Customer Reviews for

Girl, Interrupted

Average Rating 4.5
( 185 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(99)

4 Star

(51)

3 Star

(25)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The Interruption

I enjoyed the book even if I'm not all that sure about the message.

This book was the true story of Susanna Kaysen who was committed to a mental hospital when she was 18. The chapters were short and crisp, and could most likely be read as short stories in themselves...
I enjoyed the book even if I'm not all that sure about the message.

This book was the true story of Susanna Kaysen who was committed to a mental hospital when she was 18. The chapters were short and crisp, and could most likely be read as short stories in themselves. The book was also interspersed with official forms documenting Kaysen's two year stay at McLean, which Kaysen only got the rights to many years after with the help of a lawyer. Kaysen kept her writing humorous and curt as she talked about the various patients, doctors, and incidents at the hospital. I liked these chapters, but got bored later on in the book after she left the hospital and began to describe the bounds of her illness. I'm a teenager myself, and my attention span is short.

I enjoyed the book for its quirkiness and memorable characters, where others might like it for its comments on mental illness and the treatment of the mentally ill in the 60's.

posted by Awesomeness1 on August 6, 2010

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Movie or Book?

I think this was one instant that I actually preferred the movie to book.

The movie was better because it had more of a plot to it, unlike the book. The book was more of a diary feel just telling of the days events so not really having much plot.

The book also, at...
I think this was one instant that I actually preferred the movie to book.

The movie was better because it had more of a plot to it, unlike the book. The book was more of a diary feel just telling of the days events so not really having much plot.

The book also, at times, got a little dry with scientific matters but otherwise I enjoyed piecing together what the movie masters had made more colorful in the movie.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who liked the movie because it was just fun to see what really happened and get into the details from the book.

posted by IeroSizedFun on March 24, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 185 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 10
  • Posted August 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Interruption

    I enjoyed the book even if I'm not all that sure about the message.

    This book was the true story of Susanna Kaysen who was committed to a mental hospital when she was 18. The chapters were short and crisp, and could most likely be read as short stories in themselves. The book was also interspersed with official forms documenting Kaysen's two year stay at McLean, which Kaysen only got the rights to many years after with the help of a lawyer. Kaysen kept her writing humorous and curt as she talked about the various patients, doctors, and incidents at the hospital. I liked these chapters, but got bored later on in the book after she left the hospital and began to describe the bounds of her illness. I'm a teenager myself, and my attention span is short.

    I enjoyed the book for its quirkiness and memorable characters, where others might like it for its comments on mental illness and the treatment of the mentally ill in the 60's.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Provocative and Totally Unexpected

    I read the previous reviews and yet forgot that the story was not written in a linear fashion. That minor shock aside "Girl, Interrupted" was an unexpected treasure. I found Susanna Kaysen's story hit home in a very quiet manner. While reading her story the emotional weight of the individual glimpses into her life, as well as her overall life experience didn't hit me until after I had put the book down. It was an interesting view into a disorder that many live with everyday.

    If you are looking for the book version of the popular movie "Girl, Interrupted" this really isn't the book for you. While many of the stories from the book are also in the movie; there are many situations that take place in the movie that were never in the book. However, if you want a provocative and compelling look into the life of someone with BPD then I highly recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    utterly spellbounding

    i could not put this book down. it put me into the mind of susanna kaysen and didnt put me back into the real world until i was done. she seems so normal so sane, she asks the same questions we all ask at some point in our lives but never say outloud, she thinks the same thing we do. she becomes a symbol of each and every human being. And this book made me ask the question: are we all insane? are we all just like susanna kaysen?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2014

    There is much truth to be found in this memoir, but it is the ki

    There is much truth to be found in this memoir, but it is the kind of truth that some might find hard to hear and even harder to accept.  Susanna is (was) a young woman lost in a machine.  The machine is a business, first and foremost, with the secondary goal of aiding the mentally disturbed…no matter how many billable years recovery might take.  The cogs inside that machine, the doctors and analysts and nurses and orderlies, most of them are well-meaning souls with a duty to help their patients, but they operate under the confines of stuffy and impersonal hospital rules…and often times these very restrictions help to feed their patients’ madness.  

