Odds and Ids : a novel

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Alevizon, John V.
MacDougall, James K.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.A.)
Department of English
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Odds and Ids is a satirical novel of 419 pages that ridicules the tenets of psychotherapy and the beliefs and behaviors of psychotherapists. There are two story lines which overlap and converge at the end. Odd chapters tell the story of semi-sane Clinical Psychologist Nicholas K. Mavros and his alcoholic dog, Misty, the melancholy collie. Disillusioned by life, and in particular by the sham of psychotherapy, Nick decides to commit suicide in seven days by driving his burgundy van off the Billy Bopplemeyer Pier at sunset.He and Misty form a sacred pact to achieve that gallant end. Knowing that he will be dead in one week frees Nick at work and play to say what he is thinking and to act as he is feeling. He simply does not care any longer what others--friends, staff, and clients--think of his behavior. The odd chapters follow him day by day until he and Misty plunge or do not plunge into the cold waters of Puget Sound.The even chapters trace the rise and fall of the fictional Rumanian Bithwanians, a strange family that personifies postFreudian psychotherapy. Three generations of odd Bithwanians bungle through the bizarre world of mental health, seldom knowing the first thing about how to help another human being. Each Bithwanian is so enmeshed in the intricacies of his own theory that he's;fails to see his clients as animate human beings.The last Bithwanian, whose suicide opens the second friend of Nicholas Mavros, the errant protagonist, whose intent to commit suicide 3efines the central plot of the odd chapters.Their relationship, seen in retrospect, ties the two story lines together.The guiding idea throughout the novel is that the right to label others, and this alone, separates therapists and clients.The following are shot at in the novel: A) Therapists and their illusions.B) Clients and their unrealistic expectations.C) The non-training of future clinicians.D) Therapy, insurance companies, the union of psychologists,sex, love, religion, tradition, and existentialism.