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Little Panic

Dispatches from an Anxious Life
Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the vein of best-selling memoirs about mental illness like Andrew Solomon's Noonday Demon, Sarah Hepola's Blackout, and Daniel Smith's Monkey Mind comes a gorgeously immersive, immediately relatable, and brilliantly funny memoir about living life on the razor's edge of panic. 

The world never made any sense to Amanda Stern - how could she trust time to keep flowing, the sun to rise, gravity to hold her feet to the ground, or even her own body to work the way it was supposed to? Deep down, she knows that there's something horribly wrong with her, some defect that her siblings and friends don't have to cope with.  

Growing up in the 1970s and '80s in New York, Amanda experiences the magic and madness of life through the filter of unrelenting panic. Plagued with fear that her friends and family will be taken from her if she's not watching - that her mother will die, or forget she has children and just move away - Amanda treats every parting as her last. Shuttled between a barefoot bohemian life with her mother in Greenwich Village, and a sanitized, stricter world of affluence uptown with her father, Amanda has little she can depend on. And when Etan Patz disappears down the block from their MacDougal Street home, she can't help but believe that all her worst fears are about to come true.  

Tenderly delivered and expertly structured, Amanda Stern's memoir is a document of the transformation of New York City and a deep, personal, and comedic account of the trials and errors of seeing life through a very unusual lens.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Amanda Stern (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"With courage and a keen sense of humor, Little Panic delves beneath the surface of the terms, tests, and judgements we apply to our mental existence in order to recover the experiential richness buried beneath. Readers will recognize themselves in Stern's psychological coming-of-age, keenly empathetic and vibrantly felt." (Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine)

"Amanda Stern has written an affecting, emotionally vivid memoir that really succeeds in giving the reader the sense of what it might be like to be another person, with all the experiences and sensations - including the most difficult ones - that that entails. Her book is reflective, authentic, alive." (Meg Wolitzer, New York Times best-selling author of The Female Persuasion)

Stern has succeeded in writing an often-funny tale about mental illness....A good reminder that all people, including those who "learn differently," need empathy and human connection." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Important and moving, but in need of an editor!

I loved BP's performance of this groundbreaking and very moving book. Had Ananda Stern's editor trimmed even 10% more of her narrative -- to eliminate some grinding repetition -- this would have been a great book indeed.

It's indispensable listening for the millions of Americans who suffer from anxiety disorders and should be mandatory for those who don't. The narrator's nuanced reading made all the difference to me in the end.

Had I attempted to read this work instead of listening to it, I might not have given the author my full attention. As it is, Stern's deft handling of time-shifts in the narrative is evidence of her skills as a writer. Her humanity also shines brightly here. Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Reader Comments

This memoir is something those who have experienced an anxiety disorder must read now. The author's story will help you to feel like you are not alone in your struggle with anxiety.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dk
  • Brooklyn
  • 08-24-18

I couldn't put it down!

Kids' interior lives are mysterious. Even though we were all once there – who can recall? Our early years are spent in a state of constant neurological development that defies verbal articulation. This is not just a funny, sad and engaging story of a kid growing up in the City in the 80s and 90s – its Amanda Stern's real life story –  a story she tells herself. (Brittany Pressley is excellent as the voice of Amanda). Its an important book for parents, educators and professionals struggling to understand kids and also anyone who ever felt deficient or awkward as a kid. So pretty much almost everyone. As a writer myself I an frankly flabbergasted: She recreated herself through a thoroughly authentic and brutally honest narrative at age 6, 7, 8, 9.. to 46. How did she do this? I give this Audible book the ultimate compliment: I couldn't put it down.

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A must-read for parents raising anxious kids!

As a child therapist who specializes in anxiety this is a must-read for parents raising anxious kids! Amanda paints such an in-depth view of childhood anxiety and the inner turmoil it creates. Parents will walk away with such a deep understanding of what their child is going through and a better idea of how to help. The author was so brave to share her story so that others can understand anxiety on a much deeper level. This will be my new favorite book to recommend!

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I Expected More about Panic Attacks

This book was just okay.
First of all I didn't like the narrator at all. Her voice really got on my nerves.

I appreciate what the author went through but I was looking for a book about
panic disorder. She only touched on this aspect of her condition.