Customer Reviews for

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Average Rating 4.5
( 205 )
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(114)

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(59)

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(22)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

74 out of 78 people found this review helpful.

Profoundly moving, comelling ndconsuming

This is a profoundly moving, true story of a young woman who, over the course of a few weeks, spirals into almost total madness. Her loved ones stay by her side throughout her month long hospitalization watching doctor after doctor doing test after test handing down di...
This is a profoundly moving, true story of a young woman who, over the course of a few weeks, spirals into almost total madness. Her loved ones stay by her side throughout her month long hospitalization watching doctor after doctor doing test after test handing down diagnosis after diagnosis. When a doctor mentions a rare disease that may be the cause of the young woman’s illness, her parents are left to decide whether or not to allow a test that may cause permanent brain damage.
Susannah Cahalan’s account of her life before, during and after her battle with mental illness is very well written and surprisingly readable. As she delves into the working of the human brain the reading becomes a little dry but by the next paragraph, the reader is once again swept up into a story that is consuming and compelling.
I was extremely moved by this book and strongly recommend it.

posted by NJ-Nina on November 11, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

It gets old fast

After the initial wow and OMG it becomes repetative and I got bored and didn't finish it.

posted by voyager8 on December 10, 2012

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 205 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 11
  • Posted December 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 stars She had worked at the NY Post for many years when she

    4.5 stars
    She had worked at the NY Post for many years when she started to experience some unusual symptoms. It began with numbness and paranoid feeling about her boyfriend, these symptoms getting progressively worse as the days progressed. The 24-year old reporter then started to experience seizures and her mind started to wander, it was time to seek medical advice. They’re grasping at straws after MRI’s, EEG, and other medical tests are performed as all tests come back negative. Hallucinations, mood swings, nausea, you think it; she probably has experienced it as the doctors scramble to try to come up with a diagnosis for the multitude of problems that are invading her body. Although her divorced parents are barely speaking to one another, they are connected as Susannah battles this disease in the hospital. Her boyfriend Stephen is beside her, although at times, I know it has to be a struggle for him. The book moves quickly and there is lots of medical information, sometimes more than I can handle. The weight of the medical terms and conditions weigh me down at times but I plow through as I need to know what has plagued Susannah, what has mysteriously attached itself to her life. How something can grip a healthy woman and turn her into a slurring, confused individual- it baffled me and it was baffling many in Susannah’s life. Dr. Najjar and his blank sheet of paper change Susannah’s life. That one test that Dr. Najjar gives her explains many things and has the family deciding how to proceed. It was a book that offers hope, they continued to search for answers and her doctors never gave up. Unfortunately not everyone has the means to the medical treatments that she received but perhaps her story can help others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2014

    Loved it.

    Very interesting read. Unbelievable what the author goes through and it is very well written. I recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    Great read...

    A little depressing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Thunderstorm

    Pads in waiting for the other cat.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    I loved this book, I couldn't put it down once I started reading

    I loved this book, I couldn't put it down once I started reading it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Worth the time it took to read

    This book provides insight into mental illness and the complexity of navigating a medical system that does not always have the answers. The author moves the reader through the book bringing them into her own experiences. This reader was never bored with the text. She is a talented author and courageous woman to share her experience with the world.

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  • Posted July 8, 2014

    Moving

    Moving

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Highly highly recommend

    This story was very near and dear to my heart because my mother had this happen to her as well. I was amazed at how well this was put into words.

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  • Posted June 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Riveting!

    The author experienced a health problem that essentially made her start to lose her mind. Several mis-dianosis made from multiple doctors almost landed her in a mental institution for life. Very interesting book, and a quick read. You almost feel as if you are going crazy with her while you read it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    The book "Brain on Fire," by Susannah Cahalan takes r

    The book "Brain on Fire," by Susannah Cahalan takes readers through the conflicted mind of a mentally unstable woman in search of a cure for her unknown disease. Cahalan illustrates her book beautifully with her unique writing style and skill. She impressively managed to keep her "month of madness" continuously interesting and new. Her mysterious writing style made the book a page turner. Her ability to make her writing relatable to her audience drew me into her story further and further. Her use imagery is outstanding; truly bring her experience to life. It is rare that reading a book gives you that 3D movie experience. Despite my appreciation for Cahalan's unique writing ability, I found the book misleading. When I read the book description, I was not expecting a load of information on medical terms and conditions. While they serve as rhetorical devices logos and ethos, I was given the impression that there would be more of a storyline than an informational writing style. Overall, I enjoyed following Cahalan through her challenging experience, but maybe an informative memoir is not my forte. If you are the type of person who enjoys a mixture of story and research, this is the book for you.

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  • Posted April 26, 2014

    I recommend this book

    I thought the book was touching and beautifully written. It was hard to put down and I think everyone should read it. It is about love and how resilient the human body and spirit are. It might help you save someone's life.

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  • Posted April 9, 2014

    A very informative (albeit still entertaining) look at a rare di

    A very informative (albeit still entertaining) look at a rare disease and its devastating effects, including mental and physical problems that made the author seem for a time like she was genuinely, certifiably nuts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Wonderfully written book, I so identified with the insanity. I c

    Wonderfully written book, I so identified with the insanity. I could not put the book down and read it in
    one day!! 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Told in an unforgettable manner, Brain on Fire will lead you rig

    Told in an unforgettable manner, Brain on Fire will lead you right down the rabbit hole into the Susannah's illness. It grips you from the very beginning and is impossible to put down as it leaves the reader wondering, "What could possibly happen next?". An excellent book to read.

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  • Posted March 22, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    This is a great book, very captivating. As a long time psych nurse it was a compelling story about a sudden psychosis followed by much unsuccessful treatments. I learned much from this book and encourage others to read it.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    A must read if you love someone with an acquired organic brain injury

    This book was fabulous it really helped me understand better some of the frustrations I see in my daughter who also suffered severe viral enchepilitis . I read it straight through in 1 sitting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    This is a profoundly compelling true story. I would highly recom

    This is a profoundly compelling true story. I would highly recommend it to anyone, especially those who touch the lives of persons expressing symptoms of suspected mental illness. It is a striking reminder to not jump to conclusions. It is a compelling read...truely interesting and enlightening. Bravo to Ms Cahalan for telling her story, and allowing us all to learn in the process.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Highly Recommend

    It's amazing what your brain is capable of. a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Awesome

    Its so good, couldn't put the book away

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  • Posted January 6, 2014

    awesome

    I found this book to be very informative. mental illness is hard on the family as well as the person experiencing it. it is interesting how she was blown off by physicians in the beginning. thankfully someone cared what she felt and what she was experiencing. she was fortunate.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 205 Customer Reviews
Page 2 of 11