    As it is, Susanna looks around at the situation she’s signed herself into and asks many poignant questions—ones the doctors never think of.   Once you are stripped of your freedom and dignity, once you are branded (diagnosed) how do you find an identity that doesn’t involve what the people around you say you are?  How do you convince them (and yourself) that you are sane?  You swallow 50 aspirin to rid yourself not of life but of demons; you bang your wrists, unsure if you are real enough to have bones; the world around you is a pattern of constant and suffocating chaos, disjointed images that don’t match the reality in front of you…but even after all this you look at the patients around you, girls who pour gasoline and light themselves on fire, who hoard chicken carcasses under their bed, who scratch at the walls of their own sanity with fingernails that have been forcibly clipped—and you compare yourself to them and you think, surely, I am the sane one?  How did I end up in here?  Do I really belong in here?  Where are the lines between normal and crazy?  What does it mean to be borderline?   What does it mean to have your life interrupted?        

     With all these questions weighing heavy on Susanna, even 25 years after her release, she still finds the grace to approach the subject of mental illness with humor and sets the scene in the hospital with a reluctant nostalgia that speaks to the guilty comfort of knowing that no matter how bad things get, you are not the only one.   

    There is a subtext of bitterness between these pages, for sure, but by the end of the book it is understandable; mental illness is a difficult-to-shake stigma.  In the end, there comes a final sense of validation: though she’s been told that her ultimate goal of living a life of literature and love is an unrealistic and, frankly, crazy endeavor, the best-seller I am currently reviewing says otherwise.  

     Brave, witty, unexpected.  Girl, Interrupted offers an indulgent but honest glimpse into the complex industry that is mental illness.  I wish I would have read this memoir years ago. 

    Best Lines: “In a strange way we were free.  We’d reached the end of the line.  We had nothing more to lose.  Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity: All of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves.”

    “Lunatics are similar to designated hitters.  Often an entire family is crazy, but since an entire family can’t go inside the hospital, one person is designated crazy and goes inside.”

    “Isn’t there some other way to look at this?  After all, angst of these dimensions is a luxury item.  You need to be well fed, clothed, and housed to have time for this much self-pity.”

    “The girl at her music sits in another sort of light, the fitful, overcast light of life, by which we see ourselves and others only imperfectly, and seldom.”

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    another story about someone in an insane asylum!

    Yes, there have been others of this type- such as "I never promised you a rose garden" Or "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Maybe people's experiences in these places are sufficiently varied to be worth writing about. The characters in this one, particularly the protagonist, are quite attractive and interesting. Nice upbeat note that she got out and wrote the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2009

    Movie or Book?

    I think this was one instant that I actually preferred the movie to book.

    The movie was better because it had more of a plot to it, unlike the book. The book was more of a diary feel just telling of the days events so not really having much plot.

    The book also, at times, got a little dry with scientific matters but otherwise I enjoyed piecing together what the movie masters had made more colorful in the movie.

    I definitely recommend this book to anyone who liked the movie because it was just fun to see what really happened and get into the details from the book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book was AMAZINGLY good. I had seen a part of the movie, and so I was interested in the book, but when I actually read it i was stunned. The incredible depth and insight in this book was astounding the content ends up in one of three categories most of the time: dialogue, description of a person/event, and philosophical ponderings, the nature of which inspire further thought by the reader. This book is a must-read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2007

    best book ever

    i saw the movie but when i read this book i was amazed the movie didnt give it justice

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2006

    Wonderful Book

    This was a wonderful book. I highly recommend the book and the movie to anyone suffering similar problems. The movie does not stray far from the book. I have the same diagnosis as Susanna, so I could totally relate to her story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2004

