Book Reviews of Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted
Girl Interrupted
Author: Susanna Kaysen
ISBN-13: 9780679746041
ISBN-10: 0679746048
Publication Date: 6/1994
Pages: 168
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 705

3.7 stars, based on 705 ratings
Publisher: Vintage Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

110 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 36
I felt that the book was far more in depth than the movie. I cry every time I read it.
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Helpful Score: 7
Loved the movie, and of course I loved the book even more. The book is always better!
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on
Helpful Score: 5
This is one rare case in which the movie was better than the book. Kaysen's account of her time in a mental institution is vaguely interesting, yet lacks a real pull. This is a very quick read. An okay book but the movie is much more engaging.
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Helpful Score: 2
My favorite book of all time. Kaysen writes some wicked awesome good books.
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Helpful Score: 2
Love the film, love the book! the book is different, but the way the film was made, it did fit, so to speak. Alot of my books are going into a "KEEP" shelf and this is one! This book was a quick read and was throughly enjoyable! This will be my "Flight" book for my trips between Michigan and Nevada!
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Susanna Kaysen was eighteen years old when a psychiatrist she had never met before diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder and sent her off to McLean, a mental hospital in Massachusetts. Within the scarily strict confines of the hospital--"checks" every five minutes, maximum security, three doctors every day--Susanna witnesses the comings and goings of some eclectic patients, as well as the constancy of some more of her "friends." Nearly two years later, Susanna is released from McLean. But is she cured? The doctors say she is "recovered," but how does one recover from something that is extremely subjective in the first place?

GIRL, INTERRUPTED is a fantastically written account of a stay in a mental hospital, in a time of American history where mental disorders were undergoing a sort of baby boom themselves, with people being diagnosed and confined to wards left and right. Kaysen artistically challenges the rampant diagnoses of mental illnesses. Readers will shudder--and yet be awed--at the circumstances she underwent, and wonder, perhaps a little depressingly, whether they could possibly be diagnosed for mental illness as well in such an unforgiving and untrusting world. Highly recommended!
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. A must read if you've seen the movie.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A good book. An inside view of mental illness.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on
Helpful Score: 1
Book is awesome,I liked the movie but the book has more depth.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you've seen the movie and like it, you love the book.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent book - a little different than the movie but the saying is true - the book is always better!
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Helpful Score: 1
Great book, the movie followed the book very well. I liked her style of writing. It was a fun, easy to read book. A definite must if you are interested in the world of mental illness.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is alot like One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Bell Jar. It is not as descriptive as the other books, but does lend alot of insights in the psychiatric ward's in the 1960's..
all that Freud crap.
Really interesting and easy read.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Better than the movie, as books always are! A fascinating read about one woman's experiences coping with mental illness and psychiatric wards in the 1960s.
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Helpful Score: 1
This is an amazing book. So much better than the movie.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Susanna Kaysen was eighteen years old when a psychiatrist she had never met before diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder and sent her off to McLean, a mental hospital in Massachusetts. Within the scarily strict confines of the hospital--"checks" every five minutes, maximum security, three doctors every day--Susanna witnesses the comings and goings of some eclectic patients, as well as the constancy of some more of her "friends." Nearly two years later, Susanna is released from McLean. But is she cured? The doctors say she is "recovered," but how does one recover from something that is extremely subjective in the first place?

