Outstanding book made so much more intense because it is real. I generally read scifi and dystopian novels but felt compelled to try this book and I was not disappointed. It is well written and the author does an amazing job of helping the reader feel like they are witnessing everything play out.
I cried in frustration and happiness. I am rarely moved so strongly. I highly recommend this book. I felt compelled to complete the book in one sitting and struggled to set it aside to go to bed and stayed up way too late before forcing myself to sleep.
There are lots of dashed hopes, ups and downs, and a general roller coaster ride to hell and back. I was on that roller coaster in spite of the knowledge that I knew the eventual outcome.
I found myself looking everyone and everything up online. Susannah Cahalan was brutally honest and utilized all the data available to make sense of this period of her life. Again, it is an amazing book. Highly recommended!!
What an amazing story. This would be a great fiction story, but the fact that it’s true makes it all the more incredible.
Susannah takes us on the journey she took as she fell ill to the mysterious illness. The book starts at the first sign that something is wrong and takes us through her time in the hospital, her diagnosis, treatment and the follow-up care and research. Even though she can’t remember anything from that time, she has pulled together doctor’s notes, videos and interviews to create a thorough timeline that makes the reader fell like they’re living through it with her.
And it was scary. One minute she was an outgoing, confident young woman and the next she was a paranoid, delusional mess. It came on so suddenly and there were only a few signs that something was wrong before she ended up in the hospital. The tests and incorrect diagnoses she went through before they ever discovered her problem were immense and I’m impressed that her family didn’t give up on her. Their persistence is a testament of their love. Also? I think she might have the best real-life boyfriend ever.
You know it’s going to end well (she did write the book, after all) but the writing is so immersive and intense, that you wonder how it will all work out. This could have had a very different outcome, and Susannah is very lucky that the right doctor found the right test at the right time.
The last section of the book deals with the aftermath – how Susannah continues to be affected and the research and development that have gone into the disease since her diagnosis. That section wasn’t as intense as the earlier parts, but it was interesting. In fact, there are interesting facts and tidbits throughout the book, which were especially useful so we would know exactly how Susannah’s brain was misfiring.
The narrator did a great job, she had the moods and affectations down perfectly. When combined with the fabulous writing, I really felt like I was there in Susannah’s head while she was going through this.
An intriguing story made even better by the tight writing. Susannah is a gifted writer and I’m amazed this is her first book. Don’t miss it.
As soon as it became clear the story would be anecdotal, I hoped for a more engaging story (a la Terri Cheney's "Manic"). I am a junkie for brain-gone-haywire books, and this rates average.
This story was interesting but after awhile there is a great deal of medical terminology. By the end I skipped forward several times and still seemed to be listening to the same thing.
i like to read. i like to listen.
this book was pretty intense. what an amazing story of family loyalty and faith in someone who clearly seems insane! i think that at the heart of it, that's what this story is about -- i mean, the mystery around her circumstances were really strange and disturbing -- but the family/friends that stood by her believing every step of the way there was a reason, and a cure, for her problems is what resonated most with me.
A rare illness (anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis; inflammation of brain) struck the author, and because the illness manifests psychosis-like symptoms, she was not sure what was going on at the time, and neither were her family/friends nor the doctors who initially treated her. The behavioral manifestations of the illness make it extremely difficult for the patient, her relatives, friends, and co-workers to deal with the situation.
She was extremely lucky in that she encountered the right doctor who knew of the illness. She was also lucky that she was surrounded by very supportive family members and boyfriend. It's heart-breaking to imagine that most of those who are affected by the same illness out there would not be so lucky and face ill fate. We are lucky that she happened to be a reporter and thus could write about her experience so that awareness about this illness can be communicated to the rest of us. The book is extremely well-written, and she did a great job of describing what she went through both from the first person account as well as from the medical point of view based on her research afterwards.
I was completely intrigued by this story. How quickly she spiraled downward and what could have happened if she was not at the right place at the right time. I also give credit to her parents for not accepting her original diagnosis. She points out several issues with our current medical system and rightly encourages others to go for second opinions. Fascinating story!
What can I say? This is a book that I will probably take back. And I take back maybe one percent of the books I buy, maybe less. I have more than 1000 books in my library and I think I've returned maybe two or three. So that is less than a percent. But I just couldn't get through this.
Watching this poor girl's life deteriorate while those around her just watched was just painful. If her account was accurate it was hard to believe that no one called her parents or that her boyfriend didn't react sooner or that her friends didn't figure out something was wrong much sooner.
That's about when I quit. I just couldn't take any more. Her accounts of what she was seeing and hearing and doing made absolutely no sense to me, which I guess was the point. However, I didn't find it any fun to hear about, read about, think about, remember or continue to listen to. I didn't understand any of it, and I felt so sorry for this young woman that I just couldn't continue. And this was way before she hit bottom.
For those of you who study these sorts of breakdowns or how the mind works, God bless you. I'm sure you found this fascinating. To me, it was just too sad to continue listening to.
This was a fascinating story and also scary. This is something that can happen to anyone. I think about all the people that may be in mental institutions when they actually have a medical condition. The story was well written and keeps your interest while providing a lot of medical detail, but it is not over your head - it is understandable.
Among top 20
Could not put this book down. An amazing story and truly terrifying