Customer Reviews for

Gracefully Insane: The Rise and Fall of America's Premier Mental Hospital

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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
Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2003

    Unbalanced

    I was disappointed in this book, especially after all the good reviews. The book is heavy on gossip, real estate issues and miscellaneous information. It is annoying that the author belittles psychiatry since it is apparent that he lacks a knowledge and understanding of it. He also seems to be negative about McLean at any point in its history and that just doesn't fit with the facts. I was hoping for a more balanced, good story. Instead, I felt that I had read a book by a person prejudiced about its subject, selective about the facts and lacking in analysis.

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

    Posted January 29, 2002

    A Great Read from a Fine Writer

    ¿Gracefully Insane¿ by Alex Beam is a terrific book that explores ¿ with a bit of detached bemusement ¿ the history of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. McLean has a reputation as an important Harvard teaching hospital that pioneered many recent developments in the treatment of mental illness with prescription drugs. It also has a reputation as the preferred institution of the rich and famous. This latter aspect is the focus of Beam¿s book, although the author is evenhanded in respecting both the hospital¿s achievements and the plight of the mentally ill. First of all, Alex Beam is a fine writer. Spend a little time just enjoying the skill of someone who knows how to put one word after another. Second, he¿s on to something unusual with his narrative. The intersection of celebrities such as Ray Charles, James Taylor, and several troubled poets, not to mention wealthy murderers with the wherewithal to trade up from a prison sentence to a comfortable stay in McLean, provides many opportunities for rich anecdotes and behind-the-scenes views of a way of life that usually is kept well off stage. There is a lot about the social scene that is uniquely Boston, and Bostonians certainly will enjoy that aspect of the book. But you don¿t have to be from the Hub to enjoy this unique and fascinating story.

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

    Posted February 6, 2002

    entertaining and erudite

    I really enjoyed reading Gracefully Insane: The Rise and Fall of America's Premier Mental Hospital. It's a book that I found both entertaining and erudite. Alex Beam's exceptional writing talent brings to life a colorful and misunderstood institution, the famous McLean Hospital. He effortlessly interweaves annecdotal stories of the rich, famous, and talented (not necessarily in that order) with an insightful look into the history of mental health in America. I find this book to be both scholarly and a tantalizing read--no mean feat! Beam captures the tragic/comic aspects of his complex subject in a way that leaves me feeling wistful for the days when patients were able to stay long enough in a hospital to receive its therapeutic benefits. Ultimately, the author vividly captures a McLean Hospital that, despite its faults and shortcomings, provided a much needed asylum from modern life to many fortunate enough to afford it.

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

    Posted February 8, 2002

    A fascinating book

    A wonderful book. The patient and doctor stories were fascinating. A real look inside a prestigious mental hospital. Another book with an insider view of a mental hospital is a new autobiography by Tracy Harris entitled 'The Music of Madness'. Gracefully Insane is an educational as well as interesting book. I highly reccomend it.

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

    Posted January 16, 2002

    An American Institution

    Alex Beam's 'Gracefully Insane' is a graceful, witty and fascinating social history of a renowned mental hospital that was at the same time an incubator for much of American high and popular culture. A certain classic!

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

    Posted January 2, 2002

    From a Reader

    This was a fascinating book on many levels. The social history was particularly engaging and provided an interesting backdrop to the medical care provided for mental illness through the years. The author's style was smooth and readable. The experiences of previous Mclean patients were interesting and well documented. This is definitely a book I'd recommend.

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

    Posted December 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1