Doctor Travis’s extraordinarily vivid and at times painfully lucid account provides a rare, fascinating insight into the experience and treatment of paranoid schizophrenia. Along the way there is humour, horror, the most astonishing palindrome and ultimately enlightenment about this most misunderstood of conditions. I enjoyed it very much - Christopher Thatcher
Barking absolutely! A revelation to those who read it- a real eclectic mix. It will be a beacon of light for those in darkness and for those that simply want a bloody good read– Bob Paxman Ex B Sqdn 22 SAS
Book Review January 2010
For thousands of years man tried to make something out of nothing: it was called alchemy and never worked. Not until now that is. The proof arrived in the post in the form of Looking for Prince Charles's Dog this week, and I have already got to the joke of a last line. Well OK you could say the disappearance of the future King of England’s dog was a little bit more than nothing: it did make the front page of The Times. But it would take a great feat of imagination to take that event of April 1994 all the way to this: a ten year expedition down the stream of consciousness (where the stream seems to be flowing beer for most of the journey). Perhaps a million people will never read this book, but it will mean the world to those who do. One can only feel for those not privileged to join Dr Travis on the trip, and it is a trip on two occasions. I commend this epic to you. - Andrew English
Book Review January 2012 -
Looking For Prince Charles’s Dog is a vivid insight into what it means to live with paranoid schizophrenia.
This epic, autobiographical work by Dr Clive Travis pulls no punches. The stories about the author’s time spent in various mental institutions are not for the faint of heart, nor is this a book that can be read in one easy sitting.Having said that, for all the times it is harrowing, the book is also a smart, educational, frustrating, moving and often hilarious read. Yes, I said hilarious. Put aside notions of schizophrenia as dissociative identity disorder, or a disease that yields unending torment; one of the points the author strives to get across is how much, at times, he enjoyed the effects of the condition.Additionally, the way in which Travis writes about his love affair with “Amanda” is poignant and easily relatable.While this book does take a good deal of time investment, I think you’ll find, as I did, that it is definitely worth the effort. - Luke Tuchscherer, Journalist
Looking for Prince Charles's Dog and Other Stories by Dr C.H.Travis: To write a book entitled Looking for Prince Charles's Dog is a major undertaking. Dr Travis upholds the honour of Prince Charles and his dog and justifies the title with a unique and extraordinary tale in which he makes a philosophical voyage through severe mental illness in search of the future King of England's lost pet. The story is often bizarre as he travels around these isles like a psychotic Rick Stein in search of the remarkable, touching, note-worthy and fishy to then announce he has found the dog as though the animal has its own Royal Crest which the writer uses to honour these events and places. One might have suggested The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much as an alternative title but the never say die (with one almost fatal exception) attitude of the author mean it would be churlish not to suggest that of course the disappearance of His Royal Highness's dog was of major significance to the peace process in Ireland! More seriously the story is often violently shocking in its portrayal of the torment experienced by sufferers of schizophrenia not only from the illness itself but also from the "despicably unpleasant and murderous" side effects of the drugs prescribed for it. Indeed, as the story demonstrates, these side effects become part and parcel of the illness and the author only manages not to commit suicide because of them by invoking an efficacious military Special Forces mind-set to complement his laughably deluded attempt to place the dog on the table in the peace process negotiations. At the same time the delusions are so intricate that, where the supposedly imagined involvement of the Security Services and the IRA were concerned I was, on occasions, so sucked in to it all that I was left wondering. Looking for Prince Charles's Dog is the autobiographical account of what it is like to experience paranoid schizophrenia and is a great achievement - Edward Blackstock.
A wonderful piece of work. Believe in it, I do. It is special. – Pascal Scudamore
Thank you very much for letting me read Looking for Prince Charles’s Dog. I enjoyed it very much. It is a fascinating read giving great insight into what it is like to live with the symptoms associated with paranoid schizophrenia as well as the appalling side-effects of some of the treatments for it. – Helen Finch, MIND
Such an important piece of work – Billi Street, RETHINK
Really good. Exciting – Richard Knight.
Really enjoyed the book, a truly great effort of will – what a journey! Love the book man! Viva! – Jonathan Jones.
