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Brain on Fire Audiobook

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter
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Publisher's Summary

In 2009, Susannah Cahalan woke up in a strange hospital room strapped to a bed, under guard, and unable to move or speak. Her medical records - from a month-long hospital stay of which she had no memory - reported psychosis, violence, and dangerous instability. Yet, only weeks earlier she had been a healthy, ambitious twenty-four-year-old, six months into her first serious relationship and a sparkling career as a cub reporter.

Susannah’s astonishing memoir chronicles the swift path of her illness and the lucky, last-minute intervention led by one of the few doctors capable of saving her life. Weeks ticked by and Susannah moved inexplicably from violence to catatonia. Over one million dollars worth of blood tests and brain scans revealed nothing. The exhausted doctors were ready to commit her to the psychiatric ward, until the celebrated neurologist, Dr. Souhel Najjar, joined her team. With the use of a simple - yet ingenious - test, he was able to make a lifesaving diagnosis - revealing a newly discovered autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks the brain.

With sharp reporting drawn from hospital records, scientific research, and interviews with doctors and family, Brain on Fire is a crackling mystery and an unflinching, gripping personal story that marks the debut of an extraordinary writer.

©2012 Original material © 2012 Susannah Cahalan. Recorded by arrangement with Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (P)2012 (p) 2012 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Engrossing.... Unquestionably, an important book on both a human and a medical level. Cahalan’s elegantly-written memoir of her dramatic descent into madness opens up discussion of the cutting-edge neuroscience behind a disease that may affect thousands of people around the world, and it offers powerful insight into the subjective workings of our minds." (Mehmet Oz, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Surgery, New York Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center)

"Brain on Fire reads like a scientific thriller, but with a profound and moving philosophy at its heart." (David B. Agus, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Engineering, University of Southern California, and author of The End of Illness)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Adam IN 01-27-15
    Adam IN 01-27-15 Member Since 2013
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    "amazing story. well written as well"
    What made the experience of listening to Brain on Fire the most enjoyable?

    the story was weel written and easy to follow. I enjoyed the medical content.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Luvisi 01-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Super interesting!"

    Extremely interesting book. I want to read it more than once because i think you could gather new information each time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Listens-a-lot 01-24-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Fascinating Story Well Told and Read"

    I listened to this book some time ago, and just saw that it is being made into a movie starring Dakota Fanning. Kudos to the author, and excellent choice for the lead in what I'm sure will be a great movie.

    But don't just watch the movie. You have to listen to this book! Cahalan, a young, aspiring writer/journalist, suffers an alarming personality change - she literally goes "mad." In clear and entertaining prose, Calahan describes her harrowing journey, handling the medical details in a way that's both interesting and understandable. In doing so, she has also done much to raise awareness about the illness that struck her. It's wonderful that she has recovered so well and was able to share her story with the world. And now a movie!

    This was the first book narrated by Heather Henderson I'd listened to, and I really like her reading. She captures the author's voice and moods, as well as doing a great job with the voices of other family members, friends, and medical personell. I liked her so much I've been listening to other books she's narrated - really loved her reading of "The Curve of Time" by M. Wylie Blanchet, another extraordinary memoir, but quite different from this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawna M Hammon 01-18-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Refreshing read."

    Tragic and beautiful story, highly recommended. Narrator does a fantastic job speaking with Susannah's voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 10-20-14
    B Rose Ivins, UT USA 10-20-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Way too long!"
    Would you try another book from Susannah Cahalan and/or Heather Henderson?

    Not sure


    If you’ve listened to books by Susannah Cahalan before, how does this one compare?

    Havent


    Have you listened to any of Heather Henderson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not sure


    Could you see Brain on Fire being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Don't care


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting story, but could have been told in half the time. The first half is much better than the second. In fact, I fast forwarded through most of the second.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex L 09-22-14
    Alex L 09-22-14
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    "Captivating"
    What did you love best about Brain on Fire?

    I heard the author interviewed on NPR a few months back, and new I wanted to read or listen to the book. This was a great listen, it definitely draws you in. Her experience is fascinating, and the neuroscience and medical aspects of it are described in a clear, easy to understand way.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ting 09-17-14
    Ting 09-17-14
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    "Very interesting read about the brain"

    The author described her experience so vividly, scary and fascinating at the same time. there isnt a completely outstanding plot however the author still kept me interested and wanted to read ahead through out the book. a very fun read for someone thats interesting in medicine or neurology. (I also personally think the narrator went at a too fast pace but can still cope with it.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DF Dallas, TX 09-12-14
    DF Dallas, TX 09-12-14 Member Since 2015

    Maldito Patologo

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    "Extremely well written, well read, interesting sto"
    Where does Brain on Fire rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is the first audiobook that I have listened to that was not a lecture. I usually listen to lectures from the Modern Scholar or Great Courses series. I was hesitant to listen to an actual book but I am sure glad I did. It is very well written, the narration is excellent, and the story is fascinating.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Regina P. 07-31-14
    Regina P. 07-31-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Great Listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Brain on Fire the most enjoyable?

    The narrator sounded like she really could be the author which made you sympathize with her and constantly want to know what happens next.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Her interactions and thoughts on how her boyfriend and family helped her were moving. You can feel her frustration with being sick.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn E. Sanders Kansas City, MO United States 04-24-14
    Dawn E. Sanders Kansas City, MO United States 04-24-14 Member Since 2014

    Dawn

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    "File This One Under 'Crazy Medical Conditions'"
    Would you listen to Brain on Fire again? Why?

    No, I think one time is good. I mean, it's a good story and all . . .


    What other book might you compare Brain on Fire to and why?

    That one memoir by the fourteen-year old boy who set himself on fire and recovered in the burn unit of the hospital. Do you know that one? "The Burn Journals" by Brent Runyon. Both memoirs are interesting descriptions of going through a terrible medical ordeal in a hospital, and they're both really good.


    Any additional comments?

    The author is able to piece together amazing details and tells the story in a compelling way. The whole time, I was thinking, "What? That's crazy!" And then when I found out the diagnosis, I was all, "What? That's crazy!" The brain is a fascinating and mysterious organ, I tell you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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