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From the Edge of the Couch Paperback – 3 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (3 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 059304696X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593046968
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 14.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,704,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'A thought-provoking book that's a 'must read'...Promises to do for psychiatry what Oliver Sacks' books have done for neurology' -- V S Ramachandran, Reith Lecturer, 2003

Book Description

Fascinating, illuminating and full of absorbing true case studies, FROM THE EDGE OF THE COUCH reveals how medical science is still struggling to fully understand the workings of the mind - and offers proof that fact really is much stranger than fiction. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Smith on 7 July 2010
Format: Paperback
If I could give this book zero stars, I would. I work in psychiatry and I have rarely come across a book that purportes to be a psychiatric work but that in reality is so poor. Persaud writes in the style of a self-loving, pompous out-dated psychiatrist who is too hung-up on outdated Freudian thinking and who has no grasp whatsoever of modern psychiatry - in fact, when I looked at the date it had been written I was amazed that it was so recent - it reads like a book straight out of out-moded Fifties psychiatric thinking. Honestly, books like this give psychiatry a bad name. Just glad I only paid 50p for it from a charity shop.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stella Navaratnam on 1 April 2003
Format: Paperback
I find this book to be a very insightful read. It certainly does a splendid job, bringing psychiatry to the mainstream. Books on this subject that are fit for general readership are rare and Raj Persaud writes in a manner that is very accessible and appealing. I think this book serves a very important function in ensuring that people are drawn to explore, read and be curious on a subject that is pivotal to our lives. After all, staying on top of things is of the essence. The counter-influences of culture, myth and taboos are also generously explored vis-a-vis medical conditions; making it a holistic assessment that is well researched and articulated. The book may appear considerable due largely to the narrative style of writing adopted by the author. No complaints on this front, as the narrative style makes it so much less forbidding to peruse through and enjoyable to a lay reader. Certainly one of the more interesting and enriching books I've picked up this year.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 May 2004
Format: Paperback
I thought this was an excellent and thoroughly fascinating read. I'm particularly interested in rare psychiatric disorders (e.g. Munchausen Syndrome, various paraphilias, alien hand syndrome, capgras syndrome - all of which are mentioned in this book) so it was simply delightful to come across a book which collated numerous bizarre cases. Persaud writes in a very clear and concise manner which makes the book more accessible to the general public. Highly recommended to anyone intrigued by abnormal/clinical psychology/psychiatry.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on 16 Jan 2007
Format: Paperback
I liked Raj Persaud when I first read something of his in New Scientist. I still like his writing style. He is apparently very well qualified at all sorts of things.

This book, at first anyway, gives a few psychiatric case histories, quite readable, and then brief 'explanations'.

This is only a review of the first 80 pages or so out of about 430. I didn't want to waste any more time on a book that includes the following:

"... the wish to kill the father figure in order to possess the mother. Bobby wished to destroy his father to win an Oedipal victory while Ms. A., so strongly attached to her own mother psychologically, wished to destroy her father symbolically to gain a negative Oedipal victory. In the regression to psychosis both acted on their unconscious wish to destroy the father figure, while a conscious delusion was that he wanted to destroy them." [...]
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7 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mr David Ian Grant on 14 Jun 2003
Format: Paperback
Having read similar books in this area, I have been impressed by the standard set (The Mummy at the Dining Room Table). Also being a psychology student, i have a knowledge of problems the human psyche endures. This book had short case-studies (which weren't too interesting, although mostly bizarre) followed by an extensive teaching session on the history of the disorder and lots of other related jargon. Some of the topics mentioned even went over my head.
Some contentious issues were also touched upon - finding God in the brain and assuming evolution is true. Firstly, trying to quantify a religious being that exists through faith is an area which is difficult to address without stepping on many toes. Also, much evidence is available which stands against evolution so to assign this as a potential cause for a disorder is not commendable. Well worth looking in to however.
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