An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2014: As a kid, Laurel Braitman read Charlotte’s Web and suspected that animals really could talk. As a PhD student at MIT studying scientific history, she again honed in on animals in her research. But it wasn’t until she and her husband adopted a Bernese Mountain Dog named Oliver that animal psychology became the puzzle she most urgently wanted to solve. Oliver was inexplicably, uncontrollably anxious, snapping at invisible flies and shredding furniture when he was left alone. When he chewed through a screen, leapt from a fourth-story window, and—incredibly--survived, Braitman became intent on finding a way to help him. In Animal Madness, she shares how “one anxious dog brought me the entire animal kingdom.” Elements of memoir make the story more poignant, but it’s primarily a lively, deeply researched history and an unflinching look at the trauma of modern-day captivity in medical labs and faux-natural zoos. What she discovered about how animal minds go awry and the ways their disorders--from depression to anxiety to OCD and PTSD--look so much like our own (and vice versa) challenge and transform our understanding of the animal experience. What she discovered about how they heal illuminates how humans, too, can come back from the brink. --Mari Malcolm
I read myself to sleep every night, and this book has me staying up late!
In it, Braitman shares science, anthropology, history, and personal narrative and weaves them all together using her elegant and engaging writing style.
You will also feel empathy--for the writer, the animals she loves, the world she explores, and for yourself.
This is not an easy book to swallow. Some fragments have shocked and saddened me. Some of the cases the author describes haunted me for weeks afterwards. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Urszula Rapacka
I picked this partially because I have a rescue dog with plenty of issues. Interesting from many viewpoints. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Wyatt K. Mccrea
Fabulous book! Anyone who has a heart for animals should read it.Published 6 days ago by green thumb
The author was a bit redundant in her story telling. The science was not always explained in as much detail as I would have liked. More anecdotal than informative.Published 11 days ago by Allison
What an interesting read! I am still reading and will probably reread it as well. It is written well for the average reader without a lot of terms that are difficult to understand. Read morePublished 14 days ago by kls
This book is hard to put down. She addresses animal behavior and human behavior from many directions. Read morePublished 18 days ago by C. Matthews
I finished reading Animal Madness last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a Psychology major in undergrad and too often read books on the subject that were badly written and... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Scott Blake