A trauma is a trauma is a trauma. Or is it? Over the past decade, the words 'trauma' and 'traumatic' have been used so profligately and have entered our cultural discourse to such an extent that they have almost lost their depth-charge, the reactive implosion of psychic damage to which they were originally meant to refer. Everyone in this era is traumatized by everything ... And then along comes a book, like Kurt Eichenwald’s A Mind Unraveled, that makes you rethink not only the concept of trauma but its potential impact—the ways in which trauma can work not only to weaken but to strengthen the character of the person who has experienced it. His...memoir reads, unaccountably, like the most hair-raising of psychological thrillers ... A Mind Unraveled is inspirational in the true sense of the word rather than in a gimmicky, self-help sort of way. It is written with great verve and wisdom by someone who has closely and thoughtfully detailed his own plight as well as the journey out of it.
Kurt Eichenwald has written one of the best thrillers I’ve read in years, yet there are no detectives, no corpses, no guns or knives ... Eichenwald, an accomplished journalist and author of several bestselling books, builds tension effectively throughout his narrative. As each outrageous turn of fortune worsens his fate, his indignation—and the reader’s—builds ... Determined not to become a victim of his disorder, and society’s misunderstanding of it, Eichenwald transforms into an aggressive protagonist in his own story, defying doctors and employers, realizing that only he can effectively advocate for himself. Yet he’s generous in his praise of those who did help him along the way ... With unimaginable fortitude, he pieced together his life,
In this riveting personal narrative...Eichenwald tells his devastating story of suffering from epilepsy and waging a nearly lifelong battle against discrimination accorded those who endure this malady. He describes the confusion of his teenage diagnosis, his father’s outright refusal to seriously address the disease, and then, alarmingly, the enormous fights he had with the medical establishment ... Eichenwald has created a universal tale of resilience wrapped in a primal scream against the far-too-savage world. Book clubs will clamor for this tale of survival and call for compassion.