Customer Reviews for

Weekends at Bellevue

Average Rating 4
( 86 )
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(35)

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(25)

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(14)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

An honest, inside look at the workings and culture of a big city hospital's psychiatric emergency department

It's all there ... the grit and the humor, the chaos and the compassion. This is a compelling read.

posted by PJBradley on December 5, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

an ego fest

I thought this would be (at least mostly) about the different cases she saw at Bellevue, but the more I read, the more I didn't like the author. She claims that she's wanted to be a psychiatrist since childhood, yet it seems to take her several years after graduating me...
I thought this would be (at least mostly) about the different cases she saw at Bellevue, but the more I read, the more I didn't like the author. She claims that she's wanted to be a psychiatrist since childhood, yet it seems to take her several years after graduating med school, plus her own therapy, to even start to understand what her profession is about. I was appalled at the casualness of her treatment of patients, who seem to be sacrificed to the altar of her desire to be a tough-gal cowgirl. I could have lived without her description of the birth of her first child, and the name-dropping. There's also way too much apologizing for her attitudes and actions, as if this book is an explanation for self-centered behavior. She seems to want admiration for sticking it out for nine years-of two-day weekends, not five-day weeks, while the nurses and aides have stuck it out longer and are probably still there. If nothing else, this book made me glad I don't live in New York City.

posted by JanetOH on November 10, 2009

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Page 1 of 5
  • Posted December 5, 2009

    An honest, inside look at the workings and culture of a big city hospital's psychiatric emergency department

    It's all there ... the grit and the humor, the chaos and the compassion. This is a compelling read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 28, 2009

    Suburban doc is boring

    The author takes an incredibly rich subject matter and uses it as the background to remind us how smart she is about psychiatric meds, what the diner is serving, how she furnishes her on-call room, and how annoying the patients are. There is not a glimmer of interest in her patients or her inability to treat them. Read it for shock value only.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Waste of paper

    The "Unquiet Mind" book by Kay Redfield Jamison is a WAY better about bipolar than this dribble that passes as a book. Poorly written, as waste of good paper. Get Unquiet Mind instead. The reader gets the distinct impression this writer only wants to be PROVOCATIVE, when in reality the book is dull as dishwater.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    an ego fest

    I thought this would be (at least mostly) about the different cases she saw at Bellevue, but the more I read, the more I didn't like the author. She claims that she's wanted to be a psychiatrist since childhood, yet it seems to take her several years after graduating med school, plus her own therapy, to even start to understand what her profession is about. I was appalled at the casualness of her treatment of patients, who seem to be sacrificed to the altar of her desire to be a tough-gal cowgirl. I could have lived without her description of the birth of her first child, and the name-dropping. There's also way too much apologizing for her attitudes and actions, as if this book is an explanation for self-centered behavior. She seems to want admiration for sticking it out for nine years-of two-day weekends, not five-day weeks, while the nurses and aides have stuck it out longer and are probably still there. If nothing else, this book made me glad I don't live in New York City.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

    Disappointing and sometimes boring

    I am fascinated by the psychology/psychiatry field and thought this book would be interesting. It's not. The book is not organized well and the narrative moves around a lot--is she talking about the past? The present? Is this even the same patient? The author comes across as kind of a jerk and very self-absorbed--all patient stories are presented as how they relate to her. She thinks she is very smart and tough and macho but she comes across as annoying, whiny, and bratty. The chapters that dealt with her sessions with her psychologist/therapist were tedious and annoying--did I really need to know the whole conversation word for word? And I feel as if she was going for some kind of award for being the most sex-crazed doctor/resident. There were lots of TMI moments. I thought she was her most callous and oblivious regarding her recollections of 9/11. Because she was not in the city at the time, she wasnt touched by the terrorist attacks at all--she went about swimming and sunning herself without a care in the world. She excused this by saying she didn't know it was that bad until she got back to the city. Huh? I live in Pennsylvania and watched the news coverage on tv and was devastated. Also, I hope never to have her as a therapist because she makes her money by pushing drugs on people. She doesn't care what their underlying problems/neuroses/mental illnesses are, she just dopes them up so they feel good for now. What kind of doctor are you??? Overall, if you are looking for a book that sheds light on mental illness and how people deal with them, DO NOT read this book. The patients are a merely a blip on her radar.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fabulously brave, incredibly heartfelt - and an E-Ticket ride to boot!

    It is NOT your average doctor who pulls aside the Wizard of Oz curtains and reveals herself as a fallible human being, wrestling with her own issues all the while taking the reader on an E-Ticket (the BEST rides at Disneyland) ride through her 9 years as ER doc on the weekends at Bellevue. Fabulously brave and incredibly heartfelt, it is a testament to what it actually takes this person to navigate, personally and professionally, caring for those who, for whatever reason, are severely mentally ill in so many different manifestations, and attempting to solve each puzzle as it lands in the ER. It also highlighted the thin line between sanity and insanity that so many successfully walk with the assistance of therapy and medication - really bringing mental health to a level that it should be - acknowledged as just another part of life and not something to hide or be ashamed of. I actually listened to the audio version and enjoyed hearing Dr. Holland read it herself - adding a "scratch n' sniff" dimension that really works for this very real, often funny, often questioning, sometimes sad & frustrating book. A relaxing read it's not - more like a wild ride - so strap on your seat belt!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    True to life

    There is a lot of truth in the other reviews here. But whether we like it or not this book is also true to life. Holland showed her cards in this book. It all rang true for me. Every bit of it. The narcissism, weariness, fear, heartache, anger at malingerers and the onslaught of life among the mentally ill. All she left out, really, was the politics of mental health care. I spent years in a similar psychiatric triage setting and love psychiatry even more now than when i started residency 23 yrs ago. All she really failed to show here was enough of the compassion that quite likely drove the writing of this book as much as did her desire to promote herself. And perhaps she doesn't realize either that her experiences are not unique. Worth reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2011

    Odd intrigue explored in perfect balance.

