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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,274 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Juliann Garey Narrator: Dan Butler Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In her tour de force first novel, Juliann Garey takes us inside the restless mind, ravaged heart, and anguished soul of Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and young daughter and for a decade and travels the world giving free reign to the bipolar disorder he’s been forced to keep hidden for almost twenty years. The novel intricately weaves together three timelines: the story of Greyson’s travels (Rome, Israel, Santiago, Thailand, Uganda), the progressive unraveling of his own father seen through Greyson’s eyes as a child, and the intimacies and estrangements of his marriage. The entire narrative unfolds in the time it takes him to undergo twelve thirty-second electroshock treatments in a New York psychiatric ward. This is a literary page-turner of the first order, and a brilliant inside look at mental illness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Garey breathes life into an uncomfortable and often misunderstood subject and creates a riveting experience.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A gripping tale of a man’s unraveling.”

    Real Simple

  • “You won’t be able to put down this exhilarating debut novel…Brave and touching.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Butler’s first-person reading takes listeners on a roller-coaster ride through Greyson’s emotions, from manic euphoria to near-suicidal depression…Butler’s tones initially seem matter-of-fact, but he slowly conveys Greyson’s meandering emotions and state of mind. Screenwriter Garey’s compelling debut novel translates superbly to audio.”

    Booklist (starred audio review)

  • “Greyson Todd is so utterly human…With the sheer force of her talent, Garey makes us want to look. And she makes us laugh. And she helps us understand and feel compassion.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “Greyson Todd is the most fully-realized fictional character I’ve come across in a while…Garey doesn’t shy away from the depths of her character’s pain, but scenes that could easily become gratuitous in lesser hands are rendered with restraint and grace. She excels at leading us down the rabbit hole...Garey creates an atmosphere of exquisite tension.”


  • “Garey evokes in stark detail the torment and raw suffering of mental illness. A compelling read.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A fine, sharp-tongued debut. Too Bright to Hear, Too Loud to See is a novel deeply wrapped around its subject, but it has its sights on grander themes—namely, how to survive in a world not made for you.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “[Greyson Todd] is interesting and complex…We are deftly led through his erratic trains of thought, and suddenly we are with him in the irrational, sometimes violent place, and oddly, we understand how we got there.”


  • “Brilliantly captures the effects of electro-convulsive therapy…[Garey’s] prose, with its mixture of the poetic and the profane, illuminates the psyche of a bipolar man, who seeks not a Hollywood ending but a restoration of the ‘glimmer’ of his faded past.”

    Huffington Post

  • “Juliann Garey writes with stark, lucid power about the tumbling journey into madness and the agonizing climb back out. Her electric prose trembles and her images vibrate at the edges, affording a rare and precious experience of the troubled mind from the inside out. It’s essential writing—terrifying, exhilarating, absurd, achingly human, and absolutely compelling.”

    Brian Yorkey, co-creator of the Tony Award-nominated Next To Normal

  • A 2014 ALA Notable Book for Adult Fiction
  • NPR’s Great Reads, 2013
  • A 2012 Library Journal Editor’s Pick
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, December 2012

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Rreminger | 2/20/2014

    " It's hard to believe that this is a work of fiction; it seems so real. Such an incredibly sad story. It's tragic how this disease destroyed this man's life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Pat | 2/19/2014

    " Billed as a novel about bipolar concerns I read this to understand a niece. I did get a good indication of the ups and downs as well as the treatment of a bipolar diagnosis, but the language the author choose to use was coarse, and I felt unnecessary, to make her point. Although the author does not self reveal it does appear she has had mental health issues that encouraged her to write the book. I had hoped for more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tiffin-Seneca Public | 2/13/2014

    " This is a phenomenal, yet difficult to read at times, debut novel about a film executive suffering from bipolar disorder. The story takes place during his twelve shock therapy sessions, as he relives important moments in his life. Garey captures the disorder perfectly and the ending is very well done. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Ariana Reyes | 2/8/2014

    " This book was okay. I think I expected too much of it since I read a couple of rave reviews. I found it lukewarm for most of it.. until the end. Then it actually made me feel something and it was very moving. I'd say worth the read, but not worth running to Barnes & Noble and paying full price for it. "

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