inspired me to be creative with my own healing process, inspired me to work on Eyes On Trauma, and to write these very words you are reading now.

R. D. Laing’s work with ‘Knots’ is an incredibly creative way to explore the subject, and was surely pushing the boundaries back in 1971 when it was published. Maybe a psychedelic trip inspired it?

Either way, I have taken a leaf out of this book and will continue on my journey raising awareness of complex trauma in my own creative way. And I recommend getting your hands on an original copy of this gem – I hope you treasure it as much as I do.

In fact, I love this book so much, I have two copies. I managed to find the paperback in a charity book shop in Brighton, and the hardback in a second hand book shop in the Netherlands! I guess it really is my favourite book ever.

Have you read this book too? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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