Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

( 26 )

Overview

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

A great novelist describes his devastating descent into depression, taking the reader on an unprecedented journey into the realm of madness. The author of ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $137.27   
  • Used (2) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$137.27
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(191)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
0517117436 New. Looks like an interesting title!

Ships from: Naperville, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$14.99 List Price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.
Note: This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but may have slight markings from the publisher and/or stickers showing their discounted price. More about bargain books

Overview

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

A great novelist describes his devastating descent into depression, taking the reader on an unprecedented journey into the realm of madness. The author of Sophie's Choice was overtaken by persistent insomnia and a troubling sense of malaise--the first signs of a deep depression that would soon engulf his life and leave him on the brink of suicide.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A meditation on Styron's Sophie's Choice serious depression at the age of 60, this essay evokes with detachment and dignity the months-long turmoil whose symptoms included the novelist's ``dank joylessness,'' insomnia, physical aversion to alcohol previously ``an invaluable senior partner of my intellect'' and his persistent ``fantasies of self-destruction'' leading to psychiatric treatment and hospitalization. The book's virtues--considerable--are twofold. First, it is a pitiless and chastened record of a nearly fatal human trial far commoner than assumed--and then a literary discourse on the ways and means of our cultural discontents, observed in the figures of poet Randall Jarrell, activist Abbie Hoffman, writer Albert Camus and others. Written by one whose book-learning proves a match for his misery, the memoir travels fastidiously over perilous ground, receiving intimations of mortality and reckoning delicately with them. Always clarifying his demons, never succumbing to them in his prose, Styron's neat, tight narrative carries the bemusement of the worldly wise suddenly set off-course--and the hard-won wisdom therein. In abridged form, the essay first appeared in Vanity Fair. Sept.
Library Journal
Nearly 40 years ago, Styron published his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness , which revolved around the suicide of a young woman, Peyton Loftis. Now, he tells the short but very moving story of the deep depression which nearly overcame him in the summer of 1984. A successful middle-aged writer at the peak of his powers and acclaim, Styron was--seemingly inexplicably--struck by insomnia and a growing sense of malaise leading to hopelessness. He consulted a psychiatrist and was given high doses of the controversial drug Halcion for his insomnia, but his despair continued to increase until one evening he actually attempted suicide, only to be rescued by the playing of Brahms's Alto Rhapsody in a video he was watching. He immediately had himself hospitalized, and after several weeks in the security and healing atmosphere of the hospital began to feel himself again. Expanded from a 1989 Vanity Fair article, this book is highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/90.-- Marcia G. Fuchs, Guilford Free Lib., Ct.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517117439
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/18/1990

Meet the Author

William Styron
William Styron
Whether fictionalizing a slave uprising in The Confessions of Nat Turner or breaking the silence on clinical depression, William Styron's work inspired not only accolades but national dialogues.

Biography

One of the great writers of the generation succeeding that of Hemingway and Faulkner, William Styron is renowned for the elegance of his prose and his powerful moral engagement. His books include Lie Down in Darkness, The Long March, The Confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie's Choice, This Quiet Dust, and Darkness Visible. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, the Howells Medal, and the Edward MacDowell Medal.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      William Clark Styron Jr. (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Roxbury, Connecticut, and Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 11, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      Newport News, Virginia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 1, 2006
    2. Place of Death:
      Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

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
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2004

    The black dog whimpers

    Full marks for Styron coming out at a time when depression needed a smart poster boy -- because mental illness does a great job dividing our world. However, it simply isn't true (as per the publisher's claim) that Styron is the first to convey the full terror of depression -- Hemingway and Chekhov immediately come to mind with their short stories, for instance, that don't actually name depression or madness, but evoke it's cruelties beautifully. Styron certainly has done a magnificent job with this memoir, in large part because he keeps everything understated (certainly restrained). His book invites serious reflection, and it's worth considering his bursts of anger as symptomatic more than didactic. I also recommend IN THE GHOST COUNTRY as another interesting book that intimately follows a man's descent into a haunted madness as he walks to the South Pole. A stunning fall to the bottom of the world indeed.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 28, 2003

    Big words don't make a good memoir

    As a major in Human Development and a survivor of depression, I found that Styron's memoir was nothing more than big words. He calls Art Therapy infantile! A well establish writer should becareful how he uses words... especially on a technique that is internationally used to treat clients with depression. Although, he makes note that every recovery is different, he disclaimed a well respect treatment technique. Also, he focused too much on that fact that suicidal ideation, is experienced by 'famous' people too. Any educated person knows, that depression is not a racist disease... I don't think he needed to used more than 2 chapters explaining this.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 5, 2003

    A little disappointing

    After all the hype I'd heard about 'Darkness Visible', I found it a bit disappointing. Styron is clearly a great writer- few would dispute that. Nonetheless, I found his description of the subjective feeling and experience of depression to be somewhat lacking. Of course, it's very difficult to describe any subjective mental state, but nonetheless I didn't find his attempt too compelling. On the other hand, the book is very well-written and stylistically pleasing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2013

    A good read! Could totally relate to what the author was saying/

    A good read! Could totally relate to what the author was saying/ describing. Reading this was like having a chat with a good friend. Would recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 25, 2007

