Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Incurable Romantic and Other Unsettling Revelations” as Want to Read:
The Incurable Romantic and Other Unsettling Revelations
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Incurable Romantic and Other Unsettling Revelations

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Love is a great leveller. Everyone wants love, everyone falls in love, everyone loses love, and everyone knows something of love's madness. But the experience of obsessive love is no trivial matter. In the course of his career psychologist Dr Frank Tallis has treated many unusual patients, whose stories have lessons for all of us.

A barristers' clerk becomes convinced that
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 6th 2018 by Little, Brown
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about The Incurable Romantic and Other Unsettling Revelations

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books centred around clinical cases are polarising for me. I either love them or hate them. When done well, they feed my desire for narrative and redemption in real life. When done poorly, they just remind me that medicine is mainly messy and unrewarding, time spent following Voltaire's advice to 'amuse the patient while nature takes its course'.

I'm not sure which side of the equation this book falls on, for the simple reason that Tallis brings up what is apparently his central 'argument' only
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

“What is life if it isn’t about love? Finding love, being loved and loving others? Yet, love is something we rarely engage with intellectually. We all experience falling in love but take little or no interest in how it works.”

Frank Tallis, a British clinical psychologist, takes upon himself the onerous task of discovering how love works when madness and/or desire take over. Dr. Tallis looks at this topic from all angles – from inappropriate attachment to love addiction, from obsessive jealousy t
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-tysm
You can also find this review on my book blog.

It’s no secret that I enjoy reading psychology non-fiction books and that I’m interested in Psychology. Tallis’ book intrigued me because of the subject matter it deals with – love, to be precise: obsessive love. I rarely read and find books on this subject so I was glad I stumbled upon it.

While reading this book I wrote notes on the first half of the book because many chapters were interesting and contained a lot of information I found useful. The
The premise of this book was intriguing, but it failed to live up to its promise. From the beginning, I found myself rolling my eyes at the writing. There were huge amounts of irrelevant or pointless information: extensive detail about patients' appearance, an explanation of how doctors dictate referrals and how they are then processed and by whom, flowery prose, the use of full names to refer to an individual (dozens of times, over the course of a few pages), lengthy discussion of the history o ...more
Someone, anyone could probably successfully argue this book is not about love. It’s about mental illness. It’s about obsessions and addictions and delusions and narcissism. Fortunately, our tour guide through those loveless states, Dr. Frank Tallis, a clinical psychologist, appears to be a compassionate and sane man, unlike some other psychologists who write books. This is his second book on the topic, too; the first being Love Sick: Love as a Mental Illness; so he is well acquainted with the ma ...more
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**3.5 stars rounded up.**

I really enjoyed this collection of case studies on the intricacies and impacts on love on a person's mental health (and vice versa). The author's writing style lends itself well to conveying the details to the reader; the language he uses is never over the top clinical, but it doesn't feel like he's dumbing things down for the reader either.

I've read other books by psychologists and doctors where the tone is so superior that it really took me out of the book, despite t
Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.
I love psychology, so when I saw this book on Netgalley I knew it was a match made in heaven. I’ve never been a “romantic” myself, so I was curious what psychological issues would arise from the research into romance and love. Boy did this book deliver. The book details personal experiences of the author and psychologist, with patients he has had over the years with myriad different mental and psychology disorders related to romance, love and attraction.

We hear about a woman who wakes up from a
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This non-fiction has the right balance of psychological / psychiatric theories, actual case studies, the perceptions of the treating doctor, and a well-written story-book style prose. It will put you in a reflective mood, against your better judgement!

Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. Loved it. And all the best to the doctor peering out the window at a stale surrounding.
Lara K
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In ' The Incurable Romantic' , Frank Tallis presents us with a thought provoking portrait of love, it's idiosyncrasies, contradictions and perversities.The book is segmented into chapters, each delving into an aspect of love. Tallis, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, primarily uses his own clinical case studies to seduce us to follow him down a meandering path of psychological research, philosophy, art and literature, all in the name of this strange thing called love. And follow I did ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this expecting a few amusing stories, but was very pleased to discover instead fairly in-depth explorations of 12 different psychological cases, some unusual and some a bit more common. From a woman convinced that her dentist is deeply in love with her to a man who has visited thousands of prostitutes over the course of a few months, every case presents something utterly foreign and fascinating - and Frank Tallis manages to present each story with understanding, empathy, and reflecti ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, kindle
Disclaimer: A copy was provided by NetGalley for an honest review

I am a little upset that I didn't like this book. Technically, it has everything I usually like: talks about real people, has some history of mental health, has other interesting things thrown here and there. All of that should have solidify a good rating from me. But it didn't...I didn't like the writing and couldn't connect with it at all. Half the time I felt like the author was making fun of people he was supposed to be helpin
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book does a good job of balancing clinical cases of his interactions with patients with some historical scientific context in between which made for an easy read without overwhelming jargon and ensuring you’re still engaged!

The cases he presents are very interesting and it showed the troubles psychiatrists have in dealing with patients and just how labouring and intricate this job really is, despite the old jokes other medical professionals still have on this line of work. As a medical stude
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you! All opinions are my own.

The Incurable Romantic tells the stories of patients whose love/desire/obsession has become problematic for them (and often others). This is mostly a sympathetic collection of tales of mental illness related to romantic and/or sexual feelings (not love), but it leaves you thinking when love actually crosses the line to madness. I think there is no easy answer.

Overall quite an interesting read, I'm intrigued.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Enjoyable reading. And I learnt a few new words.
Vilija Jankūnaitė
Apie ją kuriamos dainos, rašomos knygos, statomi filmai, rodos, mokslininkai baigia plaukus nusirauti atlikdami įvairiausius tyrimus, tačiau meilės sritis vis dar daugumai žmonijos yra sunkiai paaiškinamas jausmas. Ir kartais atrodo, kad gal geriau net nebandyti to suprasti, o tiesiog pajausti ir su tuo jausmu gyventi, tačiau kartais tai gali būti pražūtinga. Psichoterapeutas Frank Tallis naujoje knygoje „Nepataisomas romantikas“ pabrėžia – įsimylėjimas yra greitai įsiliepsnojanti būsena, kurios ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Lisa Beaulieu
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and reads like a novel. I only grabbed this because I was in a hurry at the library, I had my dog in the car, if I had looked more closely, I would have bypassed it. Thank you, Bart, good boy! I got a bit squeamish here and there with the TMI, but he is a therapist, so what can I expect.
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The Incurable Romantic and Other Tales of Madness & Desire by Frank Tallis is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early September.

Twelve short stories of re-adapted psychotherapy sessions that are in some way related to love (i.e. unreciprocation, jealousy, becoming a widow/widower, sexual addiction/predilections). The perspective of the therapist/counselor is exceptionally insightful and well-versed; so much so that thee song ‘Accidentally Like A Martyr’ comes to mind.
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: making-me-think
"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well".

Fascinating selection of case histories from Tallis, a Clinical Psychologist who is also a very good writer - he can certainly tell an excellent tale!
The case histories described are about the 'madness' of love and I was struck several times by how so called 'normal' behaviour can be just a whisper away from something far more sinister.

I found the chapter describing a middle aged woman 'suffering' (and I don't use that word lightly)
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Now then.
I hate reading about the brain because it's the brain and the brain always makes me think about my brain. It's like looking at the world turn, or staring into the infinite blackness of blah blah blah.
This guy fucking LOVES a good hyphen -- seriously -- he can't get enough.
Not even sure they were employed correctly half the time -- whatever, it doesn't matter if he used them as liberally as e-numbers in 90's sweets, this book was as addictive as 90's sweets.
Melanie Elisa
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a therapist and will take a good few things away from this book, both professionally and personally. It is, however, written for just about anyone interested in understanding romantic relationships, without being dry or jagon-y, highly philosophical or scientific.
Particularly, it deals with how we can sometimes get "stuck" on people or relationships, either unable to move on, or why we sometimes can't leave behind feelings that are just not reciprocated. Tallis uses real life cases of his
Nicki Markus
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Although I have never studied it in a classroom, I have long been interested in psychology and theories of personality, and have done some reading on the topic. Therefore, The Incurable Romantic appealed to me as soon as I saw it on NetGalley. It was certainly an intriguing read. I enjoyed how the case studies each presented a very different take on the psychology behind love, and these were nicely balanced with Tallis' recollections and anecdotes. This is a book that can be easily read by laype ...more
Seymour Glass
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm such a whore for psychological case studies, so naturally I loved this. I like how he didn't feel the need to wrap up each story neatly in a bow. Life and love and the human mind are all messy and a constant work-in-progress so I never really buy into accounts that end with happily ever after. He emphasises management of conditions rather than cure, and I find this a much more realistic approach.
Alie Urbach
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frank Tallis De ongeneeslijke Romanticus
Van de uitgever Atlas contact mag ik dit boek lezen en recenseren.

