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Publisher's Summary

With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, National Book Award-winner Andrew Solomon takes the listener on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets.

The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews wit fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has had on various demographic populations around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness.

The depth of human experience Solomon chronicles, the range of his intelligence, and his boundless curiosity and compassion will change the listener's view of the world.

©2004 Andrew Solomon (P)2004 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about The Noonday Demon

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

It's a good audiobook, but

It's a good audiobook, but it's abridged. It is well researched and well written, but abridged books always leave you feeling like you missed something that may have been important. Honestly, if you are going to produce an audiobook why not just produce the unabridged version?

32 people found this helpful

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ESSENTIAL READ FOR THOSE IN NEED

While I very much wish an unabridged version was available, this is perhaps one case where an abridged version of a book is a good Idea for some. While I'm not suffering a terrible level of depression now, I certainly have- and know how difficult it would be to listen to a 30hr version of this, or any book for that matter while being depressed. Hopefully the abridgement was a good one and an uncut version of this multiple award winning book is in the works.

Before this book I read/ listened to the author's other non-fiction masterpiece FAR FROM THE TREE. That book blew me away and my review of it is in these reviews. Andrew Solomons writing is just incredible!

Solomon uses his own life experiences in this book as he did in Far from the tree. Having battled severe depression himself he's able to write from the vantage point of a fellow sufferer. Solomon is remarkably forthcoming with all the intimate details of his story and others who have suffered terribly. There is much more here than biography though, All treatments I've ever heard of and then some are explained in detail, along with all the other related aspects of this disease. What sets this book apart is Solomons remarkable writing. His honesty, empathy, intellect, erudition and magnitude of research provide a uniquely readable and helpful tool to help those who need help or those who want to understand and help others deal with this dreadful all too common illness. Regardless of severity, this book covers it all. If you are depressed or want to help someone who is depressed I would encourage you to get the book format after listening to this.This is a heavy abridgement, the full book is over 500 pages and by sheer volume must contain important points left out here. Beyond that this is the kind of book to keep as a reference I don't have the book yet but a relative that has fought depression her whole life tells me that her copy is worn to bits and has been her source of solace for years.

Some people don't like Solomons narration but I think he does a great job. If you're impressed with his writing I strongly recommend FAR FROM THE TREE. Considering the prevalence of depression and the severity of damage inflicted by it I Highly recommended this book for everyone

11 people found this helpful

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This book is right on!

Narration by the author added credibility to what is revealed in this book. I have listened to it several times and am impressed with the way hard to describe feelings are dealt with via metapors and analogies. I highly recommend this book. Luca

5 people found this helpful

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Need the full version

Need the full version of this audiobook... Any info about it?
Great book but this is abridged

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and life changing.

No one has ever described to me the workings of my own breakdown with such clarity and beauty. It is as if he lived it for me. And the final chapter's conclusions about how Mr. Solomon lives day to day were so familiar and made me cry and also smile. The best book I've ever experienced about my illness. I will never look at my depression the same way again.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not worth a credit.

The author's narration is acceptable if not good. The editing of the audiobook seems sloppy at the best, because the naming of the chapters does not coincide with the content of the original book. It's like the editors pasted a lot of sparse audioclips.

For me, this audiobook is not worth one credit or more than $10, that is why I decided to return it.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Thoughtful and well-researched

The subtitle is “An Atlas of Depression,” and Solomon does a good job of covering a wide variety of aspects of the subject. As a depression sufferer myself, I knew most of that, and it was the memoir part that most interested me. It’s helpful to see how depression is manifested in others and to find points of connection. It gives one hope to see how they have struggled their way to some semblance of normalcy. I generally like books read by the author, however I must admit that I find this reader’s voice depressing to listen to, so I actually didn’t mind that this was abridged.

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Exceptional, Outstanding, Excellent: 5 Stars

I discovered Andrew Solomon through his TED talks, and I am so glad I did. This book perfectly articulates how many people feel yet they cannot put it into words. I highly recommend all of Andrew's interviews, TED talks, and books. A++ and 5 Stars does not even begin to describe how good this book is. Please read and/or listen to see for yourself. Andrew is a talented and brave writer. Exceptionally good! I cannot thank Andrew enough for writing this wonderful book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A multifaceted view on depression

The author describes in detail his own, and others, life long struggle with depression including the ups and downs, including suicide attempts as well as the surprising positive aspects of the depression.

Overall this book gives the reader a good introduction to depression, and I think that it will remove some of the stigma associated with the disease in the mind of the reader if any exists. The book discusses psychological as well as pharmacological aspects of the disease. In my opinion the author is sometimes a bit too open-minded when it comes to certain treatments. For example the author at one point discusses a friend who used homeopathic remedies to treat her depression, hinting that such treatment might work, which is of course nonsense. (The girl who used homeopathic remedies fell back into depression and only got better after switching to conventional treatments).

Overall, despite some dubious sections, I can recommend this book to those who want to learn about depression and what it is like to live with it.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant and beautiful

Definitely recommend it if you think you are depressed or have been diagnosed with depression or have a loved one suffering from it.