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All in the Mind by [Campbell, Alastair ]
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All in the Mind Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Length: 304 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A sympathetic foray into mental instability ... Campbell's own experience of breakdown brings an intensity to Sturrock's decline" (Financial Times)

"A serious subject adddressed with compassion, intelligence and sensitivity ... this is an emotionally engaging and thought-provoking book" (The Times)

"Extremely absorbing, moving and compassionate portrayal of ordinary human beings exhibiting extraordinary courage in challenging circumstances ... If Campbell writes more novels, I'll certainly read them" (The Independent)

"Campbell has written a highly sensitive novel ... A moving account of people's suffering and search for help" (Dr David Sturgeon, University College London Hospital The Guardian)

"An extraordinarily open and brave novel about weakness. Or, more accurately, humility ... its power comes from a clearly articulated insight into the darker workings of the human mind and the complex nature of mental health" (The Mirror)

Review

'One of the few books that has brought me close to tears in places, yet it is surprisingly uplifting and often very funny'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 753 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (2 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031RS3O4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,580 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The combative, even bullying, character of Alastair Campbell is difficult to square with the author of this sensitive and compassionate novel about mental illness [Its title is the same as an informative BBC Radio 4 series on the same topic]. Much has been said about the author’s experience of depression and breakdown and whilst is clearly informs this novel there is nothing formulaic or second hand about its portrayals.

The central character is an eminent London psychiatrist, Professor Martin Sturrock, and the book revolves around a group of his patients - Emily Parks, a young teacher traumatised after being horribly burned; Arta Mehmeti, a refugee from Kosovo who has been raped in London; Hafsatu Sesay, a trafficked prostitute; David Temple, a reclusive warehouse packer; Matthew Noble, a successful QC whose wife has pushed him to seek help for his sex-addiction, and Ralph Hall, the government’s Health Secretary, whose ability is impaired by alcoholism and his paralysing fear that this secret will be revealed. These differing case histories, presented over a weekend, allow the author to present the potential and challenges of mental treatment and the pressures on the professor.

Sturrock himself is facing a crisis, the result of overwork [he is unable to cancel or postpone a consultation and cannot switch off at home], his feelings about a patient and a compulsion to visit prostitutes. To all these must be added the death of an aunt and his mother’s dementia, both of which revive painful memories of his childhood and adolescence.

The style is very readable and the individual stories make compulsive reading.
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Format: Hardcover
To be honest I've never liked Alastair Campbell. But I'm not interested in the author, I'm reviewing the book.

Also, for the record, I'm Bipolar 1.

At times the book made me laugh outload, and at other times you can't help feel a strong connection to the characters who are having a bad time.
I found the end of the book uplifting, and it has made me see the people in the mental health services in a more positive light.

This book should be compulsory reading for those who secretly think that depressives are just 'weak people', and come out with stupid phrases like 'pull yoursel together'. Intelligent people will enjoy it too.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked this up because my friend, Meg, pressed it upon me, and because I've already read Campbell's "The Happy Depressive" and was interested to read his novel on the subject. I was not disappointed. Martin Sturrock is a top psychiatrist, entrusted with the care of a range of people, from a Kosovan refugee to a Cabinet Minister, and his favourite patient, David, who expresses his own and Martin's depression in a way that is both lyrical and precise.

Over the course of a long weekend, several lives appear to start to unravel, including Sturrock's own, spiralling into boundaries being overstepped in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. Thoughtful, very perceptive about men's and women's experiences, and with a surprise denouement that is part of a schema or process of surprises that leave the book with a hopeful and positive ending, notwithstanding the somewhat brutal events along the way.

Recommended, especially for the eloquent portrayal of depression.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book more to find out about the mind of Alastair Campbell than anything the story, per se, promised to deliver. I find him a fascinating figure, regardless of whether people liked him as a politician or not. I wasn't disappointed with this book.

The story is plausible with a nice bit of interweaving between the (seemingly) many central characters. Campbell also seems to ooze insight into mental issues he surely couldn't have encountered first hand (the trauma of the lady who was raped or the burns' victim, for example), and I sense that it might have been cathartic for him to put to paper the predicaments and mind-sets of the chronic depressive and alcoholic. He also seems pretty good at understanding things from a psychiatrist's point of view. Some of the latter is maybe from personal experience, but there's much more of a 3D representation of the psychiatrist in this book surely than anyone might of taken from a few one-on-one sessions).

Campbell takes on a broad swathe of topics face on and deals with them honestly and pretty incisively - massive bouts of depressive, alcoholism, social anxiety, personal relationships, forgiveness, and themes on empathy and the idea that we are all subject to similar problems despite (or perhaps because of) our careers, social standing and outward personalities.

Sort of knowing who the author is it's quite hard to categorize the book. Is it purely a satire and/or comment on a microcosm of society (doubtful - there seems to be too much of him in it for that), a look at psychology, philosophy, or largely a memoir, We'd have to ask him personally.
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