Mason Allyon Dwennon is mad- both angry with the world mad and strapped in a rubber room while wearing a Napoleon hat mad. Diagnosed as a manic-depressive schizophrenic, Mason exists as a self-exiled pariah, skirting the fringes of humanity as the sole member of his Square Peg Society. Divorced, alone, bitter, depressed, haunted by voices and visions and on the verge of suicide, Mason experiences a major psychotic episode and is hospitalized. There he is finally diagnosed as having dissociative identity disorder and found to have at least eight different and distinct personalities. Negotiations with the Sniper is a first person account of Mason's ordeal. The story details a three-year free association session with his imaginary psychiatrist (A wise-cracking, life-size plastic Barbie head who speaks with a thick German accent and refers to himself as Dr. Carl). As the story progresses, each of Mason's eight personalities reveals him or herself in their own voices as they search for the elusive something responsible for all of his suffering. To compound his problems, Mason continuously floats in and out of fugue states and has to reconcile missing periods of time. All too frequently, his habitués are less-than well behaved during his mental lapses. In Mason's own words, Many's the time I've had to stand before a screaming, slavering, red-faced employer, manager, shop foreman, neighbor, police officer, parent, sibling, spouse, in-law, teacher, first sergeant, nun, etc. and bear the tirade meant for one of my compadres, while unable to offer any reasonable excuse for my actions. Despite the sinister allusion to a concealed killer, the title actually refers to the cruel, thoughtless and ofttimes well-intentioned actions of those persons most influential in young Mason's life, responsible for triggering his psychotic responses.
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