    I share her draw to fractured minds, and she quickly drew me in. I was along for the ride, only pausing for my own shifts at the hospital. Brava, Dr Holland, Brava!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Worthwhile unless you're simply hoping to enjoy juicy tales of tragedy and madness

    This doctor is human, in every sense, and this book reminds me of the saying that insanity is a human being's sane response to an insane world. For those people whose minds live in a place that is no longer connected to reality as the majority of us experiences it, it takes someone with spunk and humor to see the value that is covered up when mental illness has taken over and it takes strong will to keep fighting to uncover that value

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this book!!

    Mrs. Holland gives the reader a view of the event that goes on in the mental department of an emergency room! What doctors and nurses see everyday!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    If You Get the Chance to Read This, PASS.

    This book was extremely disappointing and not worth the money or time to read it. The writing was horrible- it gave little insight or understanding into the patients themselves or how the author is impacted by her work. She constantly seeks to remind the reader of how smart, down-to- earth, etc. she is and how her work made her a better person, but the entire thing lacks sincerity. She does little to convey the actual suffering of her patients or life working at Bellevue. Most disappointing for me was the fact that the synopsis gives the impression that case files are described in some depth, but that is, to say the least, misleading. At most, patients are given a few brief sentences. Here's hoping she is a better psychiatrist than author.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2013

    One of the best books

    This book will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It will hold you on the edge until the very end. A most read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Great book

    I've always been intrigued by Bellevue. This is a great book, i couldn't put it down. I held off finishing it for a few days because I didn't want it to end. The author mentions an HBO documentary and I looked it up,turns out I had watched it years ago.Bellevue seems like a fascinating yet heartbreaking place to work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    "Poor me" story

    Book is all about how the world did the author wrong. I am over half way through and do not know if I can get past her whining and finish the book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Reaiistic & Entertaining


    This account is the real deal. I've worked in a downtown E.R., worked with the mentally ill, and I refer many patients to pschiatrists for properly targeted medical interventions. I give this read an easy five stars: Good author self-disclosure, good diagnoses & treatment, and well chosen examples.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Not as Expected

    Like many reviewers I thought this would be about the PATIENTS, but it's mainly a narrative of the author's life. This would better be put under "Biography". Overall: Disappointing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    What A Disappointment

    I thought this book looked like a good read... an interesting inside look at the patients that come through Bellvue. I was so disappointed! Trust me, it has very little information about actual patients. This book spends more time describing herself than anything to do with the patients. There are snippets here and there about patient life but more than anything it is about Julie Holland's day to day life. I definitely could have skipped her personal therapy stories, sex escapades and birthing stories. Also, this book is very disorganized and hard to get through. I DO NOT RECOMMEND!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ridiculous price for ebook

    No way would I pay this much for an ebook.. let alone one that obviously, from reading the other reviews, isn't that great a book anyway. I may pay this much for a sequel to Twilight or a Harry Potter book but no way would I pay this much for an ebook regardless of the quality or lack thereof. I will buy a book today but it won't cost this much.. it will be under $10. Sad for this author and this publisher.. they made no money off me today

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Narcissism at Bellevue

    I listened to an interview with the author, Julie Holland, on "Talk of the Nation" last December and thought she sounded interesting so this was one of the very first books I downloaded to my Nook. What stood out in the book was the author's self-absorption. What I hoped to learn about was the inner workings of that very famous mental institution. What I learned about was the author's perception of how everyone else perceives her. Her self disclosures regarding her professional relationships, her sexual activities and her relationships with clients came across as sophomoric attempts to appear sophisticated. It read more as the journal of a immature teenager trying to impress with her willingness to share inappropriate details of her life. I learned not nearly enough about Bellevue and far more than I would ever care to know about Julie Holland.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Doctor or Hero Syndrome?

    Working actively in the medical field with 70% of patient interaction stemming from underlying mental issues, I can closely identify with the author's struggle of maintaining a nurturing soul vs. the rough exterior that is often built. I was also able to relate to the relationships formed between her and coworkers (same garbage, different name above the hospital door). With that being said, it was hard for me to decipher whether or not she genuinely cared about the patients, or was just in it for the "adrenaline rush" that so many of us in the medical field crave for. Quite a bit of the story was dragged out so far that I wanted to skip a few pages ahead to see if she got to the point yet, and a lot of what I percieved as a whiney persona came out. I felt the book eminated more of a "look at me, the hero" syndrome. There was seldom a time I truly felt as though she showed a genuine concern for her patients which is what defines a respectful professional in the medical field. Most can be taught do the job, it's the bedside manners that define the professional.

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