What is it like to experience mental illness? Looking for Prince Charles's Dog ... answers that question by taking the reader on a most extraordinary journey of discovery. Autobiographical accounts of schizophrenia are few and far between, but Clive's intelligence, intellect and vivid memory have enabled him to recount in full technicolour, the inside story in all its confusion, dilemma and delusion, clearly demonstrating the nature of the beast that is schizophrenia. He shows remarkable insight enabling him to create a work of exceptional quality. Clive has chosen not to recall his experiences in a detached reflective manner, but boldly from the word go, the reader is sucked into madness with the author. You are taken across the line from genius to lunacy and back again, and challenged to open your mind and re-examine personal beliefs. This is the road least-travelled which the reader is privileged to join in all its complexities. An unconventional tale which is compelling, perplexing and astounding and one which should be compulsory reading for all mental health professionals. Other questions answered in this book include: Why do people with mental illness end up homeless? Why don't people with mental illness just take medication to get better? Why would a grown man be seen pecking at a discarded hamburger on a pavement? Why do many sufferers of mental illness kill themselves? - Alison Bass
In Looking for Prince Charles's Dog Dr Travis brings the condition of the schizophrenic into sharp focus, a world far stranger than fiction. Clive supertramps far and wide across the country as he tries to make sense of his life, transforming himself in the process. These adventures are at times harrowing, but frequently hilarious; on occasions they made me laugh out loud, no mean feat for me. This is a story that needs to be told - Mike Wallis.
"From the sample that you sent, it does look to be a truly captivating piece of writing"-Will Maddox, Development Editor, Blackwell Publishing.
Looking for Prince Charles's Dog and Other Stories or One Summer I Thought I Was A Dog is an autobiographical account which is both entertaining and revealing. It evokes a strange sense of awareness and insight into an illness that sadly, many have been unable to cope with. The writer's courage as he struggles to understand what is happening to him makes this book a worthwhile, compelling read for all of us - Emily Barker.
“This very interesting book makes a unique contribution to our understanding of serious mental illness…In the face of the turmoil of psychosis, there is no easy prescription for achieving collaboration between the patient and the psychiatric services, but this book eloquently makes the point that the first step is engagement in dialogue.”- Peter Liddle, Professor of Psychiatry, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham
"This extraordinary book, describing Clive's journey into schizophrenic psychosis, is indeed unique. If you feel like reading an epic try this" - Thelma Acott
Thank you, Dr Travis, for letting me read chapter 41 of your excellently titled book. I have just finished reading the chapter, named after my song The Headlight Song, and found it thoroughly enchanting and true of voice. I laughed out aloud at least six times. It will be a pleasure to read the rest of the book and I've got a feeling I have already written the song which was on the tips of your fingers; when its recorded I'll send you a copy. It's called The Man Who Thought He Knew Too Much - Tim Keegan, The Departure Lounge (ex Railroad Earth, Ringo).
Looking for Prince Charles's Dog is an account of a young man's descent into a dark unreachable hell called schizophrenia, pursued by imaginary forces of a spy network which has managed to tap into his brain. It is a book that every mental health consultant and psychiatrist should read as it will show them the detailed workings and thought-paths of a mind in the grip of this disease. The book describes an incomprehensible and upside-down world where one is torn between amusement and pity; a world where Dr Travis no longer knows why he must act as he does, except that "the power of all the magic and mystery possessed by the future King of Great Britain's dog now seemed to be mine"; a world one could at times sorrowfully call "Hell on Earth". It is also an account of all the drugs that were unsuccessfully or detrimentally administered by doctors and consultants who had little idea of the causes of this dreadful affliction, and even less of how to cure it. It is a book for parents worried about the sudden and inexplicable actions of their children, ultimately diagnosed as schizophrenic, so that they can at least have some idea of that terrible, haunted landscape in which their children are now lost - EBT.
Dr Travis provides a lucid autobiographical account of his battle with 'schizophrenia'. Or Intelligence Service inspired genius? All of the author's life experiences and education to the highest standard are only just enough to help him survive and eventually find the right road back from his harrowing journey in search of peace. It has all gone terribly wrong: cast into an asylum, the misery of incarceration and now real terror of injections* given forcibly determine our hapless traveller to find his own way. He escapes the secure unit fleeing further degradation and 'soldiers' on, grief-stricken and anguished, towards his goal aware it may be ever more distant, aware of the penalty of failure. Touching, compelling, fraught and emotional, Dr Travis crafts his own very individual experiences into thoroughly entertaining reading - ANS
*Not fear of the injection itself - real terror because of its effects. .
A landmark text for students of schizophrenia, a ripping yarn, and a cult buy - TEB
"Prince Charles's Dog goes missing. I go 'looking for it'. I find myself - Clive Travis.