Extended Audio Sample

Download Hurry Down Sunshine Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Hurry Down Sunshine Audiobook, by Michael Greenberg Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,168 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Greenberg Narrator: Michael Greenberg Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9780739368848
Regular Price: $17.50 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Hurry Down Sunshine tells the story of the extraordinary summer when, at the age of fifteen, Michael Greenberg’s daughter was struck mad. It begins with Sally’s sudden visionary crack-up on the streets of Greenwich Village, and continues, among other places, in the out-of-time world of a Manhattan psychiatric ward during the city’s most sweltering months. “I feel like I’m traveling and traveling with nowhere to go back to,” Sally says in a burst of lucidity while hurtling away toward some place her father could not dream of or imagine. Hurry Down Sunshine is the chronicle of that journey, and its effect on Sally and those closest to her—her mother and stepmother, her brother and grandmother, and, not least of all, the author himself.

Among Greenberg’s unforgettable gallery of characters are an unconventional psychiatrist, an Orthodox Jewish patient, a manic Classics professor, a movie producer, and a landlord with literary aspirations. Unsentimental, nuanced, and deeply humane, Hurry Down Sunshine holds the listener in a mesmerizing state of suspension between the mundane and the transcendent.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_001461

Quotes & Awards

  • [Hurry Down Sunshine’s] fundamental strength arises from Greenberg’ s insistence on facing the demons that held his girl in their dark thrall. Sally’ s descent and tentative return form the map for this story; Greenberg’s courage lies in his willingness to follow her down that terrible path, no matter where it leads. Bookforum
  • “[A] remarkable account. The New York Times Book Review
  • [A] finely observed memoir . . . written in delicately episodic style. Vivid. The Wall Street Journal
  • Touching, warmly intimate, and unsparing. . . . Like the best fiction, this memoir has transcended the merely particular and eccentric to constitute a kind of hard-won art. Joyce Carol Oates, Times Literary Supplement (London)
  • “There is a dancing, dazzling siren seductress at the heart of this book and . . . [it is] madness itself. . . . The startling associative imagery that gives Greenberg's writing its power is like a domesticated version of the madness that nearly carried away his daughter's life. Time
  • This memoir of a family crisis captures the grief that transformed their lives . . . readers come away with a sense of the intractable nature of psychosis and the courage it requires for patients like Sally, whose struggles continue, merely to live. People
  • Beautifully written. . . . The literary precedents Greenberg turns to are Joyce and Robert Lowell. . . . There are echoes of Virginia Woolf, too. . . . Sally’s psychiatrist calls . . . the mind falling in love with its delusions . . . ‘the evil seduction’. But Greenberg can understand the impulse, and it’s this that gives Hurry Down Sunshine such power. The Guardian (London)
  • A story of almost mythic power. . . . A compelling narrative about how one family coped with madness. . . . Tough and lyrical. . . . Greenberg brings a true writer’s sensibility to every line. The Times (London)
  • [A] moving, brutally self-examining and unsettling memoir. The Daily Mail (London)
  • [Greenberg] writes beautifully. . . . [He is] gratefully and minutely observant. . . . His cast captivates. The Observer (London)
  • The psychotic break of his fifteen-year-old daughter is the grit around which Michael Greenberg forms the pearl that is Hurry Down Sunshine. It is a brilliant, taut, entirely original study of a suffering child and a family and marriage under siege. Janet Malcolm, author of The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes and The Journalist and the Murderer
  • “One of the most gripping and disturbingly honest books I have ever read. The courage Michael Greenberg shows in narrating the story of his adolescent daughter’s descent into psychosis is matched by his acute understanding of how alone each of us is, sane or manic, in our processing of reality and our attempts to get others to appreciate what seems important to us. This is a remarkable memoir. Phillip Lopate, author of Two Marriages and Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan
  • Lucid, realistic, compassionate, and illuminating.... In its detail, depth, richness and sheer intelligence, Hurry Down Sunshine will be recognized as a classic of its kind. Oliver Sacks, The New York Review of Books
  • “[Hurry Down Sunshine] is about tenacity and tenderness, feeling helpless but being present, about cracking up, then finding the wherewithal to glue the jagged pieces of your mind back together again. But mostly it's about love. Oprah Winfrey, in her letter to readers in O, The Oprah Magazine
  • “Triumphant. . . . Greenberg renders the details of his daughter's breakdown with lyrical precision. The Washington Post
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2008 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jen Johnson | 1/17/2014

    " I couldn't finish this book. It was pretty boring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 1/9/2014

    " an intelligent, thoughtful, and honest look at a teenage girl's mental illness, told by her father "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 12/24/2013

    " Despite my connection with family members and friends who've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I had trouble relating to this story, perhaps partly because I've never witnessed anyone in an acute stage of psychosis. The author recounts the summer his fifteen year old daughter entered full-blown psychosis. She was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The author also tells of his role supporting his older brother Steve, who struggles with his own mental illness, although a diagnosis is never named. It was interesting to be let in on the author's thought process as he tried to connect with his daughter and puzzled over the underlying cause of her metal illness. Not surprisingly, he wonders whether he did anything to contribute to her mental breakdown. Meanwhile, his mother, with whom he has a distant relationship, confesses her belief that she caused Steve's mental illness. At times, I found myself distracted by the author's lifestyle and language (describing his daughter's psychosis as a "crack up") and admitted high tolerance for different behavior/thinking. Was he blind to the early signs of his daughter's oncoming mental illness? Still, I found this was overall an interesting read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Djdee | 12/12/2013

