"Briefing for a Descent Into Hell" by Doris Lessing (1971)
"Oh, Doctor can you give me a pill to make me sleep. Oh, I'm working too hard and, oh, I'm worried about my marriage, and, oh, I'm worried about my job, and, oh, I can't stand what I think."
"Briefing for a Descent Into Hell" is the story of Charles Watkins, a Classics Professor who suffers a breakdown and is found wandering around London. He is placed under the care of two doctors who have very different opinions on how he should be treated, and while in the hospital Charles hallucinates an imagined life as a sailor, a congress of heavenly beings, a sojourn on a mythical island, and a wartime experience that never happened.
And I'll agree that it sounds like a good idea for a book, but it's dreadfully boring. Even at just over 200 pages, this novel goes nowhere fast. The "mythical island" section takes up nearly half of the book, and it adds absolutely nothing to the plot. Other sections are likewise dead-ends, and are almost entirely disassociated from the rest of the book.
Let it be known that I have given Doris Lessing more than a fair chance. I have read both "The Cleft" and this book, and both books seem to suffer from a similar lack of inertia. She may have won the Nobel Prize, critics from The Guardian might gush over her book jackets, but I fail to see what's so special about Doris Lessing. This book waxes intellectual at times - often brilliantly so - but it fails as a novel.