The Minds of Billy Milligan

 

A Book Review

 
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The Minds of Billy Milligan, by Daniel Keyes

In a nutshell: Billy Milligan is the first person in U.S. history to successfully use multiple-personality disorder as a defence for a violent crime, saying that his mind was fractured into 24 different personalities.

First thoughts: Fascinating and fucked up

Halfway through: As you meet each of Billy’s personalities, it feels like you’re on a rollercoaster zooming through a house of mirrors; fluttering in and out of each personality until you finally see what they’re trying to protect.

Final review: This true story of dissociative identity disorder is written like a page-turning suspense thriller backed by disturbing facts, with each character reacting differently to the interrogation room. His lawyers argue that Billy commit the crime—his other personalities did. In the end, you get to decide.

Who should read this book: Geminis

Who we’d want to read this book to us: James McAvoy’s character in Split

If this book were a person at a cocktail party: Flummoxed, possibly drunk, and not quite pulling off side-bangs. Has asked three times if you’ve got a light, only to mention later that he doesn’t smoke.

 
 
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