Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Audiobook, by Robert Kolker Play Audiobook Sample

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Audiobook

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Audiobook, by Robert Kolker Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Lloyd James Publisher: Random House Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 8.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 6.63 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780593208328

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

32:20 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

05 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

15:27 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR ONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR PEOPLE'S #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR ONE OF GQ's TOP 50 BOOKS OF LITERARY JOURNALISM IN THE 21st CENTURY Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, TIME, Slate, Smithsonian, The New York Post, and Amazon The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease. Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins--aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony--and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family? What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations. With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.

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“Hidden Valley Road takes an astonishing, heartrending story and elevates it with empathy and superb storytelling.”

— Amazon.com 


  • “Part multi-generational family saga, part medical mystery, written with an extraordinary blend of rigor and empathy.”

    — Los Angeles Times


  • A #1 Amazon.com bestseller
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month selection
  • An iBooks bestseller in Audiobooks
  • An Audible Pick of Listeners' Favorites of the Month
  • A New York Times Bestseller in Audio
  • BookPage Best Book of the Year
  • A New York Times Top 10 Book of the Year
  • People Magazine Best Book of 2020
  • A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2020
  • Washington Post Best Books of the Year selection
  • A Time Magazine Best Book of the Year
  • NPR Best Book of the Year
  • Smithsonian Magazine Pick of 2020's Best Books
  • Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • Longlisted for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction
  • Among shortlisted titles for PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction, 2021

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About Robert Kolker

Robert Kolker is the author of Lost Girls, named one of the New York Times‘s 100 Notable Books and one of Publishers Weekly‘s Top Ten Books of 2013. As a journalist, his work has appeared in New York magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, the New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, O magazine, and Men’s Journal. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and a recipient of the 2011 Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.

About Lloyd James

Lloyd James (a.k.a. Sean Pratt) has been narrating since 1996 and has recorded over six hundred audiobooks. He is a seven-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award and has twice been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His critically acclaimed performances include Elvis in the Morning by William F. Buckley Jr. and Searching for Bobby Fischer by Fred Waitzkin, among others.