I really liked this book for its unaffected, warts-and-all narrative of an intelligent young woman suffering from depression. The book is begging to be slated with cries of 'Self pitying! Self-indulgent!' but that, folks, is what depression is about. Depression is not a group of students whining about beer being too expensive. Depression is mentally crippling, disturbing, totally unromantic and so often the catalyst for embarrassing, awkward or destructive behaviour. Wurtzel understands this, she suffers from it after all, and her story is not a pretty one. She readily accepts that she is a horrible person to be with when she is ill. But it is authentic, like it or not. Her crazy behaviour, promiscuity, self-harm, and endless spiral into hopeless pessimism as one 'remedy' after another fails her, is something that all those with depression can sympathise with. If you want a more palatable, synthetic view of the condition, go and watch a soap opera, where the illness lasts for about two weeks, before the character gets a good talking-to, pulls their socks up and everything is rosy again. This is a novel which portrays the illness like it is. Nasty, corrosive and totally defeating. 4½ stars.