Monday, July 31, 2017
The Inkblots is part biography of Hermann Rorschach, part history of psychology, part cultural commentary, part history of the inkblot test known as the Rorschach that wraps up in a large, meandering undertaking with a heavy emphasis on the Inkblots in America after the death of their inventor. The book is interesting, overwhelming, and heavy handed in turns. I learned a lot reading this book, but it doesn't have a strong thesis. It wanders around the topics like a river - the current moves you, but you don't go in a straight line. It rather felt like the author just wanted to include as much information on everything relating to these ten blots of mystery as possible, even if it sacrificed quality. I believe this book would have been more compelling as separate books addressing the different parts. Yes, they wove together in real life, but reading about them on top of each other makes for a dense read. Of course, if one was already familiar with the basics about the test and a brief outline of its history or controversies this book would likely be an easier read. For the novice, having absolutely no knowledge and never having heard of this test before cracking the book open, it was a bear of a task. Interesting at times, and a drag at other points. Given, however, that an overview of the Rorschach does not appear to exist outside of this book, it is valuable and worth investing time into reading if you are looking to broaden your knowledge about the man, the test, American culture, or psychology.
I was given a complimentary copy of The Inkblots from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.