'Touching Madness' has a great narrative voice that drew me in right from the first page. The writing style is quirky and humorous, which made it really fun to read. It's chatty and written in first person, so I was able to really get into the main character's head.
The main character, River Madden, is a homeless man suffering from schizophrenia. Despite the overall humorous tone of the book, I thought that River's condition was handled with sensitivity and intelligence. It is never used to mock him, neither is he ever reduced to just his illness - his schizophrenia is a part of who he is, but there's a lot of other qualities to him as well. I found him to be an inspiring and very likable main character. He was also fun to hang around with, which made me keep reading.
The plot is interesting. It revolves around there being different dimensions, and we get to meet characters from them such as raps (from a dimension where dinosaurs were never wiped out), neans (from a dimension where homo sapiens never developed and humanity descended from neanderthals) and my personal favourites - demons.
From the beginning to the end, the plot was tightly woven and exciting, with never a dull moment. I won't give anything away about the ending, but it was the sweetest thing I've ever read. It made me so happy.
This book is part of a series and I'm looking forwards to the next book!
I think 'Touching Madness' would be suitable as a young adult book, but would equally be enjoyed by adults. It's charming and poignant and funny.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)