GIRL, INTERRUPTED is a fantastically written account of a stay in a mental hospital, in a time of American history where mental disorders were undergoing a sort of baby boom themselves, with people being diagnosed and confined to wards left and right. Kaysen artistically challenges the rampant diagnoses of mental illnesses. Readers will shudder--and yet be awed--at the circumstances she underwent, and wonder, perhaps a little depressingly, whether they could possibly be diagnosed for mental illness as well in such an unforgiving and untrusting world. Highly recommended!
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good book, great insight into the minds of those diagnosed with mental illnesses.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Intresting read, I did not think I would like this book because of my views on mental illness in this country but I enjoyed it very much.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
susannas story was heart breaking but compelliing. How could you possibly understand what somebody is feeling when theyre suffering from a mental illness, she explains it so well i found my self saying "oh wow , so thats what that feels like" or "i know exactly what you mean!" Like when she spoke about the two trains or the packaged meat. The way its written really makes you get a better understanding of what she felt.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book took hardly any time to read. I read it from cover to cover in 2-3 hours or so. It was different from the movie, but the movie couldn't show all the stuff going on in her head very well. So, overall, I think the movie did what it could and is enjoyable. The book was better in my opinion this time though. I enjoyed the fast pace and flow.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on
Helpful Score: 1
It had a few good points buried deep inside of it, but doesn't provide much insight into the world of mental illness. In its defense, it doesn't claim to. It only took about 8h to read. Give it a shot. :)
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 72 more book reviews
I prefer the movie version of this true story, but this original and daringly unique presentation is a good read nonetheless. Telling the autobiographical story of its author, Susanna Kaysen, the book explores her time in a mental institution during the 1960s and the psychologically-disturbed people who lived there with her. Diagnosed as a borderline personality in only one session of therapy, Kaysen is hoisted away to the local psych ward and meets other eccentrics, including a pathalogical liar, a bi-polar incest survivor, and a dangerously seductive sociopath named Lisa. Told in non-chronological spurts of text, interspersed with scans of original hospital files, letters, and other official forms detailing Kaysen's stay at the ward, this book is a very quick read but will open up one's mind to reconsider what is considered mental illness and what isn't.
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Interesting book.......
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 38 more book reviews
The book is even better than the movie!
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I dunno, I guess it just wasn't so much my "thing"...
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A young girl's rough journey into adulthood. Funny and hearthbreaking.
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Very confusing, but mildly enjoyable.
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Great read- much better than the movie...
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Wonderful book. Much better than the movie :0)
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Wasn't too impressed but it was an interesting read.
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A really good book about an eighteen year olds life in a psychiatric hospital. Pretty good movie also.
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If you liked the movie - you will really enjoy this book.
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Better than the movie; more detail
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Obviously the book is not as 'great' and detailed as the movie - Hollywood always adds to things. This book is very straight-to-the-point and she doesn't waste time in telling you what she has to say and telling about her experience. Very quick read. If you've ever seen the movie, I suggest picking up the book also.
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Susanna Kaysen was eighteen years old when a psychiatrist she had never met before diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder and sent her off to McLean, a mental hospital in Massachusetts. Within the scarily strict confines of the hospital--"checks" every five minutes, maximum security, three doctors every day--Susanna witnesses the comings and goings of some eclectic patients, as well as the constancy of some more of her "friends." Nearly two years later, Susanna is released from McLean. But is she cured? The doctors say she is "recovered," but how does one recover from something that is extremely subjective in the first place?

GIRL, INTERRUPTED is a fantastically written account of a stay in a mental hospital, in a time of American history where mental disorders were undergoing a sort of baby boom themselves, with people being diagnosed and confined to wards left and right. Kaysen artistically challenges the rampant diagnoses of mental illnesses. Readers will shudder--and yet be awed--at the circumstances she underwent, and wonder, perhaps a little depressingly, whether they could possibly be diagnosed for mental illness as well in such an unforgiving and untrusting world. Highly recommended!
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 9 more book reviews
Really great book. I read this before the movie so was not biased by what Hollywood did with the book. A good look into borderline personalities.
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I found myself falling in love with the characters in the short book. I could not put it down and finished very quickly. I appreciate Susanna and her allowing us to have a look into her life in the psych ward.
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Of course like anything book is much better than the movie but I still love the movie.
Easy read and love the official documents included.

Love the official doctor's diagnosis: promiscious.

If that were allowed today we would all be in trouble.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. I actually sat down in one day and read it. It showed the horrors of being in a mental hospital in the 1960s for two years must have been like, but added humor as well. If you have borderline personality or know someone who does this is a must read!
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It was a good read but not as great as the movie.
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Very good. Especially if you have personal experiences involving psychiatric treatment. Very eye-opening.
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It was ok. I wish it didn't keep jumping back and forth so much. The movie was better.
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This is a great book!
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This whole book seemed kind of vague to me. I've been in a modern mental health facility, but I really can't say if they've changed much.
It's a good read, either way.
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This is the only book that I have ever thought was not as good as the movie. It's put together in a very disjointed way, and although the subject interests me, it was difficult to get through because of the way it is written.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 5 more book reviews
In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele - Sylvia P;ath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles - as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary,
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I saw the movie first. Then I read the book. Of course, the book is better!
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Reminds me of "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden". Good book.
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A compelling look at a young woman in a mental hospital. This was a movie a few years ago.
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"Remarkable...In prose lean and mean, Kaysen's memoir brings us inside and paints a picture of madness that is both disturbing and compelling"