Frank Tallis is expert op het terrein van obsessies en dwangneuroses.
Als psychotherapeut schrijft hij over zijn werk, de alledaagse problemen van de liefde. Die mensen ziek maken en niet begrijpen waarom het hun leven zo beheerst.
Hij heeft een luisterend oor en probeerd te doorgronden wat er verder nog speelt, soms vloeit het gedrag voort vanuit hun kindertijd.

Wat een heel mooi verhaal was
Henk van Vliet
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Epictetus: “Niet de gebeurtenissen verstoren de menselijke geest maar de manier waarop de mens ze ziet”

Ik vond dit een interessant en laagdrempelig boek, gezien liefde inderdaad een onderwerp is waar iedereen mee worstelt, al eeuwen lang (zoals de quote hierboven van Romeinse filosoof Epictetus al aangeeft) en waar geen definitief antwoord op bestaat.
Frank Tallis focust vanuit zijn expertise als psycholoog vooral op het onderscheid tussen normale en abnormale reacties bij verliefdheid. In vers
TammyJo Eckhart
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Madness and Desire" seemed like a good subtitle for a book to read in October and while I found the recollections of psychologist Frank Tallis to be horror in the sense of everyday life they aren't horror as we expect in fiction. In their own ways, I found each of his patients to be terrifying because in most cases I could empathize if not fully understand. Each of them suffered because of something that might be called "desire" or "love" or "lust" to a level that either they felt it was a prob ...more
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I thought this book should've been titled ...Madly in Love, as each chapter describes "love" related to mental health via DSM-V criteria. Written from the perspective of clinical psychologist, chapters identify and help the reader understand DeClérambault's syndrome (where one believes someone is passionately in love with them but they aren't), sexualized hallucinations of a dead spouse, extreme jealousy imitating OCD, an addiction to falling in love with falling in love, stalking the ( ...more
It’s hard not to feel disappointed by this novel. The idea of what differentiates “normal” love from pathological love and how love’s effect on the psyche can be so varied, is a very interesting one. This book doesn’t really do anything with this idea though. It’s picked together some seemingly random cases with no sense of progression between the cases, no common linking factors apart from the fact they all ostensibly have something to do with love.

The book feels a bit scattered as a result wit
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
De non-fictieve verhalen zijn intrigerend en verrassend. De toelichtingen over de psychotherapeutische methodiek en ontwikkeling hiertoe van uit de psychologische wetenschap is zeer interessant. Verder is er sprake van een goede balans, tussen het informatieve en het roman gedeelte van het boek. Waardoor het verhaal prettig leest. Het boek is alleen geen aanrader als men het lezen wil gebruiken om tot rust te komen, of voor een zeer ontspannende activiteit als bijvoorbeeld slapen. Daar is het bo ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Aka F.R. Tallis.

Dr. Frank Tallis is a writer and clinical psychologist. He has held lecturing posts in clinical psychology and neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry and King's College, London. He has written self help manuals (How to Stop Worrying, Understanding Obsessions and Compulsions) non-fiction for the general reader (Changing Minds, Hidden Minds, Love Sick), academic text books and o
“All mature adults must accept that they are essentially unknowable--and that they will never know the one they love. Even when we kiss there is distance; it is a distance that cannot be bridged by romantic love and must be respected if a relationship is to succeed. The real metric by which we can gauge the authenticity of love is not how close we want to be, how merged and intermingled, but how far we can stand apart and still be together.” 0 likes
More quotes…