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Prozac Nation Hardcover – 31 Oct 1995


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (Trade) (31 Oct. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039568093X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395680933
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Ollie Burgess on 26 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
"Gradually... then suddenly." There appears little else to descirbe the journey of depression that is suffered by not just the authour, but thousands everyday. Those on the outside do not understand; they cannot comprehend what is experienced by the individual labelled clinically depressed.
'Prozac Nation' truly made me feel that I was not alone; that there indeed was someone to help me. Someone who truly knew that I wanted to live. "The same way I came down, I came up." If it hadn't been for this account, I genuinely do not believe I would be here today. I highlight the pages of her narrative and every page seems applicable to myself. But there is only so much to mark. You have to make it for yourself and for any manic depressive, I genuinely belive that you are strong enough to bid adieu to the black cloud.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 May 2004
Format: Paperback
prozac nation is an incredible memoir of depression by beautifully talented young writer elizabeth wurtzel. i finished reading it a few weeks ago and i was left blown away by her strength, her bravery, and the poise with which she manages to convey her harrowing story. somehow she is capable of describing the horrific occurences of her life without hardly ever sounding sorry for herself or as though all she wants is your attention and/or pity. instead, her sardonic dark wit and the attentiveness with which she examines the life and the pain around her is simply breathtaking. i finished the book and somehow, despite being frighteningly capable of identifying with many of the things she recounts, i felt more like a whole than i ever have. read this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on 6 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 April 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read this book when I was suffering from depression myself. Elizabeth Wurtzel captures what it is like to be depressed and expresses it vividly. She also shows that just because you suffer from depression, you don't have to lose your sense of humour.
The danger with this book is that a depressed reader can relate so well to the author's description of her own experiences that it can encourage them to sink further into a pit of despair. However, the book may help people who do not know others with the same problem and who would welcome the reassurance that they are not alone.
The book is so good because despite the accusations of self-indulgence, it is in fact written from a critical distance. Wurtzel makes fun of herself, her own neediness and sense of inadequacy, while simultaneously reminding you just what hell depression is.
Wurtzel emphasises that depression is mostly an emptiness where life should be, but a book about lying blankly in bed feeling very sad would have perhaps been rather boring, so she does tend to devote more space to her more histrionic moments, which may perhaps give casual readers the wrong impression.
The book is a remarkable achievement in being both so painful and so entertaining at the same time.
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85 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Ms. N. C. Turnill on 17 Mar. 2006
Format: Paperback
The book is a true to life portrayal of Elizabeth’s life in the USA, written first hand. It starts of in her childhood, in approximately the 1970’s, when she is only around 8 or 9 from when she still feels normal to when she starts to feel the depression first kicking in. Her parents separate when she is pretty young and she gets sent away to Summer Camp for months on end which she dreads. During one of these Summers as a child of only 9 or 10 she takes her first overdose, not enough to do any real damage, but enough to be recognised as a cry for help…. She also spends long periods of time sitting in the toilets at school cutting her legs, however she can hide this all too well. Sadly no-one notices her cries for help and life goes on with Elizabeth sinking further and further into her depression.
The bulk of the book is set during her late teens and the time she spends at college. Elizabeth is an interesting case because she is a very intelligent person and despite her depression she gets a place to study at Harvard and she always somehow manages to just scrape through. Unfortunately away from the security of home, things just get worse for Elizabeth. She starts to drink a lot and to take a lot of drugs, cocaine, ecstasy, cannabis, speed, you name it, to try to make the pain go away and to try to ‘fit in’ but this just makes everything worse.
When she isn’t on a manic partying spree Elizabeth’s days are primarily spend alone, in bed, in the dark, because she can’t even find the energy to drag herself up out of bed. She cries endlessly for days on end and tortures her poor mother who simply cannot understand her ups and downs. Her father stops speaking to her altogether and disappears for up to years at a time.
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