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Publisher's Summary

The compelling story of an acclaimed journalist and New York Times best-selling author's ongoing struggle with epilepsy - how, through personal resilience and the support of loved ones, he overcame medical incompetence and institutional discrimination to achieve once unthinkable success.

"REMARKABLE...inspirational in the true sense of the word." (The New York Times Book Review)

This is the story of one man's battle to pursue his dreams despite an often incapacitating brain disorder. From his early experiences of fear and denial to his exasperating search for treatment, Kurt Eichenwald provides a deeply candid account of his years facing this misunderstood and often stigmatized condition. He details his encounters with the doctors whose negligence could have killed him, but for the heroic actions of a brilliant neurologist and the family and friends who fought for him. 

Ultimately, A Mind Unraveled is an inspirational story, one that chronicles how Eichenwald, faced often with his own mortality, transformed trauma into a guide for reaching the future he desired.

Praise for A Mind Unraveled

"An intimate journey...bravely illuminating the trials of living inside a body always poised to betray itself." (O: The Oprah Magazine)

"Poignant and infuriating...merges elements of medical drama, anti-discrimination fable, and coming-of-age memoir." (The New Yorker)

"One of the best thrillers I've read in years, yet there are no detectives, no corpses, no guns or knives." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"Terrific.... Eichenwald's narrative is a suspenseful medical thriller about a condition that makes everyday life a mine field, a fierce indictment of a callous medical establishment, and an against-the-odds recovery saga." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“Riveting.... Eichenwald has created a universal tale of resilience wrapped in a primal scream against the far-too-savage world." (Booklist, starred review)

"An extraordinary book." (Harriet Lerner, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of The Dance of Anger)

©2018 Kurt Eichenwald (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"This powerful account provides an important blueprint for anyone struggling to overcome serious challenges." (Katie Couric) 

"Kurt Eichenwald’s memoir is an immensely moving and captivating chronicle of his struggle with epilepsy. His unflinching descriptions of the extreme challenges of his condition have much to teach all of us about living. This is an extraordinary book." (Harriet Lerner, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of The Dance of Anger

"This is a very powerful, tremendously informative book. Pure emotional honesty has great impact, and that is what Kurt Eichenwald has provided here." (James Fallows, National Book Award winner and national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly

What listeners say about A Mind Unraveled

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Unbelievable

I rarely provide written feedback, though I listen to 3 plus books a month. I have worked in medicine for over 20 years. This story is amazing. The gross medical negligence thus man endured, unforgivable. The courage, strength, and compassion he maintains, astonishing. I am still speechless! Thank you Kurt.

9 people found this helpful

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A much needed light in an endlessly dark world

I have suffered from epilepsy for the majority of my life and they are similar seizures to what Kurt. He stories of struggling in school, work, and prejudice while balancing his needs for seizure control with the horrible side effects of these drugs sounded almost like a diary I've never written nor read. Many of his stories reawoke memories I've long suppressed and helped me to realize that many times those who love you some times can't give you the type of support you need even when you spell it out in black and white for them.

It's helped me to forgive those who turned their backs on me in my life and even allowed me to realize the damage I was causing them by not taking my epilepsy seriously for so many years. I hadn't for so long in my treatment and it hurt the ones I loved.

I highly recommend this book for other epileptics and their families. It important that we can share such stories with others so we can see how NOT alone we actually are

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Most important book I've encountered.

cried through most of the way through the book. l too am on Lamical and onfi.

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Hope for the future!

I couldn't put this book down! I originally got it because I was at the Epilepsy Awareness Conference in Anaheim and was told that money from the sale of this book went toward research. I had no idea what the book was about or who the author was, but I didn't care I wanted to buy it just based off what he wanted to do with the sale of his book. As I sat and listened to this book it reminds me of so many of the struggles we have with my daughter and her epilepsy. There are many of the fears I have for my daughter that Kurt went through. My daughter can't always express herself due to other issues her epilepsy has caused, but you have helped me understand her and her struggles better! I try everyday to teach my daughter and all of my children that her seizures aren't to be used as a crutch to not live life to the fullest and that no matter what goals are obtainable. Thank you for writing what had to have been a hard book to write. I hope it opens the eyes of those with and without epilepsy and their caregivers.

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Very informative and inspiring!!!

Thank you for writing this inspiring and informative book! I love how real and genuine Kurt is in his reactions to life events. I like how he expresses his feelings. It gives me courage to discuss issues with my own doctors. I’ve dashed off a few emails today! Thank you again!

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inspirational

This story is an inspiration for all that are struggling with things in life. I highly recommend it to all!

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why

I loved this book as a determined guy with epilepsy that made great progress as other dr's wanted him to hide his illness.

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Truly insightful

As someone living with epilepsy, it’s always intriguing to listen to others’ experiences, as epilepsy is an often misunderstood phenomenon and no two people with epilepsy experience the same thing. My years of medication trials were nothing like Kurt’s, but they still hit home. I know the doubts, the judgements, the fears, and the stress of living with epilepsy, and this book is undoubtedly a wonderful insight into the life of someone suffering from a seizure disorder.

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Very touching and relatable

As a person with intractable epilepsy and having dealt with numerous issues/problems and being stigmatized from having this disability throughout my life since a young child it was oddly comforting hearing Mr. Eichenwald’s life story. There were multiple parts during the book that I drew parallels in my own life and this book reminded me that medical obstacles can be overcome. Even though life may be more difficult for people with epilepsy that is all the more reason to have greater perseverance and never give up.

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Rough Read

It is hard to listen to all Kurt's suffering from the arrogance, ignorance, abuse, and incompetence of doctors, counselors, university officials, and his own father. I continue to wish there was a comprehensive content warning system for audiobooks, as I was not braced for the rape towards the end of the book. Also contains repeated themes of suicide, which might be triggering for some readers.