Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Pain Chronicles: Cure... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Library Edition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
$34.99
$21.72 $1.69

Top 20 lists in Books
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
$34.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Imagine a "terror that surpasses all description," novelist Fanny Burney wrote in 1812 after removal of a breast abscess-- without anesthesia. Then imagine such pain stalking you for years, as it does Thernstrom (Raj: The Making of British India) and 70 million other Americans. This is what Thernstrom describes in an exquisite, meticulous history of medicineÖs quest to alleviate pain--from the first use of ether for surgery in 1842 to the modern management of chronic pain: drugs like Neurontin and controversial opioids (though they can make patients even more sensitive to pain); MRIs; and neuroimaging, which trains patients to literally change their own brains. But the personal chronicles lift this accomplished medical history to an astonishing record of courage and endurance. Danielle Parker goes to 85 doctors before finding back pain relief from a chiropractor who urges her to move around instead of reaching for a pill. Thernstrom herself ultimately finds a regime of physical therapy, Botox, Celebrex, Tramadol, and then changes her wish for a pain-free life to one filled with love and family. In these stories, there is a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and hope for the rest of us.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

The Pain Chronicles is a tale of two books: one a broad-brush study of pain throughout the ages in literature, religion, history, art, and philosophy; the other, remarkable insight into the ravages of pain on the individual and the earnest (if hit-and-miss) efforts of modern science to handle chronic pain. An accomplished science writer, Thernstrom neatly balances her own story within the larger context, dividing the book into sections on pain as metaphor, history, disease, narrative, and perception. Some critics found Thernstrom's close-up work less effective than the history. "While her physical descriptions are often precise," Robin Romm writes, "she frequently blurs the boundary between romantic and physical pain, to sometimes melodramatic effect." Others commented that Thernstrom gives short shrift to Eastern medicine. Still, critics agree that the book is engaging and passionate. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; Unabridged CD edition (August 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400118549
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400118540
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,486,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Melanie Thernstrom has written brilliant books before -- such as her examination of a murder/suicide at Harvard -- but this may be her very best. I've also very much enjoyed her frequent New York Times articles on pain and other topics. Her writing is consistently interesting and highly insightful, as well as graceful in every sentence. She is especially adept at weaving memoir and personal stories in with topics in intellectual history and science.

I loved THE PAIN CHRONICLES for all the same reasons that I loved Andrew Solomon's THE NOONDAY DEMON, and I think it's fair to say that THE PAIN CHRONICLES does for pain what THE NOONDAY DEMON does for depression. In both books, the author faces a potentially crippling medical issue and fights hard to vanquish it. Both authors try different, fascinating approaches, and fight a strong fight. Both use their formidable skills as journalists to not only address their own predicament, but to cast light on an epidemic -- but until very recently, poorly-understood -- disease. Along the way, both learn much more than they originally knew about the disease that is afflicting them -- and there are many surprises in the mix. No wonder Solomon loved the book and blurbed it. Neither author finds a cure-all; both find much reason for hope.

Thernstrom not only tells her own, fascinating story, but also tells other pain patients' stories and recounts her conversations with eminent pain doctors. If you suffer from pain, this book is invaluable -- it gives you a birds' eye view of the state of the art in pain treatment, coupled with patients' specific experience and doctor's specific advice, right and wrong. If you don't suffer from pain, the book remains completely fascinating. Thernstrom investigates how other cultures treat pain and provides a fascinating (and at times horrifying) intellectual history of pain treatment.

In short, I couldn't more highly recommend this book.
2 Comments 65 of 73 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I have an injury very similar to the author's and have had extended periods of chronic pain (over 15 years). My primary interest was in better understanding the many facets of this, from the physical to impact on personal relationships. Secondarily, I was hoping to find ways to better explain my situation, using the book in part or in whole.

This book failed badly in both regards. First, from my experience and that of fellow sufferers, what are major, complex issues are only touched upon very briefly--between a paragraph and a page--in widely scattered sections of the book (the first of these was on page 55, the next on 145). Second, the author is a horrible exemplar of the effects of chronic pain. Although she _states_ that it was debilitating, the book does not present it as anything more than an occasional inconvenience. And the picture the author paints of herself is not only unsympathetic, but plays into various of the negative stereotypes (she comes across as indulged, immature, lacking discipline, failing to follow-through, ...).

The book is a series of short chapters, almost all are one to four pages, with the chapters being largely independent units instead of building on each other. Thus there is little opportunity for insight. For example, a chapter describing someone with chronic pain from a lost limb would be dominated by describing the person and the injury and the circumstances of the interview. The lessons-learned are typically so terse and shallow as to be useless, for example, the author stating that she didn't understand how the person with such injuries could have such an upbeat attitude.
Read more ›
43 Comments 110 of 128 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
In The Pain Chronicles Melanie Thernstrom skillfully unravels a profound medical mystery: what is chronic pain, where does it come from and does it ever go away? In the book Thernstrom is both doctor and patient, at times skillfully eliciting case histories from fellow sufferers, and then pivoting and turning her curious and interrogative eye on their doctors. But it is her own, deeply intimate, struggle with pain that provides the passionate thread that pulls together her subject in all its nervous vagaries. Here is pain as psychic drama, as religious quest, as neurological sabotage. Here is pain in a succession of doctors' waiting rooms. Here are the drug combinations that detour around pain, but never entirely vanquish it. Here, too, are the magical qualities that make pain and our attempt to negotiate it part of the stuff of a primal human drama. There is a great deal of wisdom in this book, none of it easily come by. Both those who suffer and those who have borne witness to this suffering will recognize this book for what it is. A gift.
1 Comment 29 of 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most people with chronic pain are on a long journey to find a cure or even some relief, such as Melanie Thernstrom, a journalist and author, who has had chronic pain for over 10 years. After she was given a magazine article writing assignment about pain, she decided to take it a step further and expand her investigations into a book. Part history, part memoir, part science journalism, it's the sort of book that is easy and compelling to read, while also imparting a great deal of information that is useful for pain sufferers. There is no magic potion inside (other than perhaps physical therapy), in fact we learn pain is highly complex and not well understood and everyone is different. I read it mainly for hard facts, any information that might help in my own case, and I did learn a lot - the book is much cheaper and probably more informative than most pain doctor visits. I think anyone in chronic pain will learn something, it's wide ranging and offers jumping off points for further research and action.
Comment 9 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering
This item: The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering
Price: $34.99
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com