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A Mind Unraveled

A Memoir
Narrated by: Kurt Eichenwald, full cast
Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
5 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The compelling story of an acclaimed journalist and New York Times best-selling author’s ongoing struggle with epilepsy - his torturous decision to keep his condition a secret to avoid discrimination, and his ensuing decades-long battle to not only survive, but to thrive.

"[Kurt Eichenwald's] remarkable memoir reads, unaccountably, like the most hair-raising of psychological thrillers." (The New York Times Book Review) 

As a college freshman, Kurt Eichenwald awoke one night on the floor of his dorm room, confused and in pain. In the aftermath of that critical moment, his once-carefree life would be consumed by confrontations with medical incompetence, discrimination that almost cost him his education and employment, physical abuse, and dark moments when he contemplated suicide.

This is the story of one man’s battle to pursue his dreams despite an often incapacitating brain disorder. From his early experiences of fear and denial to his exasperating search for treatment, Eichenwald provides a deeply candid account of his years facing this misunderstood and often stigmatized condition. He details his encounters with the doctors whose negligence could have killed him, but for the heroic actions of a brilliant neurologist and the family and friends who fought for him.

Many of Eichenwald’s recollections are drawn from his diaries, vivid and painstakingly kept records that helped sharpen his skills as a journalist. He raises important questions about the nature of memory, the revelations of brain science, and the profound mysteries of human perception.

Ultimately, A Mind Unraveled is an inspirational story, one that chronicles how Eichenwald, faced often with his own mortality, transformed trauma into a guide for reaching the future he desired. Defying relentless threats to his emotional and physical well-being, he affirmed his decision to never give up, and in the process learned how to rise from the depths of despair to the heights of unimagined success.

Praise for A Mind Unraveled

A Mind Unraveled reads like a medical thriller, at times truly frightening but also deeply inspiring. This book will make me think differently as a doctor. Kurt Eichenwald is a tremendously talented writer. When you travel on his personal journey, it is pure gold.” (Sanjay Gupta, MD, chief medical correspondent, CNN)

“This book absolutely floored me. It’s a medical mystery unlike any I’ve read before, with a propulsive narrative. Trust me, you won’t be able to put it down.” (Bryan Burrough, New York Times best-selling author of Barbarians at the Gate)

©2018 Kurt Eichenwald (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“This powerful account provides an important blueprint for anyone struggling to overcome serious challenges.” (Katie Couric) 

“Kurt Eichenwald’s memoir is an immensely moving and captivating chronicle of his struggle with epilepsy. His unflinching descriptions of the extreme challenges of his condition have much to teach all of us about living. This is an extraordinary book.” (Harriet Lerner, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of The Dance of Anger

“This is a very powerful, tremendously informative book. Pure emotional honesty has great impact, and that is what Kurt Eichenwald has provided here.” (James Fallows, National Book Award winner and national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly) 

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Unbelievable

I rarely provide written feedback, though I listen to 3 plus books a month. I have worked in medicine for over 20 years. This story is amazing. The gross medical negligence thus man endured, unforgivable. The courage, strength, and compassion he maintains, astonishing. I am still speechless! Thank you Kurt.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Most important book I've encountered.

cried through most of the way through the book. l too am on Lamical and onfi.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Hope for the future!

I couldn't put this book down! I originally got it because I was at the Epilepsy Awareness Conference in Anaheim and was told that money from the sale of this book went toward research. I had no idea what the book was about or who the author was, but I didn't care I wanted to buy it just based off what he wanted to do with the sale of his book. As I sat and listened to this book it reminds me of so many of the struggles we have with my daughter and her epilepsy. There are many of the fears I have for my daughter that Kurt went through. My daughter can't always express herself due to other issues her epilepsy has caused, but you have helped me understand her and her struggles better! I try everyday to teach my daughter and all of my children that her seizures aren't to be used as a crutch to not live life to the fullest and that no matter what goals are obtainable. Thank you for writing what had to have been a hard book to write. I hope it opens the eyes of those with and without epilepsy and their caregivers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing this is my life

Not often do I come across someone who has as much courage an intern has enough time and further strength all of it down I know this because I have been through all of it I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 7 years old it is hard to listen to but essential. It is a truth that anyone who has been touched by epilepsy at all also those who have not need to hear. Epilepsy is still mostly a hidden condition anyone who believes otherwise is not aware of what truly occurs in the life of an epileptic. When referring to epilepsy and seizure disorders the world mostly looks at us as people who, during brief periods of time are given to have spasms or unfortunate convulsions and end up falling to the ground and drooling and biting thier tongue.
Even in the earlier half of my life I thought this was true as well I thought that my epilepsy only existed in those brief few seconds. Until I knew that it was essential that I understood epilepsy as a life condition that affected every moment every second of my life. Until those that treat epilepsy understand this completely and until Society understands this most of epilepsy and those who suffer from it will go untreated what we all truly deal with. The situations and stories in this book are so close to my life that I grieve for the years set this disease has taken from me.

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A great moving book

This is a great book, powerful, moving, sad, wonderful. I strongly recommend it. It is a story of courage and fortitude in the face of great stupidity, overconfidence and injustice.

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As a person with epilepsy this book is the best I have found & most inspiring towards continuing to fight

Thank you, Kurt. You have captured the experience of epilepsy very well. It’s second to none in its reality and inspiration to continue fighting.

I have given away many hard copies of to my non audiobook listeners. So often I finally gave away my copy to an Uber driver with a friend with epilepsy just the other day. Thank you, Kurt
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Other listeners:
I ask you to gift a copy of this (if possible) to any and everyone. Especially those you may know with epilepsy or those you wish understood more about epilepsy or our healthcare system. Kurt writes bluntly about the system we once had & how dangerous it is for those without insurance.
Thank you.

Be well.

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spectacular

enjoyed every minute of it. a totally compelling story and very well written. including the voices of others made it even more powerful.

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EXCELLENT!!

Beautifully written and inspirational!
A man who summons courage in the face of repeated challenges and adversity! Must read!

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A book of love, will and invincible soul

It's so inspiring and so brutally real! The struggle of Kurt has made me realise how awesome my life is and how I should care about other human beings and work hard for my life without holding back

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Outstanding!!

I could not stop listening to this book to get any work done. Best book I have listened to in a long time (and that takes in a lot of territory). If you deal with a chronic medical condition, yours or someone else’s, do not miss this book. At least some of it, possibly a lot, will sound familiar... I’m betting.

Easy to see how the author has gained such respect and fame. No gimmicks. Just straight-on telling something as it happened. Truth is stranger than fiction.

Get this book. It’s awesome.