1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole  By  cover art

Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole

By: Brian David Burrell,Dr. Allan H. Ropper
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $24.35

Buy for $24.35

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

"Tell the doctor where it hurts." It sounds simple enough, unless the problem affects the very organ that produces awareness and generates speech. What is it like to try to heal the body when the mind is under attack? Like Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Allan H. Ropper inhabits a world where absurdities abound:

  • A figure skater whose body has become a ticking time-bomb
  • A salesman who drives around and around a traffic rotary, unable to get off
  • A college quarterback who can't stop calling the same play
  • A mother of two young girls, diagnosed with ALS, who has to decide whether a life locked inside her own head is worth living

How does one begin to treat such cases, to counsel people whose lives may be changed forever? How does one train the next generation of clinicians to deal with the moral and medical aspects of brain disease? Dr. Ropper and his colleague answer these questions by taking the listener into a rarified world where lives and minds hang in the balance.

©2014 Dr. Allan H. Ropper and Brian David Burrell (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"The author explores a wide variety of conditions, including the exterior degeneration of ALS and the often befuddling symptoms of advanced brain trauma, but he rarely falls into jargon and always keeps the narrative lively and engaging." ( Kirkus)

More from the same

What listeners say about Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    88
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    77
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    70
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

What An Absolute Surprise!

I'd been ready to give this book 3-stars as, for 4-stars, a book has to be an engrossing cover-to-cover listen, and this wasn't. It'd been... too folksy? or something with its narration? But as I was kinda zipping through it again to get some stories for my review, well, talk about engrossed! One would've thought I'd never heard it before! It was so engaging! The things I liked about it before, I loved: people faking blindness and neurologists catching them out by sticking notes on their foreheads that read, "F- You," or by waving $100 bills around were there. The things I disliked, I passionately hated (hey, passion's a good thing!): glib mea culpas for what is really heinous malpractice--yup, still there, pretty cool. Emotionally evocative stories about two people facing the horrors of ALS in entirely different ways, and a man making a difficult, difficult decision that turns out to have a devastating outcome despite everyone's best efforts. These are all things a neurologist sees day in day out, and it's utterly fascinating.
And heartbreaking.
Yeah, sometimes the narration is quaint and folksy, but this book is really interesting, really a treat.
Credit-worthy!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting stories

This book turned out to be a recap of the doctor's incredible neurology stories. I don't have a background in med but still enjoyed listening along.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very well written

What did you love best about Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole?

It was fascinating, entertaining, and just the right length for me.

What did you like best about this story?

The patient stories and diagnostic techniques explained

What does Paul Boehmer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I liked the two voices, of different sexes. One played patient, the other doctor. Made it very easy to follow the stories.

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

I DID listen to it in one driving. Could not stop myself.

Any additional comments?

Actually briefly considered a vocation change. The stories are absolutely fascinating. Be warned though, the suffering of the patients is also brought out rather well. I actually teared up when her voice came back after the morphine was removed.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I was warned

I read the reviews about miss pronunciation of words. It really makes it tough to listen to

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great book for all neurologists!

It s truly a great book! As a neurologist of a younger generation, I can fully relate Dr. Ropper's book. I highly recommend all young neurologist listen or read the book. Because it tells all about why we want to neurologist!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting Stories

I enjoyed the stories. At times it was a bit clinical. Overall a good listen.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LIVE OR DIE

“Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole” offers insight to those at a crossroad in life. “Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole” is an apt book-title for diagnosis of brain dysfunction. Like “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, truth of a neurological disorder is like following a rabbit down a “…Rabbit Hole”. Diagnosis of neurological disorder resonates with the obscure analogies of Lewis Carrol’s imagination.

Dr. Ropper’s experience at a leading hospital in Boston is a terrifying journey into the art of neurological medicine. The terror lies in what doctor’s do not know about brain function. When one’s neurological system fails, diagnosis and prognosis are keys to a patient’s decision to live or die. What Ropper’s experience suggests is doctors must carefully interview every patient who seeks help for what is abnormal behavior.

Of particular interest in Ropper’s stories are neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and medical emergencies like stroke. Ropper implies many doctors do not spend enough time interviewing patients to clearly understand what is going on with their neurological disorder. Doctors don’t ask enough questions about when symptoms began, how they exhibited, and the effect they have on the patient’s life.

The book’s conclusion is that a decision about living or dying from an incurable neurological disease can only be made by the stricken patient, no one else. This is not to say a doctor and one’s family is not a part of the decision but that the final answer lies with the patient.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

well done.

Re-inspired me to find my patients stories interesting. written for lay people but still enjoyable to the professional.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I've listened a half-dozen times so far

A neurologist explains how he weighs into the stream to take the hand of the patient and walk them back out to dryland in other words to a normal life
There are some good human interest tails of in the patients and the neurology residents and the senior doctors. There is even some neuroanatomy and neuropathology.
Spellbinding if you are interested, probably unbearable if you're not

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Recovering from a Brain Injury

What did you love best about Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole?

It explained Neurosciences so well. I did not understand neurology, now I do.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Michael J Fox's story is heartfelt

What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

Well done, nice voice

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it made me want to research more and he gave me direction to do so.

Any additional comments?

I recommend this to anyone trying to understand the function of a neurologist.