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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by [Robert Kolker]
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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 2,721 ratings

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Length: 370 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Hidden Valley Road is a riveting true story of an American family that reads like a medical detective journey and sheds light on a topic so many of us face: mental illness.”
—Oprah Winfrey

“A feat of empathy and narrative journalism.”
—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times
 
“Magisterial . . . A weave of gripping reportage and scientific detective story . . . Hidden Valley Road is destined to become a classic of narrative nonfiction.”
—Hamilton Cain, Minneapolis Star Tribune
 
“The curse of the Galvin family is the stuff of Greek tragedy. Kolker tells their story with great compassion, burrowing inside the particular delusions and hospitalizations of each brother while chronicling the family’s increasingly desperate search for help. But Hidden Valley Road is more than a narrative of despair, and some of the most compelling chapters come from its other half, as a medical mystery.”
—Sam Dolnick, The New York Times Book Review

“At once deeply compassionate and chilling.”
—Karen Iris Tucker, Washington Post
 
Hidden Valley Road vividly conveys not only the inner experience of schizophrenia but its effects on the families whose members are afflicted . . . With the skill of a great novelist, Mr. Kolker brings every member of the family to life.”
Richard J. McNally, Wall Street Journal

“A marvel of reportage, research, and style, Hidden Valley Road raises the bar on what is possible in narrative nonfiction. Robert Kolker dives into the exceptional story of one family besieged by humanity’s most mysterious malady. Kolker writes about the Galvin family with elegance and insight while weaving together the decades long quest to understand the genetics of schizophrenia, somehow creating a story that is as haunting and intriguing as a great gothic novel. This book is a triumph, an unforgettable story that you should read right now.”
—Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire and The Great Pretender

Hidden Valley Road contains everything: scientific intrigue, meticulous reporting, startling revelations, and, most of all, a profound sense of humanity. It is that rare book that can be read again and again.”
—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon
 
“An extraordinary case study and tour de force of reporting.”
—Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
 
“This broad-ranging, highly readable, and deeply unsettling book tells the story of a family beset with schizophrenia, and in doing so provides meaningful insights into the devastation caused by the disease. It is, equally, a study of the multiple ways in which familial denial can exacerbate the inherent pain of mental illness, and of the courage required both of those who are themselves diagnosed with it and of those who choose to help and support them.”
—Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree
 
“This book tore my heart out. It is a revelation—about the history of mental health treatment, about trauma, foremost about family—and a more-than-worthy follow-up to Robert Kolker’s brilliant Lost Girls.” 
—Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of Dare Me and Give Me Your Hand
 
“In a narrative that is at once gripping and humane, Kolker tells an ultimately hopeful story of one family’s small victories and the slow progress of research that may someday benefit millions.”
—Marin Sardy, author of The Edge of Every Day

“A sweeping yet profoundly intimate story of one family’s breathtaking challenges with schizophrenia and humanity’s long history of misbegotten efforts to make sense of, and treat, the condition. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this masterfully researched and utterly engrossing book shines a light on individuals who were foundational to medical study—and subjected to questionable ethics. Your heart will break, your sympathies will swell, and the Galvins will stay with you forever.”
—Rachel Simon, author of Riding the Bus with My Sister

“A stunning, riveting chronicle crackling with intelligence and empathy . . . Kolker tackles this extraordinarily complex story so brilliantly and effectively that readers will be swept away. An exceptional, unforgettable, and significant work that must not be missed.”
Booklist, starred review
 
“Riveting and disquieting . . . Kolker deftly follows the psychiatric, chemical, and biological theories proposed to explain schizophrenia and the various treatments foisted upon the brothers. Most poignantly, he portrays the impact on the unafflicted children of the brothers’ illness, an oppressive emotional atmosphere, and the family’s festering secrets . . . A family portrait of astounding depth and empathy.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
 
“A powerful look at schizophrenia and the quest to understand it . . . A taut and often heartbreaking narrative . . . A haunting and memorable look at the impact of mental illness on multiple generations.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of April 2020: Early in Hidden Valley Road, Robert Kolker observes that, “For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation of the family is permanently tilted in the direction of the sick family member.” There is no greater testament to the truth of that observation than Don and Mimi Galvin’s twelve children: six of their sons were diagnosed with schizophrenia, starting with their eldest son who was diagnosed in his late teens, by which time five of his brothers were also breaking down. With six family members mentally ill with a disease about which medical opinion shifted every few years, the foundation of the Galvin family didn’t so much tilt as tip over. Kolker does an outstanding job of reportage on all fronts: the chronology of the Galvin boys’ breakdowns, the effects on their parents, and critically, on the siblings who did not become mentally ill, growing up in a household utterly defined, internally and externally, by the mental illness that rampaged through the family. Kolker also deftly weaves the history of diagnosing and treating schizophrenia into the narrative; it’s cold comfort that the Galvin family became “a monumental case study in humanity’s most perplexing disease.” Robert Kolker’s Hidden Valley Road takes an astonishing, heartrending story and elevates it with empathy and superb storytelling. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • File Size : 16505 KB
  • Publisher : Doubleday (April 7, 2020)
  • Print Length : 370 pages
  • Publication Date : April 7, 2020
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • ASIN : B07TZYFR71
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 2,721 ratings