    " You feel like you are right there sharing the experiences along with the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta Allen | 11/18/2013

    " One of the best memoirs I've read. A father's moving, honest, account of his daughter's descent into psychosis, the impact on him, his life, told with compassion, love, honesty, & intelligence. But a Stupid Title! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/3/2013

    " A father's story of his daughter's madness...not the cliched "descent", but the sudden "crackup" (his words) of a daughter. Along with the pain of a parent witnessing a child's disintegration, there is also something of a meditation on the line between the artistic and the abnormal. In fact, the author berates himself for not noticing something was wrong earlier, assuming that his daughter's intensity was simply that of an adolescent caught up in music and books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracey | 8/11/2013

    " I bought this book @ the Des Moines airport b/c I needed a good read for my two flights back home earlier this week (one stop in Denver). Between an afternoon & evening of travel and another bedtime or two, it was a very quick read. It's the true story of columnist Michael Greenburg's 15-year-old daughter's psychotic break (diagnosed as bipolar) and her gradual return to the mainstream. The way he told the story, I felt it was both devastating and hopeful. He writes about it beautifully. I felt moved enough that I wanted to contact either him, or his daughter, after reading it. She is courageous and admirable; he is an amazing father and ex-husband. I recommend it! (I liked it much more than "The Soloist" because it offered hope for the mentally ill.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 8/3/2013

    " Heartrending tale of a father confronted by his daughter's sudden swing into madness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 7/9/2013

    " Little depressing...I read this book because I wanted to experience mental illness from a parent's perspective. I wasn't expecting the ending, more specifically, that her mental illness continues to plague her life despite medication and therapy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Al | 6/6/2013

    " Interesting memoir by a writer who describes the summer his daughter had a psycotic break when she was 15. somewhat typical of this parent-memoir genre (The Film club, Beautiful Boy, etc.) but still well-written and compassionate. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Veronica | 3/25/2013

    " Not as good as I hoped it would be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krista | 2/7/2013

    " I thought it ws going to be so good given the topic but it seemed like the author tried to put a lot of BIG words and use them (cacuphony for one) instead of just tell the story... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 1/13/2013

    " I really like Greenberg's writing but the subject matter was too much for me to handle 4 months after having a baby. It made for a good book club discussion! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 adrienna | 12/10/2012

    " Really fast read. I wish the girl would write her counterpart. I also think the author was pretty brave to include his own mistakes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz S. | 12/10/2012

    " Quick read---straightforward memoir of the author's experience of his daughter's first psychotic episode, very vividly and honestly told. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 7/6/2012

    " Father's wrenching account of when his teen-aged daughter went mad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 4/2/2012

    " It was painful to read as it was a heartbreaking parent's perspective. However, I wasn't as interested in the book as I expected to be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dina | 3/11/2012

    " It was an okay read, nice writing, but as other people have said I was expecting it to be more about the point-of-view of the daughter. In hindsight I guess I shouldn't have, but I would have been more interested in the book if that had been the case. Oh well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 2/4/2012

    " This book tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl suddenly taken over by madness. Shocking in its suddenness, this case made me realize how real madness is and how overwhelming it would be. Depressing. Real. Poignant. A hard, but good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Duckyday | 9/18/2011

    " Having a friend go through a similar experience with her child, I was VERY pleased with this book. It offered great insight for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Boyter | 8/16/2011

    " Greenberg writes very candidly and astutely about dealing with a mentally ill teenage daughter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie | 5/8/2011

    " Just ok. Some interesting parts if you are interested in psych. and the troubled mind. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teri | 3/20/2011

    " The 3-star rating is kind of arbitrary. I'm not generally interested in memoirs, but I read a review of this one that I found intriguing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 3/14/2011

    " A father's quest to understand and come to terms with his 15-year old daughter's sudden "crack up." Honest and frustrating.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eliana | 3/3/2011

    " Read an excerpt when it first came out. Very good and sad already. Ed, you'll enjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith | 2/26/2011

    " Very good insight into manic depression. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristina | 2/3/2011

    " A father's story of his daughter's manic/psychotic break. Another interesting memoir of mental illness... I enjoyed reading it from a family member's perspective instead of from the actual individual as most memoirs I've read have been. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 1/27/2011

    " It showed promise, but just became unravelled towards the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jena | 1/19/2011

    " DE-pressing. About a young girl in New York City who has psychotic episodes and her family's reaction to them and manner of coping with them. "A father's story of love and madness." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/13/2011

    " Any book set in New York somehow resonates with me. I remember this book being incredibly sad. Sometimes I had to stop reading because I struggled with feeling the authors feeling. Greenberg does a great job of ellicting empathy. With him you feel frustrated and crushed with his daugher's struggle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/11/2011

    " Interesting look at mental illness. Author tells what seems to be an very honest recount of his daughter's illness and how each family member dealt with it in his/her way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheryl | 10/3/2010

    " i give it a thumbs down... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kasey | 9/28/2010

    " One of those books about a grim subject (the author's daughter's psychotic breakdown) that manages to be surprisingly funny as well as beautiful, wise, and generous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 9/23/2010

    " Just not a big fan of memoirs. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Michael GreenbergA native New Yorker, Michael Greenberg is a columnist for the Times Literary Supplement (London), where his wide-ranging essays have been appearing since 2003. His fiction, criticism and travel pieces have been published in such disparate places as O Magazine, Bomb, The Village Voice, and the Boston Review. He lives in New York.