• No One Cares About Crazy People

  • The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America
  • By: Ron Powers
  • Narrated by: Ron Powers
  • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 03-29-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (275 ratings)

Regular price: $29.65

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.

From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the antipsychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted love ones, Powers limns our fears and myths about mental illness and the fractured public policies that have resulted.

Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers' beloved son Kevin - spirited, endearing, and gifted - who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic.

A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.

©2017 Ron Powers (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Very emotional...[Powers] reminds us how apathetic and cruel society can be when it comes to mental illness." ( Booklist)
"Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Powers ( MarkTwain: A Life, 2005, etc.) presents two searing sagas: an indictment of mental health care in the United States and the story of his two schizophrenic sons.... This hybrid narrative, enhanced by the author's considerable skills as a literary stylist, succeeds on every level." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Ron Powers and his wife never expected to visit the exotic lands of schizophrenia until their two sons became affected. A gifted professional writer, Powers takes the reader along on his explorations as he tries to understand why it happened and what to do. What he finds is 'the most dreaded of all human mental disorders.' Very readable and highly recommended." (E. Fuller Torrey, MD, author of Surviving Schizophrenia)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • RSR
  • New Jersey
  • 04-05-18

I needed Ron Powers voice to read this book

Where does No One Cares About Crazy People rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Most IMPORTANT

Any additional comments?

Do not pick up this book if you don’t really care about crazy people or mental illness. If you do care, this book will be hard – you will cry, you will burn with frustration, you will absorb much information. You will not be able to put this book down, because the most compelling feature of this book, for anyone who has felt the pain of mental illness, is its’ IMPORTANCE! I bought the book and soon felt I lacked the courage to continue reading. But I wanted to. So, I decided to have Ron Powers read his story to me. It was the only way I was able to keep going. He didn’t want to write this book – its’ a book no one wants to write – but you will be forever grateful for his care, his arduous research, and his courage to write AND record this book!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Excellent read

This book opens up the world of mental illness. Not just about the authors son but about others and the failing mental health system. It covers everything from A to Z. Excellent read!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Could Have Been Better

This is an OK survey of the history and results of mental health treatment from an American perspective. On the favorable side, I'd say the research is good and the story is well told.

On the negative side, the author leans rather heavily on the stories of his own two sons. He probably should have waited a bit to write this, as it's clear he's still grieving for his deceased son and struggling with the mental illness of the surviving one. It's apparent that as he writes, he's searching for answers as to WHY his sons were/are schizophrenic. He blames the stress of their lives, their marijuana use, and a bunch of other things. He continually returns to details in his son's lives that would only be interesting to a proud parent. He even reads their emails and school essays. Not to be cruel, but this level of detail detracts from the main story and is just ... TMI. It probably ended up expanding the size of the audio file by several hours. His sons should have taken a less prominent part in the book.

His heavily liberal biases are easy to detect, as well. I found myself agreeing with most of his conclusions, but would have preferred a more objective narration. In these days, that is too much to ask of almost any writer or journalist.

His narration is super. He even does the voices when he's quoting another writer, politician or scientist. He's easy to listen to, he's professional, and his feelings and passions come through.

I don't want to seem too negative. There is a lot of good, meaty information here and I learned a lot. For someone who knows very little about mental health in the US, this would be a great introduction. He does keep the listener's interest. I just feel that there are two, very separate, books here. There's his personal narrative and there's the public story about the mental health system. The two should have been kept separate. Some people might like this style of nonfiction writing; I felt the personal was excessive.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing.

I want to make this text required reading for my graduate students in Mental Health Counseling.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Too much poetic rumination, not enough facts!

Not for those who like credible facts vs wishy washy babbling. There are better books on the subject.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Of Care and Caring

Ron Powers skillfully intertwines the historic lack of meaningful health care for people suffering from mental illness with the caring and love he and his wife extend to their sons. Though a heart wrenching journey, Powers concludes with hope. First, from advancing medical knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, a vision of community caring to benefit us all.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thorough, personal and helpful.

If you have experience with mental illness in your family or via someone close to you, this book will resonate deeply. I first bought a hardcover copy, but listened to most of it by way of Ron Powers reading. The history of development and usage of psychotropic drugs was most interesting to me, as I've heard all the names over the years. Extremely well researched and thoughtfully compiled. I'm a slow reader, so I'm glad I listened to the audible version! Well-read by the author. Thank you, Mr. Power's, for your helpful contribution to metal health policy reform by way of this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An unspoken truth of mental illness

Ron Powers does a great job of describing the history of mental illness. He interweaves his personal story with both political and medical viewpoints of mental illness. This story is as much a history of our healthcare of the mentally ill as it is portrait of how political powers have greatly affected the care and treatment of the mentally ill.

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  • Donovan
  • Kobenhavn, Denmark
  • 11-11-18

Honest and Brave

Wellbeing is the reasons one wishes to be alive

To be human is to be limited

The home and health system should offer assistance to aid people in the struggle of limits.


No more words, just listen.

#SelfDiscovery #Provocative #TorturedHero #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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The reality of mental illness

No other narrator than Powers himself could have made justice to this book. It is Powers own experience of hell that makes it possible for him to express the words that are so hard to find when explaining the new un chosen direction life takes when a loved one suffers of mental illness. He takes us on a journey through the history of prejudice and judgement of mental illnesses to today’s stigma .
The readers with a loved one suffering from schizophrenia will recognize the Powers’ situation.
The book is a must read for you who are interested in mental health and/or have a loved one with mental illness.
In order to stop today’s terrible stigma surrounding mental illness everyone needs information and education to understand mental illness and Powers’s book is a great start.