Bobby's Reviews > Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

Darkness Visible by William Styron
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Jan 24, 2012

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bookshelves: reviewed
Read in January, 2012

Despite the subtitle ("A Memoir of Madness"), this short book (<100 pages) doesn't seem like a real memoir to me. As the author explains, the book grew out of a speech and later an article he wrote...and it shows (this is not a criticism per se but to make it clear as to what the reader should expect). In any case, the pluses for me regarding this book are that it's written well and I think Styron does a quite good job of explaining what a depressive episode feels like. However, for me the writing felt too grounded in Styron's intellect and failed to adequately convey the depth of Styron's anguish and other raw emotions typically associated with depression. Perhaps by the time he wrote this, his depression was so far in his past that its sting and poignancy had faded...at least that's the impression I got from reading this.
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