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The Man with the Electrified Brain

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  24 reviews
“A GRIPPING DESCRIPTION OF A JOURNEY TO HELL AND BACK, ONE THAT WILL TAKE ITS PLACE BESIDE WILLIAM STYRON’S ‘DARKNESS VISIBLE’ AND KAY REDFIELD JAMISON’S ‘AN UNQUIET MIND.’” —OLIVER SACKS

“I glanced at myself in a mirror and, though unshaven, and my hair still morning-tousled, I appeared to be just the same. It was inside, inside my head, where all had become so wretchedly
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Kindle Edition, 32 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by Byliner Inc. (first published August 1st 2013)
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  238 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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George
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
VERY INTERESTING/FRIGHTENING.

“For decades afterwards—and still today, given the persistent mysteries of the brain and the attendant complications in mapping it—I have worried that the debilities of those years might return. I have blamed this fear, irrational though it may sound, purely and simply on the writings of Somerset Maugham.”—screen 8/85

As the man [Oliver Saks] says in his blurb, THE MAN WITH THE ELECTRIFIED BRAIN: ADVENTURES IN MADNESS, by Simon Winchester is: “A gripping description o
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Tim
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very interesting from a medical perspective. Could be a bit more in-depth in researching the problem and how it was 'solved', but for the length of the book, you can't ask for much more.
LindaMoctez
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Simon Winchester's work! The Professor and the Madman was one of the best books I've ever read in my life. This one doesn't come close, but it is a totally different genre. Here he relates a real life experience of mental trauma and his subsequent treatment. He is understated, clear and non judgemental about himself and his series of treatments, making the reader seriously engaged in his process. It's a short and precise read and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the workings ...more
Stephen Embry
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The best writing is often autobiographical, at it roots if not its genre. Simon Winchester certainly is included in my pantheon of best writers,and this small booklet reveals some of the foundations for his success. Strangely enough it is the story of adolescent melancholy, and its treatment. Common enough story, but told as only Winchester can do it, and there by telling us much about the source of his style and success. The story is simple, one day while in college Mr. Winchester woke up in a ...more
Colleen
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
It takes a tremendous amount of courage to write something like this; most people who don't suffer from any kind of mental illness don't understand just how debilitating mood and personality disorders can be. While I admire Winchester for writing about an illness that is still stigmatized nearly fifty years after the events he recounts (though clearly not as much as in the 1960s), I give this mini-memoir a fairly low rating because of the writing itself. As a fan of The Professor and the Madman, ...more
Jen Hirt
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I guess I've inhaled the "Kindle Single" juice, because I'm suddenly buying these little 30-40 page publications and loving them. I was already a fan of Winchester and knew of his writings about madness, so this extended personal essay about his own mental disorder from this 20s (and his electroshock therapy) was engrossing and strange. The bit where he is contemplating suicide on a glacier is extraordinary. (Also extraordinary is his college education at Oxford, where everyone was expected to g ...more
Kent Winward
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Winchester's short memoir/essay (memsay? essoir?) on his brush with madness and electroshock therapy was interesting in its simplicity. Treatment for mental health issues 50 years ago has certainly changed over time. Why electroshock can work is something that should be examined and explained, but it seems like a crude instrument in light of the advances that have been made in neuroscience.

The most enlightening part of this little essay is that Winchester had to wait until his parents had passe
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Karen
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-illness
This was a thoroughly enjoyable biographical memoir of a strange episode of mental illness the author suffered half a century ago. A sudden descent into melancholy, with disturbing visual and physical manifestations that incapacitated this award winning author in his youth. It is a quick read, but will leave you thinking about how we diagnose and treat maladies of mood and madness. I enjoy his writing style, and have read his previous works including the excellent Isaac's Storm. If you are intri ...more
Tall Samm Lim
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A memoir about Simon Winchester's own affliction with melancholia.
I was enthralled from the beginning when he most beautifully described the idea of sliding calmly into a crevasse. His poignant and very British words emphasized the fact that there is no shame in suffering any human condition. Our gifts to society come from the pain of living.
Winchester's writing is brilliant. Just reading his prose will help your own writing. His clarity and brilliant use of narrative doesn't get any better. He
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Jo Anne
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a fan of Simon Winchester and a sufferer of severe anxiety and depression, I was interested in what he had to say about his experiences. He had electro-shock therapy, which helped. I have been considering it, although my psychiatrist says no, as does the insurance company. Interesting read and nice to know I'm not alone with my odd mental feelings.
Norman
Dec 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Brave Look At Madness.

In The Man With The Electrified Brain, The author looks back into his history to examine a time when he struggled with madness. Although it is brief, it is precise and honest. One gets the sense that the author is looking to finally put this period of his life to rest
Jennifer
Oct 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this was interesting. Having experienced the psych field in action, I can attest to the fact that sometimes the drs only want to diagnose what is going to make them the most money. Very few drs out there who want what is best for the patient.
Alicia Fox
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Not What I Expected

I randomly selected this, and was surprised to find myself reading a memoir on the effective use of electroshock therapy. It's well worth the short time it takes to read.
M
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
inconsistent and written in a pompous style. not very informative or interest ing.
Todd Jones
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A short read, but it details the authors ailment thoroughly. His descriptions sound terrifying - both the mental illness and the ECT treatment used to cure it.
Kathy
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
First person description of a very frightening event through which this author lived and survived.
Jeanne
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
An interesting memoir of an episode that happened to this author nearly 50 years ago and how unconventional treatment worked for him.
Marianne Weber
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-psychology
Interesting and slightly scary look into a very personal experience of one of my favorite writers. It really shows how far mental illness studies have come but also how far we need to go.
Joe
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
a good historical discussion from a personal perspective. fascinating and illuminating on the suffering that is hidden from the rest of us in 'the real world'.
Rachel
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-book
This was an interesting story of Winchester's struggle with mental illness. I didn't find it as well-written and comprehensive as some of his others, but still worth a quick read.
Matthew
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked the candid nature of the story and applaud the author for bringing his story for all to read.
Joshua Lohrman
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kindle single, I liked this authors other books a lot and this short story about his experience with mental illness was very interesting.
Kristie Saumure
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another memoir! This one was a novella, so perhaps worked slightly better for me. Added to that is the fact that Simon Winchester is a pretty amazing author.
Sankarshan
rated it liked it
Apr 16, 2014
Leslie V. Armentrout
rated it it was ok
Oct 20, 2017
Eric Schudy
rated it really liked it
Apr 15, 2015
michael lindenbaum
rated it it was ok
May 01, 2017
Adelaide Blair
rated it it was amazing
May 17, 2014
Bobby
rated it liked it
May 13, 2014
Joseph Lyons
rated it it was amazing
Apr 12, 2018
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Simon Winchester, OBE, is a British writer, journalist and broadcaster who resides in the United States. Through his career at The Guardian, Winchester covered numerous significant events including Bloody Sunday and the Watergate Scandal. As an author, Simon Winchester has written or contributed to over a dozen nonfiction books and authored one novel, and his articles appear in several travel publ ...more