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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness Paperback – August 6, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 4,474 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Captivating…Cahalan’s prose carries a sharp, unsparing tabloid punch in the tradition of Pete Hamill and Jimmy Breslin.”, New York Times Book Review

“A fascinating look at the disease that – if not for a nick-of-time diagnosis – could have cost this vibrant, vital young woman her life.”, People magazine

“The bizarre and confounding illness that beset the 24-year-old New York Post reporter in early 2009 so ravaged her mentally and physically that she became unrecognizable to coworkers, family, friends, and—most devastatingly—herself… She dedicates this miracle of a book to ‘those without a diagnosis’… [An] unforgettable memoir.”, Elle

“Swift and haunting.”, Scientific American

“This fascinating memoir by a young New York Post reporter…describes how she crossed the line between sanity and insanity…Cahalan expertly weaves together her own story and relevant scientific information…compelling.”, Booklist (starred review)

"An intense, mesmerizing account of survival. . . Cahalan's deft descriptions of her spooky hallucinations could be right out of a Poe terror tale.", BookForum

“For the neurologist, I highly recommend this book on several grounds…First, it is a well-told story, worth reading for the suspense and the dramatic cadence of events…Second, it is a superb case study of a rare neurologic diagnosis; even experienced neurologists will find much to learn in it…Third, and most important, it gives the neurologist insight into how a patient and her family experienced a complex illness, including the terrifying symptoms, the difficult pace of medical diagnosis, and the slow recovery. This story clearly contains lessons for all of us.”, Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology

“Focusing her journalistic toolbox on her story, Cahalan untangles the medical mystery surrounding her condition…A fast-paced and well-researched trek through a medical mystery to a hard-won recovery.”, Publishers Weekly

"The best reporters never stop asking questions, and Cahalan is no exception...The result is a kind of anti-memoir, an out-of-body personal account of a young woman's fight to survive one of the cruelest diseases imaginable. And on every level, it's remarkable.....Cahalan is nothing if not tenacious, and she perfectly tempers her brutal honesty with compassion and something like vulnerability. It's indisputable that Cahalan is a gifted reporter, and Brain on Fire is a stunningly brave book. But even more than that, she's a naturally talented prose stylist — whip-smart but always unpretentious — and it's nearly impossible to stop reading her, even in the book's most painful passages....Brain on Fire comes from a place of intense pain and unthinkable isolation, but finds redemption in Cahalan's unflagging, defiant toughness. It's an unexpected gift of a book from one of America's most courageous young journalists.", NPR.org

“What is most impressive about “Brain on Fire” is that Cahalan has little recollection of her month of insanity…. Thanks partially to her talent as a journalist and to the fact that her parents kept journals, Cahalan was able to recapture her month, leaving no holes in the narrative.”, The Daily Texan

About the Author

Susannah Cahalan is a news reporter at the New York Post whose award-winning work has also been featured in The New York Times. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
  • Paperback : 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1451621388
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1451621389
  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.38 inches
  • Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Reprint Edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,474 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
4,474 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on May 20, 2017
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Top reviews from other countries

Si
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary tale outlining the power of the brain and the affects when things go wrong
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2015
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12 people found this helpful
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Rosie Payne
4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary, harrowing journey
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2016
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8 people found this helpful
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Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 8, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2018
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Amber Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and emotional story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2018
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