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All in the Mind Paperback – 2 Apr 2009

66 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099528029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099528029
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alastair Campbell was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1957, the son of a vet. Having graduated from Cambridge University in modern languages, he went into journalism, principally with the Mirror Group. When Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party, Campbell worked for him first as press secretary, then as official spokesman and director of communications and strategy from 1994 to 2003. He continued to act as an advisor to Mr Blair and the Labour Party, including during the 2005 election campaign. Since then, he has been engaged mainly in writing, public speaking and working for Leukaemia Research, where he is chairman of fundraising.

Product Description


"A sympathetic foray into mental instability ... Campbell's own experience of breakdown brings an intensity to Sturrock's decline" (Financial Times)

"A serious subject adddressed with compassion, intelligence and sensitivity ... this is an emotionally engaging and thought-provoking book" (The Times)

"Extremely absorbing, moving and compassionate portrayal of ordinary human beings exhibiting extraordinary courage in challenging circumstances ... If Campbell writes more novels, I'll certainly read them" (The Independent)

"Campbell has written a highly sensitive novel ... A moving account of people's suffering and search for help" (Dr David Sturgeon, University College London Hospital The Guardian)

"An extraordinarily open and brave novel about weakness. Or, more accurately, humility ... its power comes from a clearly articulated insight into the darker workings of the human mind and the complex nature of mental health" (The Mirror)


'One of the few books that has brought me close to tears in places, yet it is surprisingly uplifting and often very funny' --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on 11 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
To be honest I've never liked Alastair Campbell. But I'm not interested in the author, I'm reviewing the book.

Also, for the record, I'm Bipolar 1.

At times the book made me laugh outload, and at other times you can't help feel a strong connection to the characters who are having a bad time.
I found the end of the book uplifting, and it has made me see the people in the mental health services in a more positive light.

This book should be compulsory reading for those who secretly think that depressives are just 'weak people', and come out with stupid phrases like 'pull yoursel together'. Intelligent people will enjoy it too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MCB on 25 May 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book; the first for a long time that has kept me up at night wanting to know what happens next. The characters lingered on in my head long after I had finished reading which to me is the sign of a good novel.

As a psychotherapist myself, I think Alastair Campbell has enormous insight into the vulnerability and fragility that can exist side by side, no doubt influencing and enhancing a therapist's work. Dr Sturrock is very much a wounded healer, loved and respected by his patients, but with his own angels and demons.

The patients are described vividly in all their humanity and ring true as people.

I think Alastair Campbell has used his own experience of depression in a very creative way. I hope he wil write some more fiction basd on fact. I for one will be eager to read it.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By R. MACKENZIE on 10 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a person that has suffered depression in the past and as someone that treats clients that are currently battling their way through mental health issues, I found this book to be a fascinating insight into the world of sufferers and into the potential problems that the professionals that treat them may obtain through their working life.

For me the book was excellent and somewhat important. You see, as a therapist one of the challenges in treating people with depression, is the way that people react to their illnesses (sometimes not even seeing them as ill at all, but attention seeking). For far too long many people have been misunderstood when they convey to friends and family that they are suffering from a mental health issue such as depression. This book would certainly help to educate those friends and family members that are willing to be open minded and to learn.

All of the story lines from the various characters were handled with respect and where delivered very interestingly.

I am looking forward to this becoming a film on the small screen sometime in the future and awaiting eagerly the announcement of Campbell's next novel.

I would be interested to hear the views of other therapists or sufferers of mental health issues on this book.


Richard MacKenzie
Author of Self-Change Hypnosis
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LyzzyBee on 10 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up because my friend, Meg, pressed it upon me, and because I've already read Campbell's "The Happy Depressive" and was interested to read his novel on the subject. I was not disappointed. Martin Sturrock is a top psychiatrist, entrusted with the care of a range of people, from a Kosovan refugee to a Cabinet Minister, and his favourite patient, David, who expresses his own and Martin's depression in a way that is both lyrical and precise.

Over the course of a long weekend, several lives appear to start to unravel, including Sturrock's own, spiralling into boundaries being overstepped in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. Thoughtful, very perceptive about men's and women's experiences, and with a surprise denouement that is part of a schema or process of surprises that leave the book with a hopeful and positive ending, notwithstanding the somewhat brutal events along the way.

Recommended, especially for the eloquent portrayal of depression.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book more to find out about the mind of Alastair Campbell than anything the story, per se, promised to deliver. I find him a fascinating figure, regardless of whether people liked him as a politician or not. I wasn't disappointed with this book.

The story is plausible with a nice bit of interweaving between the (seemingly) many central characters. Campbell also seems to ooze insight into mental issues he surely couldn't have encountered first hand (the trauma of the lady who was raped or the burns' victim, for example), and I sense that it might have been cathartic for him to put to paper the predicaments and mind-sets of the chronic depressive and alcoholic. He also seems pretty good at understanding things from a psychiatrist's point of view. Some of the latter is maybe from personal experience, but there's much more of a 3D representation of the psychiatrist in this book surely than anyone might of taken from a few one-on-one sessions).

Campbell takes on a broad swathe of topics face on and deals with them honestly and pretty incisively - massive bouts of depressive, alcoholism, social anxiety, personal relationships, forgiveness, and themes on empathy and the idea that we are all subject to similar problems despite (or perhaps because of) our careers, social standing and outward personalities.

Sort of knowing who the author is it's quite hard to categorize the book. Is it purely a satire and/or comment on a microcosm of society (doubtful - there seems to be too much of him in it for that), a look at psychology, philosophy, or largely a memoir, We'd have to ask him personally.
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