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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,967 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Andrew Solomon Narrator: Andrew Solomon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2002 ISBN: 9780743543118
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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, 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.

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

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Quotes & Awards

  • Winner of the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • One of the 2001 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Zander | 2/14/2014

    " Interesting in that it was bizarre and unbelievable and that it won the National Book Award. And now that I'm perusing Solomon's latest, "Far From the Tree," I'm even more persuaded that he jests, or embellishes, or hallucinates; but then, he is handsome, a bestseller, a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Cornell University and Special Adviser on LGBT Affairs to Yale University's Department of Psychiatry, so who am I to say he's not legit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Casey | 2/10/2014

    " Required reading for anyone who has a family member with depression or who is the field, even if you believe yourself to be well versed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amri | 2/2/2014

    " This is a huge book about depression. Well-researched, well-written. Tender, personal, frank, persuasive. This is my second time to read it. The first time in 2002 I think. Sometimes it's overwhelming and makes me cry because depression seems so insurmountable to me but it's so intimate and so informative. A worthwhile read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/24/2014

    " Do not read this while in the midst of a depressive episode. It describes the feeling of being in the grip of the Black Dog so well that as I read it I had to keep stopping and reminding myself this is a book. It is also exquisitely organized, looking at depression from a variety of different perspectives, while never giving one priority. Solomon's point-of-view happens to coincide with my own, by and large, so I wasn't as irritated by his interjections of his own beliefs as I might have been. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 1/21/2014

    " Would have been just as effective if it were half as long; Solomon's prose was repetitive and occasionally over-dramatic and misplaced, ruining the cadence of the thought. However, some of the information was really excellent and parts of his story were very relatable for someone who has spent most of their life dealing with chronic depression. Recommend it with a few caveats. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anthony | 1/16/2014

    " EXCELLENT book on depression and mental health: comprehensive, personal, and informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brie | 1/14/2014

    " The chapters on poverty and depression and the history of depression were really interesting. He admits that he is really biased towards medicines, and I found this to be the case, but he made some good points about medication that I hadn't considered before. The case studies really make the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 12/4/2013

    " The most comprehensive book on depression and related disorders out there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Namaste | 7/8/2013

    " intimate and eye-opening experience about depression both from historical perspective and sociatel perspective "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 2/24/2013

    " Compelling interesting but after a while I just couldn't read it anymore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Lira | 11/5/2012

    " This was a great book. It deals with the author's own struggles with depression, but talks about the history of it, treatments(ECT, pharm, and therapy), the politics of dealing with it a societal level, etc. Very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leigh Stein | 9/2/2012

    " "We pathologize the curable, and what can easily be modified comes to be treated as an illness, even if it was previously treated as personality, or mood. As soon as we have a drug for violence, violence will be an illness." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brendan | 7/9/2012

    " It sounds depressing, but is ultimately hopeful, and helpful, if you've ever experienced mental illness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy | 6/30/2011

    " This is my favorite book of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 5/12/2011

    " this is an excellent book that covers many aspects of depression. it can easily be read just per chapter that interests you. i have found it a good companion for when i'm feeling alone with depression. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 3/20/2011

    " This had more technical information than I cared to have. I was looking for a far more personal account of depression, which, while there, had too much else surrounding it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa | 3/6/2011

    " Anyone who suffers from depression that is chronic should read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Estherneu | 1/25/2011

    " Tedious reading at times, but well-researched and very informative. I recommend this book for anyone who deals with depression or has trouble understanding a loved one who struggles with depression. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Olderworker | 1/12/2011

    " It's hard to get through, but is very well written and is fascinating to read
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 1/1/2011

    " wonderfully written book about depression. intersperses personal experience and hard science "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 12/22/2010

    " Has been sometime since I read this book. I know I got lots from it, but want to re read it soon "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leeann | 11/4/2010

    " Would recommend. Very exhaustive book on an exhausting subject. I looked Andrew Solomon up after hearing him on "The Moth." "

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About the Author
Author Andrew Solomon

Andrew Solomon is the New York Times bestselling author of Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, and The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of fourteen national awards, including the National Book Award. He is a lecturer in psychiatry at Cornell University and special advisor on LGBT affairs to the Yale School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry.