NonFiction Book Club The Outsider by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer Buy book: $10.65
The author reflects on the loss of his father to schizophrenia and madness, piecing together the fragments of a life that disintigrated with the onset of the disease, leaving his father--a brilliant sociology professor--paranoid, estranged from his family, and living in extreme poverty. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
As an ex-RN Iam anxious to read this book. It also brings to mind "A Perfect Mind". This book is not in the mystery or horror category but I know will have elements of both in it. Looking forward to reading the whole book.
Am looking forward to reading this book, though its subject matter is not upbeat. But I do like non-fiction, particularly concerning family members as this one. Hopefully will learn more about this disease. And the son will learn much more about his father in the intervening years since he last saw him.
I have a brother with Schizophrenia, who lived a very active "normal" life up to the age of 25 years. I also have a Great Uncle who battled Schizophrenia up until the day he died. I am very anxious to read this book to get more insight into this mental illness. I am very emphathetic towards people with mental illness.
Have only read first reading of this book, but it is reminiscent (sp) to me of a book we read back in April -last posting April 25- "My Father's Ghost", nonfiction-. I read that book and loved it. Just wondering if any of you all finished it and/or liked it .
-- Doris --
My mother suffered from paronoid schizophrenia many, many years that created absolutely no childhood for me. My dad was working hard, as she spent all the money that was for the house. He really wasn't around much, so I was the one that lived with the dillusions, etc. As a result, I have always been interested in the disease, and have volunteered with children for years, especially with problems at home. Am now a psych. student.
I'm drawn to non-fiction just for the reason as the author might have experienced - especially as he did as a child seeing the man and forming views as seen through a child's eye and forming an opinion (whether right or wrong) and by a combination of life experiences and/or readings such as this which educates, helps us`to formulate a more accurate opinion and tolerance for this tragedy, or for that matter any adversity.
Mondays excerpt is haunting. It brings back memories of my childhood growing up in Chicago.
My mother is battling a similar problem right now.
I would read this book to gain some insight into this terrible disease. I am not sure I would recommend it to my book club as it hits too close to home.
My mother who died of cancer many years ago, suffered from this disease. I am an only child, and a lot of my childhood was horrendous-my father had to work, sometimes away from home-so he even missed a lot of the delusions, hearing voices and carrying out actions due to those delusions. There were no drugs in those days, so she underwent electric shock treatments. Because of her I had my first interest in Psych., and am now a psych. student. We also lived in NYC, loved theMuseum of Natural History-as I read the first chapter, I was about to go to my first class in Sociology! (have already taken psychology.)
I'm already fascinated and only through the first installment in the non-fiction "Chapter-a-Day" category. The author's style is very engaging. I enjoy memoirs/biographies and will read the entire book. I'm adding it to my reading list now, and will consider buying it.
Suzanne, thank you for this pick.It makes me think about "There for the grace of God go I". I used to work as a psychiatric RN in an out patient mental health clinic. We gave medication by injections to our clients with schizophrenia (those that would keep their apptmts and come in). Our clients came from all walks of life. Many were functioning in families and jobs but many others were not, even on medication. It's a very misunderstood illness even today. I think I'll have to find this book and read all of it. I have a special place in my heart for not only those diagnosed with schizophrenia but for their familes and loved ones. It can be pure he*l. Thanks again.....
How terribly, terribly sad that the mother could not have known of the diagnosis of his illness way back and had something done to help him. I know it is a terrible disease, but didn't realize that something more was not known about it ten or so years ago. I do realize even now in this time it is a hard battle to treat the disease and keep the individual on their meds, even if the right meds are prescribed. Looking forward to the rest of this book.
I have very little time to read now that I have a computer, I find I am online most everyday. I just started reading with you, and I am really enjoying this type of book, and a good way to decide if I would like to purchase the book later. Thank you for giving this service to the public, and keep up the good work.
My heart goes out to all of you who have suffered so personally with this illness. It seems to have drawn some of you into "helping professions", so though cannot take away your pain and loss, I'm sure you will help others along the way. I think any time we suffer any type of hurt, it makes us more sensitive to the needs of others in that same situation. May God bless you all -- Doris --
Where is everybody this morn? Guess they haven't posted responses yet. I just placed an order for this book. Hopefully will be in by the end of the week. This book has me so troubled because of the seemingly abandonment of the father. But maybe as I read more, will find some kind of reason or excuse for their actions or inactions.
One of the many aspects of this disease that I have encountered over the years is that one of the fears of the family members of schizophrenics was that it might be inherited. I wonder if this is addressed at all in this book?
This is the first time this week that I've had a chance to read this weeks excerpts. This book is very riveting. The plight of the mentally ill and the homeless go hand in hand. These people were shoved out of hospitals years ago and many are getting no treatment or if any it is sporatic, partly because they don't feel they have a problem. I will finish this book and recommend it to others. Its wonderful to read other peoples thoughts on these books. It's like having a book club from home. Linda
Today I awoke feeling a little depressed and melancholy.Mainly about time passed and things hoped for and not acchieved. For some reason I went to the "Bookclub Forum" and begin to read some of the comments listed under this title. As i often do i re-read all three 'chapters'together.I realize how thankful I am to be in good mental health, to have a roof over my head and a family that loves me.Again I quote Wilder from Our Town:"Does anyone ever realize life while their living it".
I am adopted and my birth mother has a mental illness that was never specifically diagnosed. I myself have a bipolar condition that I have successfully treated. I contacted her when I was in my twenties and we have had an on/off relationship since then. I haven't talked to her in 3 years. This book has made me want to reconnect with her, to make amends to her, and to face the demons that attack me when I see her. Part of her disorder includes extreme anger that causes me a great deal of pain. Part of this is my upbringing with my adoptive (real) family, but the fear comes from wondering if her anger is genetic and passed down to me in addition to mental illness. Fear can be debilitating. The last time I met with her she was extremely unpleasant and I cried for several hours believing that I was or would be just like her. I felt like a sponge that absorbed all of her blackness. I have only rarely felt any sort of a positive connection with this woman who looks like me. She can be funny and smart, but there is always anger, resentment and hostility simmering just below the surface. I am grateful for the opportunity this well written book has given to me.
I now have the book and am pleased to say it is answering some of my puzzling and heartbreaking questions. Does not take away the pain but helps me understand how things came to be the way they turned out.
A most intriguing and enlightening read by a (to me) very accomplished writer. Must say it is a rough path to walk sometimes, but I put it down for a while and then with my brain and eyes rested, begin the trek again.
The son makes the disease almost a character in the book and I can see the father's ascent or descent into the eye of the hurricane.
This book seems to have drawn us all in and I recommend it most highly. -- Doris --