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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • michael
  • EAST PEORIA, IL, United States
  • 07-29-11

It's a good audiobook, but

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?

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeff
  • Pickering, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-19-13

ESSENTIAL READ FOR THOSE IN NEED

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Lou
  • Pueblo, CO, United States
  • 12-20-11

This book is right on!

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant and life changing.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, United States
  • 01-01-17

DEPRESSION IN AND OUT!!

Where does The Noonday Demon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very Very good although Andrew Solomon's voice can be a bit shrill. He has lived in the valley of severe depression and does an excellent job of both sharing his experiences, interviewing others, making some very good points and has done quite a bit of research both on current and past treatments modalities and the history of depression. I am a Psychotherapist in private practice for over 30 years and also struggled with my own severe depressions at times. I felt joined by him and hope that other's who are struggling or know someone struggling will feel some hope.

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

No

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The Noonday Demon

Andrew Solomon puts into words what I felt and suffered but could not really articulate myself. His own experience with and research about depression is enlightening, comforting, and empowering. I recommend this book and Solomon's TED Talks to anyone suffering depression, anyone who thinks something is happening to him/her but don't feel he/she yet qualifies as depressed, and those who know sufferers and wonder why those people can't just get over it.

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heart touching, had me balling many times,

Help Me Grow so much as a person and made me understand so many experiences I've been through and needed help and there was no one, I hope I can be there for somebody else that is going through something similar

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I love everything about Andrew Solomon's writing and narration

Thank you for lessening the grip of depression on my life and the lives of many others by bringing is to an understanding of how it works and the beauty it can bring.

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  • LL
  • 07-23-16

Long & Dramatic Yet Impactful

At times very (and too much) autobiographical. A bit wordy. Depressingly but directly read. Great interviews and reflective, often unaddressed information. Not sure if I would recommend, but I'm glad I finished it (over the course of many months).

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  • Scott
  • Scarborough, ON, Canada
  • 11-15-13

Would have preferred the unabridged version

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful