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Paperback The Noonday Demon : An Atlas of Depression Book

ISBN: 0684854678

ISBN13: 9780684854670

The Noonday Demon : An Atlas of Depression

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Winner of the National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews with fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policy makers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Andrew Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Don't pity me.

An amazing and well researched manual for all of us without spines, backbones or character. Like a lot of frailties, must one one share the same malady to understand or is it all just a conspiracy of liberals? Andrew Solomon: how did you get out of bed long enough to do all the research and writing? I am suspicious of your depression credentials but you write so clearly, accurately and descriptively of the experience that I just have to admire your courage. Thank you for me though it would be helpful if the zillion other experts would read and be grateful as well.

El Demonio de la Depresion

Un buen libro para informarte acerca las depresiones y todos sus complicaciones. las ideas suicidas, adiciones etc.. Este te da mucho que pensar y a mi en lo personal me ayudo mucho a entender la depresiones en diferente terminos.

"NEVER THE LEAST BIT DEPRESSING"

Through my own fear and ignorance, I had never really found out much about what depression really is and, like most people, I confused simply being "blue" with being depressed. You have a bad day at the office or the plant, you have a prickly run-in with a neighbor and when a friend asks how you are, you answer "Oh, I'm so depressed!"In Andrew Solomon's wise and beautifully written self-described "atlas" he explains immediately and interestingly and clearly exactly what depression is and what it is not. The author never shrinks from using himself as his main subject telling personal stories from his own struggles, his successes and his falls. But he also uses scientific and cultural examples to place this illness in its perspective. Other sufferers are interviewed as are doctors and, even philosophers.To be honest, I came to this work of non-fiction because I so loved Solomon's novel A STONE BOAT which covers some of the material in this book. Solomon is an extraordinary writer. I hesitate to give too many specific examples that are covered in the book, because, frankly, I believe many people will say to themselves, "Oh, that sounds like such a downer...I don't need to read such a SAD book." Well, here's the shocker: THE NOONDAY DEMON is so completely fascinating, so well-written and so intelligent that it is, in Adam Gopnik's ("The New Yorker") words, "charming, lively...never the least bit depressing." HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Thank you Mr. Solomon!

I think I have acquired every book on depression ever written within the past 15 years in order to understand the illness. Most are good but tend to focus on one aspect of the disease, whether it be the methods of dealing with it, the medical blah blah behind it or stories from sufferers. Mr. Solomon has taken all of these and then some and put them in his book. It is by far the most concise and comprehensive book on depression that I have ever read! I was especially fascinated by the historical perspective as well as the stories from individual sufferers. The book goes into the author's own battle at great length, which automatically lends credibility since I don't think you can truly write about a subject like this unless you have actually experienced it firsthand. Lots of information on treatments, demographic data and the like. If you are a sufferer or know someone who is, get this book!

BRILLIANT: exhaustive, unbiased, riveting, compassionate

I could not put this book down. It is by far the best book on the subject of depression that I have read. The book has such range and depth; Solomon tackles all the angles of this complex subject with great intelligence, warmth and insight that he achieves a synthesis of the literary, political, medical, personal, historical, and philosophical dimensions of depression. Somehow the author manages to combine an incredibly personal and moving account of his own struggle with mental illness and that of others with a first class, rigorous text which any expert in the field would benefit from reading. His research, both academic and personal interviews, is impeccable, and I came away completely in awe of Solomon's command of the literature and handling of the numerous controversies surrounding the study of depression. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is so sophisticated a treatment of the subject that it made me constantly challenge my own views and I was left feeling exhilarated by the book's wealth of subject matter and the author's sensitive and unpatronising handling of it. The Noonday Demon is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in depression and mental illness, either personal or professional. Solomon comes across as being like the most interesting guest at a dinner party: someone you want to talk to for hours about his experiences as they are so wideranging and unusual in some instances (read the book to see what I mean). It's hard to imagine a better book on depression, and this is surprising given that Solomon is a writer as opposed to a psychiatrist/psychologist. He might as well be, however, as he appears to know at least as much as a professional does and offers us a broader and more heartfelt account than a dispassionate doctor might be able to. I feel that the author has put such mental and emotional energy into the researching and writing of this book that it deserves, in my opinion, to be seen as the spectacular product of many years of Solomon's private reflections on his own illness and the work of an extremely intelligent and gifted writer, a text which future authors tackling the thorny subject of depression will not be able to ignore.
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