“I could not remove my self-doubt (and neither I wanted to), and the dreadful feeling that my my life and everything I can possibly say or do is not worth anything, but if I tried to, I felt that I could lessen the feeling of pretence that I actually felt was at its (the self-doubt’s) root. After all, why a person would even bother to feel self-doubt if they didn’t take themselves too seriously in the first place? We only doubt the things that you rely on, and that is clearly not because there is no reason for us to doubt the rest, it is just that most of the time we would not bother ourselves with doing so, I guess other people were doing it just to keep their sanity? If so, then Caterina’s ironic jesture was probably the best reaction to everything that I did in the last year (althought she herself was one hundred percent the same as me), I was no more brilliant than a person who attempts to build a house in a swamp and thinks that the reason other people missed that lovely spot of theirs was their superior perceptions and judgement.
Alex: Former athlete, prevented from practicing due to an injury. Has panic attacks. Aggessive and loud.
Maxim (X): a timid mathematician, who is searching for his identity among the different people in the sanatorium.
Catherina: an upper-class girl who started receiving panic attacks at 12th grade while studying for her acceptance exam at Harward. Tried to kill herself when she was not admitted.
Anna: A friend of Catherine from school who always copies her, but is much more immature than her.
Sisi and Zenka: Girls who are accepted because they have issues with drugs but feel no need to get high in the sanatorium.
Alexandra: An older woman, who was accepted at the sanatorium when young. Currently she does not have any issues, but she is staying there for the freedom.
Ellie: A troubled girl who rejects everyone and lives only through books.
The backgammon players
Dimitar: The manager of the sanatorium who is only concerned about the image of the facility.
Nina: A monk who leads zen practices in order to relax the patients
Dora: A very perverse
Maxim sleeps with Catherina and falls in love with her, only to discover she actually sleeps with everyone. He then tries to begin relationship with Anna, just because she reminds him of Catherina.
Ellie goes to commit eutanasia and Dimitar sends AMX to fetch her. At the end they have to convinve them she is like them, so she can come with them.
Alex trains maxim to become a runner like him in order for Max to feel more confident, but he actually can’t as Alex beats him up at every conceivable exercise.