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Publisher's Summary

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this best seller is William Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

©2016 William Styron (P)2016 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Darkness Visible

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Intimate and revealing

Eloquent and intensely personal extended essay about the author's major depressive episode. Many writers have attempted to put into words the inexplicable and indescribable despair that accompanies serious depression. The physical aspects, the loss of hope and desire and pleasure, the mental tailspin, the slipping away of concentration and focus, the inability to engage in life's necessities (like sleeping and eating) let alone life's pleasures. Styron lays himself bare and in doing so, has added to the canon of works revealing that desolation that seems unique to the human condition.

8 people found this helpful

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I had no idea.

A friend of mine who is suffering from depression recommended this book, and I am so grateful that he did so. I had no idea depression was so horrible.

5 people found this helpful

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The best

This is the BEST book to understand the black hole that depression is. And I have read many books on the disease so it is with confidence that I say it is deservedly the best. Read it about 10 years ago. Listened to the Audible version a week ago. If you truly want to understand and have deep empathy for your loved one with this affliction, this is the book. A chronicle, not by a clinician, but one whose triumph over depression gives us hope.

4 people found this helpful

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Changed my whole outlook completely on depression!

I used to judge somewhat internally those whole would commit suicide due to depression. This book changed my whole outlook on what depression really is or can become.

4 people found this helpful

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words for an unspeakable affliction

This book received a great deal of press when it first was published. We are often drawn to the breaking of taboos, of which psychiatric disease is one. Mr. Styron's tone of voice, which I first found dry and boring, allows his subject and his prose to reveal itself without any embellishment. He avoids hyperbole; this seems to make his experience and analysis more profound. in breaking the taboo of mental illness, it is possible that he has saved more than one person, directly or indirectly, from self-harm.

3 people found this helpful

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A must read and a necessary share..,

What made the experience of listening to Darkness Visible the most enjoyable?

The spot on and hands on descriptive analysis made this book a must read for me. I too suffer from depression although mine is of the bipolar type which includes manic and depressive episodes.

What did you like best about this story?

What I liked best (it was hard to choose just one) was Styron's ability to bring to life the horrible and debilitating disease of melancholia (depression) while continuously highlighting the highly sought and achieved occurrence of recovery that comes with understanding and awareness.

Which scene was your favorite?

The author did such a fantastic job of writing this book I could not nor would not pick out a particular scene to which I would claim favoritism.

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

Had the time been available to me I would have listened to the book in one sitting. I did read the book prior to listening to the audible version. I will no doubt listen to this countless times so I can share with effectiveness the truths about depression and recovery.

Any additional comments?

I believe this book has great potential to assist those who suffer from melancholia (depression). I will share Styron's memoir with countless people in the hope that they will embrace the promise of a better time ahead after suffering through each episode of despair. Great write and great read! Thank you William and God bless.

6 people found this helpful

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Difficult at first, but eye-opening & hopeful

Difficult to listen to at first, but eye-opening & hope giving. I learned a lot and understand better my own experience and that of my loved one.

2 people found this helpful

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Accurate and compassionate first-person account

...of what the experience is like, written beautifully. It's a must-read for anyone with a loved-one experiencing melancholia and a brilliant affirmation of the experience of anyone suffering from it.

1 person found this helpful

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Living with depression

I commend the author for the courage he took in writing his memoir on depression but overall am glad he seek admission just in time that prevents him from committing suicide.

1 person found this helpful

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You are not alone

If you’re coming to this book, you’re here for a reason. I would unreservedly purchase this book right now.

If you are going through the dark forest of depression, this book is your torch to help you lead yourself out. Depression is a conquerable. Many have beat it before, as will you.

“To get back up to the shining world from there
My guide and I went into that hidden tunnel,

And Following its path, we took no care
To rest, but climbed: he first, then I-so far,
through a round aperture I saw appear

Some of the beautiful things that Heaven bears,
Where we came forth, and once more saw the stars.

Dante Alighieri, Inferno