It's 40 hrs long, so that represents a challenge.
Exceptionally well written piece. One of the top 10 books I have ever read. The author offered insights from many varying perspectives to provide the reader with a 360 degree view of a given chapters focus whether it be a child born of rape, deafness, mental illness, etc. All offering a full picture from many voices - while the author offers his overarching accumulated knowledge and parallels from his personal life.
The one chapter that felt unlike the others, was that on criminality. It seemed to be more narrow, clearly not offering the reader the 360 degree view as did the other chapters. I intended to write to the author about this. His overall ability to uncover the depth and nuance of variations in family relationships is masterful. Exceptionally well done book, overall.
Female, Military Background, Mother, Wife. Enjoys Science, Medicine (in particular viruses and diseases).
Once again, he has written about something that deeply touches my life. First came The Noonday Demon in which he thoroughly catalogs many aspects of my illness, depression, in such a loving and human way as to shame other books on the topic for being brusque and unfeeling. Now he writes about family and individual dynamics between children and adults. I may require my daughters to read this book before middle or high school to help teach about being a human being in society without being a jerk about it.
Mr. Solomon, once again, thank you.
I loved this book so much. It's one of the only books where I said, 'oh darn, there's only 13 hours of this book left!!'.
Read beautifully by the author, it's written so well, encompassing a massive range of parental experiences. He has genuine compassion and empathy for these parents and their children. It's a deeply moving and humbling book. JUST GET IT.
Andrew Solomon is the kind of non-fiction writer that is extremely rare these days. He does not set out to force his opinions down your throat nor preach simplified solutions to complex problems. He simply describes the worlds that people with what he refers to as horizontal identities have to deal with and how this world affect those around them. While doing so he devotes chapters to various groups of such identities. A horizontal identity here refers to one not passed down from the parent and can be a physical issues such as deafness, dwarfism, downs syndrome or a social one like criminality. He goes into transgender issues and schizophrenia and you feel listening to it that each of these chapters could have been a book in itself.
The strength of the book is his ability to relate the stories behind the issues; he has an amazing gift for making the people real and through listening to him you really do share in their struggles and triumphs. He rarely judges them but describes many of the ethical issues parents in particular have to deal with.
I would highly recommend this book.
The author did a magnificent job all the way through research, writing and reading!
A must-read for everyone; above all, it should be made compulsory reading for all high-school students, worldwide, in order to make this world a better, a more tolerant world!
This book is so beautifully written and important. I recently discovered my child is not who I thought she was and I am not afraid. No matter what you are going through this book will be relevant.
Should be required reading for everyone
Such a beautifully written and moving work. It combines a rich amount of information about a variety of people and identities I was unfamiliar with (I.e. I learned a lot about deafness and deaf culture) and also such amazing family portraits and interviews. The performance was generally clear and well read though occasionally the author's tone came across as droll or mismatched to either the tone or the accents and intonation of the quotations. I have been recommending this book far and wide and feel like it will stay with me for a long time.
What an epic story of love, hope, despair, and the human capability for resilience. I loved every chapter and enjoyed the countless stories. It was difficult at first keeping track of the different people, though I soon learned to just listen and understand what was being said. Once I did that it was easy to enjoy. What a great journey! Thank you Solomon!
A friend whom I trust recommended this tome, and tome it is! But so worth reading. I enjoyed listening to it, even though it was 40 hours plus! It is read by the author, a person who will never make a living as a voice...but it was excellent to hear him put the emphasis where, as an author, he wanted it to be.
My biggest take-away from the book is that we each rise to the task at hand and deal with what we need to deal with.