"A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis" is a much more accessible book that its factual title implies. Author Bruce Fink does an admirable job of presenting the thought of Jacques Lacan, a French "poststructuralist" who built his theory on the work of Freud. After reading Fink on Lacan, I wondered if Lacan himself was ever as accessible. What makes this book so comprehensible is that Fink bases his discussion on Lacan's own admirably simple schemata of the varieties of mental disorders. At the same time, Fink understands and explains those cultural tendencies in the thought of Lacan that might put off an English-speaking reader. And Fink's writing style is nothing short of clear. His discussion of Freud's "Rat man" case is an excellent introduction to Freud's clinical style. In short, "Clinical Introduction" is a highly attractive book whose success both enhanced, in my eyes, the reputation of Lacan, a tough French thinker, and, through the example of Fink, showed Anglo-American appreciation of Continental thought at its sensitive best.
My familiarity with the language of psychoanalysis has come primarily through its usage by post-structural and feminist theorists. Reading this text has been like discovering a rosetta stone. The clinical examples that Fink uses has put flesh, so to speak, on some difficult and disembodied ideas with which I have previously struggled. Politically I find myself at great odds with Fink's forays into social commentary, but even this has been incredibly instructive.