    The Plight of an Artist Turns Tragic

    Darkness Visible is a radical narration about a dark dreaded disease written by someone who had the skills to spin an emotional yarn about it. In October of 1985, William Styron took a trip to Paris to accept the Prix Mondial Cino del Duca award for humanism. Styron¿s First novel, Lie Down in Darkness, was one of del Duca¿s offerings. Styron¿s state of mind on the 4-day turn-a-round was not good and he would not have accepted the honor at all had he known just how sick he was. The point of revelation came in December the same year. During the time he was in Paris, Styron was taking a minor tranquilizer, Halcion. His pain closely resembled the feeling of drowning or suffocation or being in a trance. One in ten suffer from the illness and artistic types, especially poets, are particularly vulnerable to the disease which takes twenty percent by way of suicide, some of the more well-known are: Ernest Hemingway, Vincent van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton. Styron thinks seeds of the illness take root in childhood. Styron was sixty when the disease struck in unipolar form ¾ straight down. Styron abused alcohol for forty years. He said many writers use alcohol as a magic conduit to fantasy and euphoria and enhancement of the imagination. He used it in conjunction with music as a means to let his mind conceive visions that the unaltered, sober brain has no access to. Alcohol was an invaluable senior partner of his intellect. In June before Styron entered the hospital in December, his body rejected alcohol ¾the daily mood bath. The checklist of function failures Styron listed are: disappearance of voice, which becomes wheezy and spasmodic, libido makes an early exit, appetite is lost, sleep disrupted and there is a complete absence of dreams. Exhaustion overtook him, and he got only two or three hours of sleep with the aid of Halcion. Experts in psychopharmacology have warned that the benzodiazephone family of tranqilizers of which Halcion is one (also Valium and Ativan) is capable of depressing one¿s mood and even precipitating a major depression. One night after contemplating suicide, he woke up his wife and was admitted to the hospital the next day. By February, Styron emerged into light, still shaky but, as he described it, the body¿s sweet juices were flowing again. Styron ponders the reason for his illness whether the abrupt withdrawal from alcohol, turning 60, being disconcerted with the way his work was going or the onset of inertia in his writing life. Suicide had been a theme in his books and three major characters killed themselves. Depression had been tapping at his door for decades. Styron¿s father had battled depression and his mother died when he was thirteen. Unable to achieve the catharsis of grief, he carried within himself a burden of rage and guilt. He says many famous writers and artists gave us hints of the vast metaphor of depression in their work: Job, Sophocles and Aeschylus were chroniclers of the human spirit, wrestling with vocabulary to give proper expression to the desolation from Hamlet to Emily Dickinson Gerard Manley Hopkins, John Donne to Hawthorne, and Dostoevski and Poe, Camus and Conrad and Virginia Woolf and even Albrecht Durer¿s engraving. The most faithfully represented is that of Dante, ¿In the middle of the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark wood, For I had lost the right path.¿ For those who have dwelt in depression¿s dark wood, and known its inexplicable agony, their return from the abyss is not unlike the ascent of the poet, trudging upward and upward out of hell¿s black depths. And at last emerging into what he saw as ¿the shining world.¿ There, whoever has been restored to health has almost always been restored to the capacity for serenity and joy. ¿And so we came forth, and once again beheld the stars.¿ Trish New, author of The Thrill of Hope, South State Street Journal, and Memory Flatlined.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 16, 2003

    dont think it

    I've read alot of great children's books such as Ella Enchanted, Destiny, Defender of the small, and The Time Warp Trio books, but I've never read a 'sophisticated and grown up' book before. I'm twelve, how else should I describe it? I do think this book is good. I had a hard time understanding what it meant at first, but later on I understood that no one who has not been afflicted with isnomnia will truly know the full depth of madness and emptiness that they feel. Styron, with intimate details, creates an illistration for us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 29, 2005

    I'm right here, MRS. BROWN ! ! ! ! !

    Darkness Visible is a fascinating modern memoir of a man and his ability to survive his debilitating depression by the end of a thread. The plot slowly unfolds from Styron's mild discontent, and soon spirals into a series of brutal and suicidal tendencies. Styron, very humbly, shows his pure strength as a man struggling for survival from his mental disease. His story offers a very unique look at the dangerous conflicts of mental illness and the affect it has on the person and on the world. At times the reader is almost cetain that Styron cannot possibly make it through the torture he is enduring, but his burden is soon subdued by the thriving will power that Styron ever displays throughout the memoir. Darkness Visible offers a riveting account of a man's personal struggle with mental illness, yet also serves as a message of hope to those who have succumbed to this crippling disease. I thought Styron's briliiant use of convoluted vocabulary sufficiently regulated the tone of the story and kept the reader wanting to find out more. However, the book (although short) seemed to drag at times because of its habit of repeating facts and feelings already read earlier in the book. Despite its habit for repetition, the book suffciently keeps the reader interested and manages to convey a very specific point in time accurately, and with very little words. The book is ridiculously short, but it has to be, considering that if Styron would have made it any longer, the reader probably would have lost interest in the subject all together. Having had the 'joys' of depression all of my life, this memoir was moving and inspired me never to give up hope, even in my darkest hours. Not bad, Bill!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)