... get past the icky profiles that have attended Andrew Solomon - Prozac's doe-eyed poster boy - and you find an exemplary text. Solomon is one of those New Yorker-trained writers who can charm the peacocks onto the lawn with mere statistical ballast; he is acutely aware of the contradictions at every turn of his tale, and the investigative reporter in him overrides the easier impulse to self-dramatisation. His own pain serves as a conduit to wider quandaries, where too many writers remain hypnotised by the dark mirror of disclosure ... Solomon is scrupulously inclusive - like a wise Narcotics Anonymous chairperson, who leads strangers straight to the most pertinent part of their story, the parts of speech that are both messily singular and chimingly common. The Noonday Demon is formidably well researched: Solomon has a particularly keen touch with quotations and the testimony of others, building up a rich polylogue where other writers have settled for stark midnight soliloquy ... takes what is a depressingly familiar tale, and makes it speak lessons of far wider import.
... exhaustively researched, provocative and often deeply moving ... Readers should not be discouraged by the opening chapter, titled Depression, which is the least coherent chapter in the book, lurching from point to point as if awaiting a principle of inspired organization that never arrives ... Even when writing more or less straightforward journalism, Solomon writes engagingly; his style is intimate and anecdotal, and often bemused ... Amid so much information, the author might have been more discriminating and skeptical ... a considerable accomplishment. It is likely to provoke discussion and controversy, and its generous assortment of voices, from the pathological to the philosophical, makes for rich, variegated reading. Solomon leaves us with the enigmatic statement that 'depression seems to be a peculiar assortment of conditions for which there are no evident boundaries' -- exactly like life.
... an elegantly written, meticulously researched book that is empathetic and enlightening, scholarly and useful ... In these confessional times, it would have been easy for Solomon to limit himself to a personal memoir. But he uses his story as a springboard for a wide-ranging discussion about depression ... Solomon apologizes that 'no book can span the reach of human suffering.' This one comes close.