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Skin Game: A Memoir Paperback – Jun 2000

15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press; First Edition First Printing edition (Jun. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312263937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312263935
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.4 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 415,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

As a young girl-smart, creative, well loved by her family-Caroline Kettlewell made a terrible discovery: The only way to gain relief from her overpowering feelings of self-consciousness, discomfort, and alienation was to physically hurt herself. She began cutting her arms and legs in fifth grade, and continued into her twenties. Why would an intelligent young woman resort to such extreme measures? The first former cutter to tell her own story about living with and overcoming the disorder, Kettlewell has written an unforgettably poignant and shocking memoir of affliction and survival. Caroline Kettlewell lives with her husband and their son in Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mandy on 8 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
This subject has very little written about it, and it's great to see a personal account of how this behaviour can occur. Although not 100% focused on cutting, this is helpful, as it shows how it is only one area of Kettlewell's life, and to the unconscious eye, nothing is wrong.
From a non-clinal point of view, it explores reactions of those around self-harmers, and also refuses to pretend that there's a simple solution to this problem. Definatly worth reading.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found the book disturbing in its compelling, detailed descriptions of the author's desire to self-injure. It's difficult to read something to which one so intimately relates. Hopefully someone will read this and realize they are not alone. There are many of us with this unhealthy way of coping with emotions and life. I no longer engage in self-injury. It has been six months since the last time. There is hope available. Amazon, your list of books for people to read that read this book is sorely missing the book, Bodily Harm by Karen Conterio and Wendy Lader. Not only is it a compassionate, encouraging book, but is based on Conterio and Lader's program in the suburbs of Chicago established to exclusively treat Self-Injury and the book offers concrete, tried suggestions for help. Skin Game is being added to my library of well-written books on the subject, of which I have found few. It is not for the faint-of-heart, however.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Candyflower on 2 April 2005
Format: Paperback
From the moment you being Skin game, Caroline's writing comsumes you and envites you to read on. The way she describes her life through her angst and sadness is so compelling, that I felt at once that she was putting onto the page things I had kept to myself. I also used to self-harm, and the way Caroline describes the addiction to cutting out her pain made sense to me. This book is not only an excellent book for others who self harm, but also anyone who is close to a self-harmer and wants a deeper understanding of what is like. Written beautifully i would recommend it anyone who loves reading.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Nov. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Reading the reviews about this book, I prepared myself for quite an engrossing read, but I was left feeling disappointed, finding myself skimming over paragraphs and hurrying to reach the end. It's not a big book (178 pgs) and half of the book is fixed at Caroline's teenage years with sporadic references to self-harm, more of it is a story of her experiences of boarding school, friends, her parents and boys. The latter third is slightly more interesting, but it is only in the last 27 pages that she seriously talks about self-harm, depression and treatment. As a self-harmer I feel this book only skims the surface of self-harm and doesn't get into the nitty-gritty of the emotions, actions and feelings surrounding this subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By oddkid6 on 24 Feb. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beautifully written, couldn't put it down.
If you are, or ever have been a cutter, or know someone who does, buy this and understand, empathise and help.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't stop reading this amazing story of self-mutilation. While her public life proceeds along conventional lines, Caroline Kettlewell's private existence is anything but placid. The contrast between the two results in a memoir of hypnotic intensity--reminiscent at times of a book Kettlewell mentions that she has read three times, Sylvia Plath's *The Bell Jar.* Thanks to Kettlewell's uncanny ability to observe herself, *Skin Game* also offers insights of uncommon penetration and humor. Individual scenes and remarks have stuck with me since I first read this book two weeks ago. Distinctive and so intensely felt as to be universally appealing, *Skin Game* is the wildest, most telling personal narrative I've read in many, many moons. First rate!
Roger Lathbury
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 April 2005
Format: Paperback
I SO wanted this book to be good. And, I must confess, it isn't bad. But if you are a self-harmer, it is probable you would wish to buy this book to gain an insight into your actions and a possible solution, through the experiences of the author. While you will not be entirely dissappointed, this book focuses more on irrelevent and highly trivial (as well as often mundane) 'set-pieces'. These could have provide a great starting point for some interesting threads, for example, the authors interest in men (and even her marriage) is discussed flippantly and never deeply enough to be satisfying, and there was I thinking it could have been explored more. This book often leaves the reader wondering "Where did that come from?" or "How does that fit in?" and finding that it actually comes to nothing. I would not recommend this book to self-harmers as it may not be what is expected, but to those without an understanding who wish to explore depression in general from a personal perspective, it is great. I imagine that people who have rated this book highly do not have first-hand experience of self-harm, which is fine, and I think these people will get the most out of it.
That said, there were a hell of a lot of "that's me!" moments, the vocabulary was full of imagination (although the book felt like it was 'skipping' in places) and I read the book in two sittings!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Aug. 2001
Format: Paperback
I too may think i set my sights too high when i went to read this book. It isn't as good as i imagined it would be. I'm not too sure exactly what i was looking for when i set out to read the book, but i didn't find it. I feel that it reads more like a novel than a personal account of s.i experiences. Having been a cutter myself, maybe that has made me more cynical then an averge person would be when reading the book for pleasure. There is a lot of detailed descriptions about mane aspect of her life, yet only skimming the surface of what is supposedly the real problem - the cutting.
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