RaveUSA TodayYou\'ve probably heard pieces of this story before, but in Dopesick we get something original: a page-turning explanation ... she brings a new level of nuance and humanity to a story that has been splashed across headlines for years. (I won’t spoil the jaw-dropping ending.) She also gives us a sense of where things are headed. Medical students are no longer taught that pain is a vital sign—the field is moving toward brain scans to measure discomfort—and a new generation of doctors is learning to focus on mobility and quality of life over complete eradication of pain.
PositiveUSA TodayThis slender volume is not a typical medical memoir...we’re not here to learn about the author\'s development as a physician. The focus is on others, those who have survived the intensive care unit and are struggling to cope with the challenges of life with chronic critical illness ... The patients in this book have something important to say, and so does the author. We should all be listening.
PositiveUSA Today\"Here’s the problem: reading about an acid trip is like listening to someone recount a dream. It’s far more interesting to the person who experienced it. Pollan is a uniquely gifted writer — his best-selling book The Omnivore\'s Dilemma changed the way many of us think about food — and he can make just about any topic engaging, but a deep-dive into hallucinogens stretches his talent. Do we really need another investigation into the transformative power of LSD? The result here is a mixed bag ... Pollan concedes that psychedelic experiences are difficult to render in words, but he does his best. We’re along for the ride as he drops acid, munches psilocybin, and ingests the smoked venom of the Sonoran Desert toad, transforming what could be a collection of vague ramblings and psychobabble into some genuinely moving passages ... In trying to describe hallucinations, the author poses a question: \'How do you put into words an experience said to be ineffable?\' Unfortunately, you can’t. Michael Pollan made a valiant effort to dissuade this skeptic, but he wasn’t able to change my mind.\
RaveUSA Today...beautiful and haunting ... a thoughtful and heartbreaking exploration of what makes life meaningful in a person's remaining days ... a thoughtful and heartbreaking exploration of what makes life meaningful in a person's remaining days.
MixedUSA Today...[a] thoughtful but uneven new memoir ... We follow along as the young lovers travel from state to state, but the narrative doesn't really go anywhere. Digressions are made as scores of unanswered questions are posed ... Richard Ford is an extraordinary writer who, it becomes clear, has chosen to write about two rather ordinary people ... Ford’s goal here is noble. He wants us to appreciate that even mundane lives have consequence, but this approach makes for a somewhat middling narrative. There are, however, flashes of brilliance.
PanUSA TodayThere is no other way to put this: Norman Ohler has written a book that is sympathetic to the Nazis ... In Ohler’s narrative, Pervitin is the great untold story of the Third Reich. In Germany, he writes in Blitzed, the drug 'landed like a bomb, spread like a virus, sold like sliced bread, and was soon as much of a fixture as a cup of coffee.' More importantly, Pervitin 'allowed the individual to function in the dictatorship.' This is a dangerous assertion, one that mitigates individual responsibility, and suggests that Hitler’s rise may have been facilitated by a collective German drug high. As Ohler knows, there is scant evidence to actually support his remarkable claim ... Blitzed offers an unnecessary and misguided revision of history, concocted with circumstantial evidence and unsubstantiated claims.
PositiveUSA TodayBellevue is bursting with story lines, so many, in fact, that it can make the narrative feel disjointed. But this is a minor quibble; Oshinsky simply has a wealth of great material, and it’s a joy to traverse it with him.
MixedUSA TodayThe animating idea of his intriguing new book is that two opposing psychological laws, habituation and love, shape much of human experience ... Lehrer uses scores of detailed vignettes to traverse a complicated intellectual landscape, eventually arriving at modern theories of love ... But is the book fun? At times, it is. Lehrer is a talent; he knows how to interpret complicated clinical studies and parse obtuse technical language. But the onslaught of scientific references can be overwhelming. There’s only so many times you can read 'a recent study suggests...' or 'according to a survey...' before your eyes glaze over. I also found the book’s big payoff — that love sustains us — a bit underwhelming.
PositiveUSA Today[The Gene] beautifully navigate[s] a sea of complicated medical information in a way that is digestible, poignant, and engaging ... some of the sections do sag — the middle chunk is a retread of my undergraduate courses biochemistry and biophysics — but the book comes back to life in the final third, where all of its wonderful traits are on full display.
MixedUSA TodayAt times this memoir can feel like a catalog of Andy Offutt's flaws and failings, but what slowly emerges is a portrait of a tortured artist — one who, oddly, found fame in the underworld of erotica. I did not feel sympathy for this man, and you won't either. But you will come to understand why this book needs to exist.