As to be expected, the book is better than the movie (which I also enjoyed). Kaysen allows the reader an insider's view of insanity and brings into question the line between "sane" and "insane".
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nice, quick read. interesting.
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MOVIE DOESNT GIVE THIS BOOK JUSTICE
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This story, which became a popular movie, is the most heartbreaking book I've read since the story of "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest". This is the story 18 year old girl who is put into a mental hospital and the other troubled people she meets there.
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This book really made me feel like I wasn't alone... It got me through... O; )
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Funny and insightful. Provides an insiders account of mental illness and the struggle to heal.
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Much differnt than the movie.. but very good book to read.
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At first, I was a little dissappointed by the book, because it does not have the same flow as the film. However, once I was into the book about fifty pages, I realized the book was all the better for it, because it was an enlightening look directly into the mind of the author. A riveting, darkly funny book.
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A great insight on mental illness i nthe 70's .. very different from the movie.
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Interesting book about an 18-year-old who checks herself into a mental hospital. It chronicles her 2 year stay at McLean Hospital in Mass. and the other patients and psych workers she meets there. It's an easy read and not nearly as depressing as it sounds!
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I watched the movie first, this book sets everything straight. Worth reading, skip the movie.
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very interesting memoir.
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not often do I think movies are better than the book they were based on...but this may be the exception.

this book moves very quickly, but I began to get bored about 2/3 of the way thru. I could not wait for the end....
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A must read. Really good example of what happens when you do not understand what you just signed. Ryder signs her way into a menatl hospital, but they will not let her check herself out because of the contract that she had signed. The movie also has Angelina Jolie as one of the leading characters. As a psych major, the book and movie are essential to understanding some things. Also just has that girlfriend appeal to it.
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Great to listen to on a road trip. 3 hours long, 2 cassettes.
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Book is ok, but I enjoyed the movie much more.
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I choose to read this book base on working in the mental health field. If you also choose to read it as a personal perpective of a person that had been amitted to a mental hospital and how she felt and changed though out the two years. The book is good. However if you want to read it for a good story this book might not be for you. The movie might be a better choice.
reviewed Girl, Interrupted on + 11 more book reviews
This short book is written in a wry, ironic voice, which adds credibility to its narrator. I saw the movie first eons ago, and mostly remembered Lisa's character as played by Angelina Jolie. But the book is something else (thank God!). At times confessional, at others piercely observant, and always understatedly funny, this is a memoir to be savored best by those who, like the author, have found themselves at the mercy of "mental health professionals", but are now firmly on the other side of the ordeal. Definitely a book that deserves more than one reading.
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Very interesting read, but felt like it went by too quickly, and i had hoped for more.
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Okay but not very different from other books of its kind.
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This book was good, but I expected it to be far better than it was. I had very high expectations for it because of all the hype it received, so I was slightly disappointed. It seemed to lack something, I'm not quite sure what. Also, it jumped around a lot, much like Susanna's thoughts, which was fitting, actually. I would recommend this book, quick, easy to read, interesting.
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This is one of those rare occurrences where the movie is actually better than the book. The book is very short and does not include 70% of the things that happened in the movie. You can finish this book in a few hours. Great premise but pretty boring.
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Susanna Kaysen was eighteen years old when a psychiatrist she had never met before diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder and sent her off to McLean, a mental hospital in Massachusetts. Within the scarily strict confines of the hospital--"checks" every five minutes, maximum security, three doctors every day--Susanna witnesses the comings and goings of some eclectic patients, as well as the constancy of some more of her "friends." Nearly two years later, Susanna is released from McLean. But is she cured? The doctors say she is "recovered," but how does one recover from something that is extremely subjective in the first place?

GIRL, INTERRUPTED is a fantastically written account of a stay in a mental hospital, in a time of American history where mental disorders were undergoing a sort of baby boom themselves, with people being diagnosed and confined to wards left and right. Kaysen artistically challenges the rampant diagnoses of mental illnesses. Readers will shudder--and yet be awed--at the circumstances she underwent, and wonder, perhaps a little depressingly, whether they could possibly be diagnosed for mental illness as well in such an unforgiving and untrusting world. Highly recommended!
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I really enjoyed this book. Short and good!!! I had to rent the movie and re-watch. Such a good story about people with mental illness who come back to the normal world!
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It was interesting but I it dragged for me in places.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. The author, committed to a mental institution at about age 18, looks back on her experiences. Even 40 years later, she obviously views her experiences differently than the "society" did then, and differently than many do now. The questions, "What is normal" is definitely posed, and maybe even, "How do we define abuse?" What some might call "abuse" others might call "love" or "romance". I'm not saying I would approve of some things that happened, but in another place and another time what is illegal now might be considered normal or commonplace. Something to think about.

