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The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Phenomenal book detailing not just the authors research but also her experience of chronic pain. I understood so much more about my loved one's experience, as well as the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Consumer
A highly personal approach to one woman's journey with pain remediation. She didn't convince me that her pain was not psychologic to some degree, although she protests a lot. Read morePublished 3 months ago by B. Neswald
Needed this book for class but it was a very good read. Would def recommend for causal reading not just required reading :)Published 5 months ago by Debra J. Brosch
I bought this book after a friend recommended it because the author has the same degenerative disc issues I do. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Karen Lynch
It actually had more information than I expected. I enjoyed it, and learned a few things from it. I'm taking it to work to let others take a look at it. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Elizabeth A. Fitzgerald
This is one I have recommended to ALL of my docs and any nurse or PA who will listen. Chronic pain is often written iff as hypochondia, or docs just get frustrated when they cannot... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Just me
Unusual nonfiction book combining personal experience/journals/memoir-ish stuff and serious, solid, yet easy to read research. Read morePublished on February 1, 2014 by C. Sanderson