Lives Within A Life


SKU e-book Category

164 in stock


By Robert Bayley

ISBN: 978-1-84747-687-6
Published: 2008
Pages: 106
Key Themes: schizophrenia, fiction, psychosis, creativity, discovery



LIVES WITHIN A LIFE is a novel chronicling the onset and progression of schizophrenia upon the central character. The complexities and symptoms of the disorder are described with great clarity as more and more of the character’s mind and ensuing behaviour are affected. Relationships and their significance are explored during the evolution of a spiritual journey, culminating in a cataclysmic finale.

Creative release, taking in the visual, literary and musical arts, illuminates the narrative. These elements and their influence convey the hidden beauty and compassionate nature of the lost and forlorn. The multi-layered intricacies of psychosis reveal an individual experiencing the truly extraordinary.

As the illness gains momentum, all aspects of its effects on the inner psyche become apparent in a uniquely descriptive manner. An existence encompassed by nightmares and demons, a life bringing new trials, which unearths the essence of the human condition, and the instinct to survive. The climax has its own twist and play on the perception of reality, bringing the novel to a powerful and inspiring conclusion.


About the Author

Robert Bayley is a writer, composer and artist. For most of his adult life he has lived with paranoid schizophrenia. This has resulted in long periods of hospitalisation as the illness has ravaged his life. The persecutory voices and visions bombard his every day existence, causing him to descend into the hell of paranoiac despair. A myriad of medicinal treatments have been tried to keep the symptoms under some form of control, with the archaic major tranquillizers bringing horrendous side effects, to the current use of atypical neuroleptics. These work with greater precision, and so contribute some relief. This allows the author to capitalise on periods of positive and intense creativity. He has studied the visual arts, incorporating film, photography, ceramics and art history. He is a multi-instrumentalist, and composes and records music combined with spoken prose that conveys the horror of psychotic bombardment.

His creative endeavours are a method of coping with disorder and extremes, and his work, in whatever genre, attempts to articulate this. To tap into, and extract the profound nature of suffering, is what motivates Robert. His desire is to describe and transform that torment into constructive and inspiring realms. The words, chords and imagery are his tools.

Book Extract


The air was dry and the heatwave biting. The evergreens stood proud, resisting the scorching temperature. A mood of playfulness was
captured by all. The youngest were left under the tranquil shelter of the weeping willows. Innocence encompassed those present, the sky streaked by an Impressionist’s variegated palette, balloons ascending. An idyllic day to share and remember.

Five year old Jon was darting across the sea of green, his smile broad, as the other children shared his sense of fun. To the subdued tempo of the tender breeze, the trees swayed gently, their branches dancing, as the lake rippled in sympathy. The water reflected the shimmering light, the sun prickly on the skin. It was for all a time of whirling exultation. There were no concerns or cares, only a shared desire to absorb the beautiful surroundings. Sounds of festivity echoed with profundity, as Jon played with the shadows. He leapt from the foliage, immersed in laughter, as he lost himself to the world.

His parents looked on, as they chatted freely with friends and family. The wine flowed, accompanied by cheese and anecdotes. The birds above seemed to share the jollity and were full in song. Balls of all sizes cavorted across the turf as a group of players scrambled for a touch. There were screams of congratulations as each goal
was scored. Ducks clambered onto the bank, devouring the crumbs of bread thrown for them. By the grass verge swans displayed their elegant splendour. The air became still, concentrating the heat, and creating demand for the chilled lemonade in the cooler. A spectrum of differing breeds of dog were bounding and barking across the
slopes. Today was a wonderful day and by its close Jon was tired but still exuberant.

The heavens projected the softest of hues as the family left their place of delight, with no sense of foreboding. Surrounding them were fields of corn, their coloration intensified by rays above, forming perfectly symmetrical patterns.



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