With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, National Book Award-winner Andrew Solomon takes the listener on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets.
The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews wit fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has had on various demographic populations around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness.
The depth of human experience Solomon chronicles, the range of his intelligence, and his boundless curiosity and compassion will change the listener's view of the world.
©2004 Andrew Solomon (P)2004 Simon & Schuster
It's a good audiobook, but it's abridged. It is well researched and well written, but abridged books always leave you feeling like you missed something that may have been important. Honestly, if you are going to produce an audiobook why not just produce the unabridged version?
Narration by the author added credibility to what is revealed in this book. I have listened to it several times and am impressed with the way hard to describe feelings are dealt with via metapors and analogies. I highly recommend this book. Luca
54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.
While I very much wish an unabridged version was available, this is perhaps one case where an abridged version of a book is a good Idea for some. While I'm not suffering a terrible level of depression now, I certainly have- and know how difficult it would be to listen to a 30hr version of this, or any book for that matter while being depressed. Hopefully the abridgement was a good one and an uncut version of this multiple award winning book is in the works.
Before this book I read/ listened to the author's other non-fiction masterpiece FAR FROM THE TREE. That book blew me away and my review of it is in these reviews. Andrew Solomons writing is just incredible!
Solomon uses his own life experiences in this book as he did in Far from the tree. Having battled severe depression himself he's able to write from the vantage point of a fellow sufferer. Solomon is remarkably forthcoming with all the intimate details of his story and others who have suffered terribly. There is much more here than biography though, All treatments I've ever heard of and then some are explained in detail, along with all the other related aspects of this disease. What sets this book apart is Solomons remarkable writing. His honesty, empathy, intellect, erudition and magnitude of research provide a uniquely readable and helpful tool to help those who need help or those who want to understand and help others deal with this dreadful all too common illness. Regardless of severity, this book covers it all. If you are depressed or want to help someone who is depressed I would encourage you to get the book format after listening to this.This is a heavy abridgement, the full book is over 500 pages and by sheer volume must contain important points left out here. Beyond that this is the kind of book to keep as a reference I don't have the book yet but a relative that has fought depression her whole life tells me that her copy is worn to bits and has been her source of solace for years.
Some people don't like Solomons narration but I think he does a great job. If you're impressed with his writing I strongly recommend FAR FROM THE TREE. Considering the prevalence of depression and the severity of damage inflicted by it I Highly recommended this book for everyone
No one has ever described to me the workings of my own breakdown with such clarity and beauty. It is as if he lived it for me. And the final chapter's conclusions about how Mr. Solomon lives day to day were so familiar and made me cry and also smile. The best book I've ever experienced about my illness. I will never look at my depression the same way again.
Listened to this after reading Far from the Tree. The abridged version felt choppy and uneven. The story is propelled by Solomon's personal account of his struggles with depression which is compelling. He tries to embed this within a picture of the causes, history and treatments. Is probably a good read in the unabridged version.
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