    An amazing book

    Having had the same experience as Susanna (although only staying at a mental hospital for 2 months in an outpatient program), I can relate to this book. It's incredibly well written, and it really pulls you into it. There's really nothing else to say except read it-you'll understand why I love it so.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2003

    This book changed my life

    Having been diagnosed as a border line personality I can relate to what Susan Kaysen has written. It changed my life and made me see that the 'Great debate' is useless. People who don't have the disorder don't understand and having them either read this book or see the movie helps them understand.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003

    A great book

    Susanna is a great writer and obviously has an unusual story to tell. Since the circumstances of the story are so interesting, as a writer all Susanna needs to do is 'get out of the way' and I think she does this well. She has a terse writing style which I find appealing. Her character descriptions are first rate, and I think she has a subtle but keen sense of humor. She and Kay Jamison ('An Unquiet Mind') have written the finest mental illness memoirs available.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2002

    Kaysen's Accurate Portrayal of Mentally Ill

    I was recently released from a psychiatric hospital, and Girl, Interrupted is the most poignant, well-thought through and clearly written book I have read on the subject. Perhaps it was my empathy and likedness to Kaysen, but I felt the book was describing my experience, and hers as well, in the most articulate way. I enjoyed it fully, and it was honestly and thoughtfully written. Anyone who thinks differently is afraid of themselves, and of the truth Kaysen brings to the mind.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2015

    Good

    Good Book So Far But Haven't Had Time To Finish Yet. Wish I Could Find Another Like It.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 25, 2015

    In the book, ¿Girl, Interrupted¿, author Susana Kaysen desc

    In the book, “Girl, Interrupted”, author Susana Kaysen describes what its like to live in a mental hospital. After attempted suicide by overdose, Susanna is forced to go toa monthly therapy session to get into better habbits and have a happy, healthy lifestyle. While at an appointment her doctor and her have a casual discussion about how she is doing and what her daily activities are. As she is there her doctor realizes that she has formed a blemish on her face. he then asks her if she's getting enough rest. After replying no he offers her a place to rest for awhile, calls a taxi, and walks her down to the taxi. During this process she thinks nothing more of it than regular checkup. However, what awoke her senses was when the doctor closed the door to her taxi to tell the driver not to stop anywhere until they have reached their destinination at McLean hospital. While at this hospital she ges through a serioes of shock treatments and shots. Susan also meets a couple of friends named daisy, polly and lisa. Together the four think of what thier lives would be like outside of the wretched place. The only visit Susan recieves while there is from a friend of hers who offers to take her away from the place to start a new life. She doesn't take the offer for some odd reason.
    I reommend this book because its very interesting and i myself admire non-fiction. However, I did not like how she kept jumping from place to place talking about her life in a mental hopital. For example, she would first talk about going to the doctors office then she would talk about what she did before getting there. I'm not quite sure if that was just me but I found it somewhat annoying.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2015

    Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen is a memoir of Kaysen¿s

    Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen is a memoir of Kaysen’s days spent at the McLean Hospital for the mental in Cambridge, Massachusetts. When admitted, Kaysen expects to stay for only a few weeks and ends up staying for two years. This story is about her hospitalization and life after the mental hospital. Kaysen writes the story in a series of vignettes. In the vignettes, she shares her experience at the asylum and describes the people she met. There were many bonds and disputes formed between the patients. When Kaysen left the hospital, she discovers she was kept there because she was diagnoses with border-line personality disorder. Kaysen’s intention to write this book is to reveal the troubles of the so-called “insane” – how they are constantly questioned of their diagnoses; looked down upon; how their only home is the asylum; and how disrespected they are. This is portrayed in the quote, “Don’t ask me those questions! Don’t ask me what life means or how we know reality or why we have to suffer so much! Don’t talk about how nothing feels real..”. (125) This quote illustrates how the mentally disabled are looked down upon, it really bothers them to be interrogated. They can’t experience life because they are kept away in an mental ward.
    There are many things I liked and disliked in Girl, Interrupted. One of the things I liked was how united the patients were. For instance, when one of the patients left, all of the remaining patients were troubled and tried to keep her from dangers of the world. Another thing I enjoyed was how Kaysen describes the setting in a vibrant manner by adding descriptions of nurse and patients relations along with detailed illustrations of the personalities of various fellow patients. Lastly, I also liked how she explained the stages of insanity and how she felt toward the idea of insanity. On the other hand, I disliked various inferences spread throughout the story. For example, I disliked how there were many sex references and how their effect made you feel – violated. Also, I did not like the pattern in which Kaysen wrote her novel, in a nonchronological order of vignettes. I was very confused on how the plot moved along. I would advise people to read this novel, although hard to comprehend, it is a great and fast read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2015

    In the novel Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen tells her story

    In the novel Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen tells her story about her two years in a mental hospital. She is put in involuntarily in the spring of 1967. She reveals all the adventures, the hilarious people, and all of the different types of nurses she encounters in the hospital. The author`s purpose of the novel was to tell the reader that you can overcome any trouble in life. A piece of textual evidence to support this purpose is “Then there is the question of premature death from suicide. Luckily, I avoided it, but I thought about suicide a lot. I`d think about it and make myself sad over my premature death, then I would feel better,” (158). This piece of textual evidence conveys that Kaysen was struggling with the thought of suicide but she was able to overcome it.
    I enjoyed this novel greatly. There was a great deal of variation throughout the story. She tells about the friendships, drama, and relationships she gets involved in. “It wasn`t my troublesome boyfriend. First of all, he wasn`t my boyfriend anymore. How could a person who was locked up have a boyfriend?” (25). She also reveals her interpretation of the mind. “A lot of mind, though, is turning out to be brain. A memory is a particular pattern of cellular changes on particular spots in our heads” (137). Also the limitations she had as a patient. ‘I`d just like to see how you`d manage this place, never going outside, never breathing fresh air, never being able to open your own window…’ (80). I would recommend this book to readers who can enjoy a serious yet humorous book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 19, 2015

    An eighteen year-old girl, Susanna Kayson, gets sentenced to a p

    An eighteen year-old girl, Susanna Kayson, gets sentenced to a psychiatric hospital unexpectedly after her first time visiting a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist claims that Susanna is crazy although she doesn’t believe him. With the time she spends at the hospital, she discovers that she is crazy and that she does need help, but she ends up making friends with the other patients who are just like her. With every chapter in the book, Susanna elaborates on different problems and events occurring in the story or in her mind, giving the reader a deeper insight on the confusing life of a patient at the hospital. “I started getting worried. Where were my bones? I put my hand in my mouth and bit it, to see if I crunched down on something hard.” In this quote the author shows that Susanna actually is crazy. She is crazy enough to not believe she has bone.
    What I didn’t like about the book was how there were entire chapters devoted to Susanna explaining her train of thought about her belief of how things seemed to her. She said things such as; “Time is slow, dripping slowly through the clogged filter of thickened perception.” I thought these chapters seemed dull and extremely uneventful. Although, in these chapters she did give a lot of deep insight and a better understanding of the mysteries of her condition: “Insanity comes in two basic varieties: slow and fast. I’m not talking onset or duration. I mean the quality of insanity, the day-to-day business of being nuts.” Even so, quotes like this: “The predominant quality of the slow form of viscosity. Experience is thick. Perceptions are thickened and dulled” overruled the in depth quotes that had information on the way she saw her disease.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2014

    To below

    Wow, you can maths. You would have saved $12.00, idiot.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    Short story

    If I new there was only 130 pages I would of saved $ 11.00. Nothing different between the movie and the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 185 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 10