From the beginning I might as well say that I also was once diagnosed as a schizophrenic, even for a few days as a paranoid schizophrenic, and so the subject of this particular book strikes close to my heart, although I must add that I never had the experience of hearing voices. This book is an absolutely realistic recreation of the mind of a person who experiences schizophrenia. I have never come across a book that has done this so effectively. Through Robby's voice the author, Elizabeth Kytle, presents some of the prime features of life with schizophrenia; for example, 1. the extreme sense of social anxiety; 2 the social immaturity; 3. the confusion over sexual identity and fear of sexual contact; 4.the deep and profound, though constantly thwarted, need to belong; 5. the awareness that what you are doing and thinking is somehow extremely inappropriate combined with the need to spend intense energy disguising that inappropriateness; and finally, 6. the establishment of a barricade to protect yourself from other people, which eventually becomes a prison. One of the most effective techniques Elizabeth Kytle uses in this book is to have Robby narrate a portion of his life, and then have another friend, relative, teacher, colleague or employer then narrate a parallel section covering the same period of time, yet reflecting a different perspective on the same events. Research has shown that shizophrenia is caused by a complicated interaction between genetic and environmental influences--40% is probably genetic while the environment contributes the remaining 60%. This book does an excellent job of showing the interaction between these two elements to the point where Robby ended up in a psychiatric hospital with a full fledged case of schizophrenia. Overall, at the end of this book, I was wholly impressed with Robby's courage and ingenuity in facing an extremely destructive mental illness. We are also called to examine our own attitudes towards what those who have serious mental illness can and cannot do. It was clear that Robby, despite the severity of his illness, was a far more capable employee than others who weren't mentally ill. If only employers had been willing to work with his diability, he could have ended his life with some self-respect and dignity. In conclusion, I've read many books on mental illness, particularly in the area of memoir, and this is pretty well the best I've read thus far.