The book I am listing has a different picture on the front, but the isbn is the same and it is in good condition.
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The chapters that read like a textbook on psychiatry are thankfully short. The parts dealing with the author made me think she wasn't really that crazy, just experiencing amplified typical teenage angst.
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Worth the read and better than the movie.
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Very interesting (true) story - much better and more thoughtful than the movie.
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A highly interesting window into the lives of young women experiencing the mental health system and the interactions between them. It seems a place we all try to avoid, but are nonetheless fascinated with.
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A wonderful account of a horrible time in a girl's life, I recommend this book to anyone suffering from depression. It will provide you with comfort, letting you know you aren't alone.
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The movie doesn't do this book justice. Very candid and thought provoking.
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Very interesting reading
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This is a very intriguing memoir about a young woman's life inside a mental hospital as she battles depression.
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Susanna Kaysen was sent to McLean Hospital after one session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before. She spent the next two years on a ward for teenage girls in a pychiatric hospital. This book is her memoir, she story of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a very good and somewhat frightening book about mental illness.
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Insight into living in a psychiatric hospital.
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"In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital renowned for its famous clientele--Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles--as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary."

"Kaysen's memior encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers."
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I really liked this book, especially the last 2 chapters. Really makes you think about mental illness.
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Susanna Kaysen was eighteen years old when a psychiatrist she had never met before diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder and sent her off to McLean, a mental hospital in Massachusetts. Within the scarily strict confines of the hospital--"checks" every five minutes, maximum security, three doctors every day--Susanna witnesses the comings and goings of some eclectic patients, as well as the constancy of some more of her "friends." Nearly two years later, Susanna is released from McLean. But is she cured? The doctors say she is "recovered," but how does one recover from something that is extremely subjective in the first place?

GIRL, INTERRUPTED is a fantastically written account of a stay in a mental hospital, in a time of American history where mental disorders were undergoing a sort of baby boom themselves, with people being diagnosed and confined to wards left and right. Kaysen artistically challenges the rampant diagnoses of mental illnesses. Readers will shudder--and yet be awed--at the circumstances she underwent, and wonder, perhaps a little depressingly, whether they could possibly be diagnosed for mental illness as well in such an unforgiving and untrusting world. Highly recommended!
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Better than the movie with more detail and insight into living with mental illness.
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"Poignant, honest and triumphantly funny...[a] compelling and heartbreaking story." --Susan Cheever, The New York Times Book Review
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Could not read this book, started to read it, but it was too depressing -- the book was written with the author involved at the McLean in the late 60's, I am sure it is a lot different now --- I hope, just could not get into it.
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Perfect book for women of all ages
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This book is a bit disturbing...but well written.
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This book was not what I expected. I couldn't really get into it. I don't remember if I finished it or not.
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Guess I must have missed something other readers liked, but I did not care for this book much at all. D.
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Would make a great summer read.........
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\"Tough-minded...darkly comic...written with indelible clarity.\" - Newsweek
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The book was pretty good.
It was interesting, but i thought the movie was much better.
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Loved this book! I actually bought it for my daughter's friend but couldn't stop reading it when I opened it.
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A good look at what Life in the a sane asylum in the late 1960s truly was. The movie based on this book was also good but does not capture the feel of what the book is about.
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Thbt. if you saw the movie first, don't read the book.

maybe I would have liked it better, had I not known the details from the movie.

I didn't like all the 'words'- analyzing, describing in a poetic way... didn't feel like I got to know the character at all in a personal way.

It's not written in a chronological order, either- it jumps from event to event.
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Insightful, heartbreaking, and inspiring.
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Reminds me of myself. Very insightful.
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It was a very interesting read.
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like the movie it was ok.
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I too was 18 in 1966 and weird but didn't get locked up....I lived with my sister and her kids in Belmont for a while and painted and modeled at art school. It was pretty wacky times after Woodstock but I finally settled down, kept painting for 30 years then stopped to finish my interrupted BA went to grad school and am enjoying 5 grandchildren. They are filling in the gaps in my development. iowe alot to my supportive family and in-laws and the sweet, sweet man who I've been with since the winter of 69-70. This book is definitely a collage of those tortured (for many of us) years.
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Better than the movie. (What a cliche)
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Amazon.com
When reality got "too dense" for 18-year-old Susanna Kaysen, she was hospitalized. It was 1967, and reality was too dense for many people. But few who are labeled mad and locked up for refusing to stick to an agreed-upon reality possess Kaysen's lucidity in sorting out a maelstrom of contrary perceptions. Her observations about hospital life are deftly rendered; often darkly funny. Her clarity about the complex province of brain and mind, of neuro-chemical activity and something more, make this book of brief essays an exquisite challenge to conventional thinking about what is normal and what is deviant.

From Publishers Weekly
Kaysen's startling account of her two-year stay at a Boston psychiatric hospital 25 years ago was an eight-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Again this is a book my daughter has read but no longer wants. I have not read it so can really give a review.
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never been read saw the movie...