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Synopsis

An award-winning memoir and instant New York Times bestseller that goes far beyond its riveting medical mystery, Brain on Fire is the powerful account of one woman’s struggle to recapture her identity.

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?

In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Susannah tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen. “A fascinating look at the disease that…could have cost this vibrant, vital young woman her life” (People), Brain on Fire is an unforgettable exploration of memory and identity, faith and love, and a profoundly compelling tale of survival and perseverance that is destined to become a classic.

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Brain on Fire
Average rating
4.1 / 5
Amazing
July 23rd, 2015
Loved every second of this book. It was exhilarating and informative at the same time. Kept me interested until I fell asleep at night.
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1 review
Brain on Fire. My Month of Madness.
February 13th, 2015
Fantastic book. Loved it. Takes you on a fascinating ride through not only this illness but through our health care system. The testing and diagnostic techniques alone will keep you reading. The best part is it's all true and written by the person who experienced it.
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1 review
This book has saved lives!
January 31st, 2015
The author takes you on her journey where most of us fear to go, in a way that keeps you turning the page even when you struggle to relate to her reality as she goes deeper into her illness. At times when the human struggle makes you uncomfortable, you might think, well this would never happen to me so why would I go on reading. But the author compels you to read on and find out why it is so important for all of us to learn about this illness.
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1 review
A good, quick read
November 1st, 2014
Susannah Cahalan, a young reporter for the New York Post, goes mad because of a rare virus. She tells her gripping and scary tale after regaining her equilibrium. I didn’t like that this memoir attempts to be too neatly packaged, with a looking-back-on-that-time-in-my-life structure. Cahalan is crazy for much longer than a month, and much of her story she had to piece together from others. She only makes mention of that about three quarters of the way through the memoir. I think it would have been better to explain the difficulty of recounting (and credibility) much sooner. Still, her story is captivating.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Weirdly Self-Indulgent
May 25th, 2014
For quite a bit of the book, I genuinely thought the author was faking her illness. When she mentions the Southern expression--the 'blue devils', I think it was--which captures the notion of a young woman falling into self-perpetuating tantrums a la "The Crucible", I thought at first she'd given the game away. However, the presence of Dr. Nahjar and the critical response both to his diagnosis and to her NY Post article convinced me differently. Still, her refusal to follow through with group sessions and her fixation on how she looked after it all and how others looked at her (including the odd recounting of the lawn man ogling her) feels weirdly self-indulgent and, without much effort, I could be brought back to the idea that a lot of her condition was acted out, escaping, as she was, job failure and a hoarder lifestyle at the time it all began.
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1 review
Brain on fire
April 14th, 2014
Incredible information . We have so far to go in the medical field especially with mental health and the brain. So complex. So many who are uncomfortable around it and the unknown.
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1 review
Brain on Fire
March 22nd, 2014
Very interesting and well-written. Quick read.
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1 review
March 4th, 2014
Very interesting read. At times goes a bit too much in depth about the science of it all.. Would definitely recommend
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1 review
February 10th, 2014
Captivating, shocking! Truly touched by this book. Sucked me right in from the moment I started reading and as soon as I finished the book I went and followed her interviews on Youtube about her condition and what she's been up to since the book was released... amazing story, a must read!
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1 review
Good Read
January 26th, 2014
This book was an interesting and informative read. It kept me engaged reading of the authors journey and the medical and scientific aspects were clearly presented.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
The beginning is interesting but it bogs down in the middle. It is written like an overly long news story. I lost interest toward the end.
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1 review
Really good
January 9th, 2014
Harsd to beleive this wqas a true story, good book
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1 review
Month of madness
December 16th, 2013
It was alright
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1 review
Very informative
December 10th, 2013
Loved this book, the author did a lot of research on her disease. The book was very well written
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1 review
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
September 9th, 2013
The story line so far makes me think of the TV show" House'.
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1 review
Brain on Fire
August 29th, 2013
Excellent and unnerving for me. This book got deep into my soul and I know it will be with me in my thoughts for a long, long time. An incredible story.
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1 review
Bored ...Brain
June 9th, 2013
My curiosity kept me reading this book but I never truly got into the story, in the end it was just ok.
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1 review
Enlightening
April 27th, 2013
Had no idea this could happen, and does give possible answers to seemingly inexplicable behaviours that plague some people.
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1 review
Could've been better
March 4th, 2013
Not bad but not the greatest. Beginning was a little slow
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2 reviews
Could've been better
March 4th, 2013
Not bad but not the greatest. Beginning was a little slow
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2 reviews

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