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The Monster Within

3.02 of 5 stars 3.02  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  13 reviews
""Psychoanalysis has always addressed the monster within: conflicts, fears, and those unacceptable feelings of anger, envy, and hatred with which we all grapple. Such feelings are particularly scary for mothers, and Dr. Barbara Almond, an experienced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, shows us how and why this is so. "The Monster Within" presents richly nuanced and detailed c ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published July 12th 2010)
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So this was presented on NPR as a book about ambivalence in mothering... something that really interests my because I have PPD. However, as the title suggests, the author focuses more on the horrific and does a lot of allusion/comparison to Frankenstein's monster. I skimmed most of it because the whole Frankenstein bit just kept cropping up - to the point of monotony.
To be fair, I'm a sociologist and was expecting a sharper social analysis than what Almond provides, which made the self-helpy emphasis of the book all the more disappointing to me.
Melissa Baggett
The apparent raison d'etre of this book is that mothers are not constantly gung-ho and unquestioningly loving of their children, but in our society, to admit to this ambivalence is tantamount to treason. It's not hard to see that motherhood is glorified, which is why I was drawn to the subject. But Almond decides to approach maternal ambivalence in two of the most infuriating ways imaginable. One, rather than take a critical look at cultural pressures regarding motherhood, she instead takes a na ...more
An uncomfortable read on many levels. Few mothers are willing to admit, even to themselves, that they have anything in common with Andrea Yates, Susan Smith or Dr. Frankenstein.
According to the author, many if not most of us could benefit from accepting that sometimes we fear, resent, even downright hate our children. Dr. Almond draws on her years as a clinical psychologist and brings in several examples from literature, film, and current news stories. At the very least, mothers do feel differen
Allison Dellion
This book is for anyone who has struggled with the love/hate relationship that goes along with being a mother to children. If you have ever felt ambivalence toward your children, The Monster Within > is a good book to understand why that is and that it is normal to have these feelings as part of motherhood.

Even with that, I felt this book had a left a lot to be desired. For a large portion of the book, the author, Barbara Almond, talks about women who do not want to become mothers or did not
I heard about this book on NPR. The preface to the book is good, very good in fact, but that was it. I felt like I was reading someone's dissertation and it was quite monotonous. Usually I like references and comparisons to literature, but this went WAY overboard on that. Could she have possibly referenced Frankenstein any more? Ugh. There was a lot of Freudian stuff and i can't stand books heavy on Freud, this is no longer the Victorian age. The main part of the book was about people who do not ...more
Feb 04, 2012 Caitlin added it
Shelves: gave-up-on-you
I was excited to pick this one up, but after reading the intro I've slowed down. Something about Almond using fiction as part of her case studies to support her argument makes it feel much less believable. If it was advertised as a different type of book (literary study w/support of some psychological cases), I would have given it more weight. I ended up returning it to the library because I couldn't renew it anymore.
The intro/preface to this book is wonderful. However it gives away the entire premise of the book along with all the literary examples the author uses to validate her points. I was approximately 75% through with the book when I couldn't take another Frankenstein Reference. It was a very valid point, however exrtemely monotonous.
Too much of the author's analysis is based on fictional work (for example, Rosemary's Baby), and while this might be interesting, it doesn't provide much practical advice for parents.
Oct 23, 2012 Alexandra added it
Recommended to Alexandra by: online review
I thought that this was an interesting subject and one that is not properly discussed.
I read it very quickly and thought it was interesting and objective.
Difficult to read from a layman's perspective---I felt as thought I was reading someone's dissertation.
Jan 25, 2011 Heather is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Heard the author on NPR and cried. So I bought the book on my kindle. Stay tuned...
Jan 07, 2011 Diana marked it as to-read
I heard the author on NPR today. Sounds like an interesting book.
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MOTHERS Book Bag: Book Review: The Monster Within 1 9 Jan 25, 2012 08:10AM  
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