All in the Mind Hardcover – 30 Oct 2008
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'A most vivid portrait of the darkness of mental illness, yet ultimately life-affirming rather than depressing' -- Scotland on Sunday, November 2, 2008
'A serious subject adddressed with compassion, intelligence and sensitivity...this is an emotionally engaging and thought-provoking book' -- The Times, November 1, 2008
'An extraordinarily open and brave novel about weakness...its power comes from a clearly articulated insight into the darker workings of the human mind' -- Mirror, November 1, 2008
'Campbell knows his business, which is telling well-paced and compelling stories...the novel succeeds because of the clarity of his reporter's prose' -- Financial Times, November 1, 2008
'One of the few books that has brought me close to tears in places, yet it is surprisingly uplifting and often very funny' -- Mail on Sunday, November 2, 2008
'A brilliant debut novel ... a compelling and unforgettable experience' -- Stephen Fry
'A moving and compelling story ... authentic and impressive' -- Nicholas Coleridge
'I loved this book' -- Anne Robinson
`...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...' -- Christina Patterson, INDEPENDENT, 31/10/08
'One of the few books that has brought me close to tears in places, yet it is surprisingly uplifting and often very funny'See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
For me the book was excellent and somewhat important. You see, as a therapist one of the challenges in treating people with depression, is the way that people react to their illnesses (sometimes not even seeing them as ill at all, but attention seeking). For far too long many people have been misunderstood when they convey to friends and family that they are suffering from a mental health issue such as depression. This book would certainly help to educate those friends and family members that are willing to be open minded and to learn.
All of the story lines from the various characters were handled with respect and where delivered very interestingly.
I am looking forward to this becoming a film on the small screen sometime in the future and awaiting eagerly the announcement of Campbell's next novel.
I would be interested to hear the views of other therapists or sufferers of mental health issues on this book.
Author of Self-Change Hypnosis
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.
As a psychotherapist myself, I think Alastair Campbell has enormous insight into the vulnerability and fragility that can exist side by side, no doubt influencing and enhancing a therapist's work. Dr Sturrock is very much a wounded healer, loved and respected by his patients, but with his own angels and demons.
The patients are described vividly in all their humanity and ring true as people.
I think Alastair Campbell has used his own experience of depression in a very creative way. I hope he wil write some more fiction basd on fact. I for one will be eager to read it.
Cynics might argue that this is not in fact Campbell's first stab at fiction and that he should be credited with the infamous `dodgey dossier' of 2003 that led to the invasion of Iraq, even if he was later officially exonerated. This new novel won't attract any allegations of scandalous untruth made against it, and while it feels authentic - the author having experienced most of these personal problems directly or indirectly - there is something of a dramatic void with regard to the narration and the reader might sense that Campbell could have dropped to deeper and darker depths of his soul in describing the stresses that the various characters endure. In his own life he has presumably come out of the darkness and up into the light a survivor, and possibly as a consequence the general flavour of the story is not the one of hopelessness or despair that might otherwise have tugged more passionately at the reader's heartstrings.Read more ›
"All in the Mind" is a novel about a psychiatrist and six patients, whose lives interweave with his own. Like all first novels, it owes a lot to autobiography. Alistair Campbell's own interest in psychiatry stems from his experiences openly and frankly described in "Cracking Up".
The central character, Professor Sturrock is a likeable character who cares more about his patients lives than his personal life, for which he pays the unavoidable price. The Professor has a humanistic approach to psychiatry rather than the "Give them drugs and see if they need sectioning" of modern NHS psychiatric service. As a result there are plenty of details of the lives these people, to which Professor Sturrock responds with everyday, formulaic advice. The advice such as "write down your goals", "do not be afraid to do what you want", combined with weekly homework for his patients, might as well come from a life coach,.
The theme of the book is people, and how they respond to events in their lives, rather than choosing the lives they lead. It is not obvious why Alistair Campbell wrote this book, other than these stories needed to a voice.
The book is important because of the background against which it was written and what it tells us about Campbell's role in government. Sturrock has a lot in common with Campbell. Sturrock is a man who hears peoples' confessions but has limited power to improve their lot beyond offering bland advice, regular meetings and even, when required sanctuary in his own home.
His patients include the David, the humble factory worker, whose final eulogy has a lesson for us all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dr R
Alastair has real insight. If you're struggling, you'll find some comfort in this book. If not, I hope you'll learn a lot about mental health problems and help to reduce the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very disappointing end. Not worth the time invested reading it. Compelling reading, however.Published 13 months ago by N Pearce / John Pearce
I wept for me and for the character and for everyone when I finished this. This book draws you right into the character's lives, then puts you down and walks away.Published 15 months ago by Felicity Wills
I read this as part of a venture with a book club i have just joined. I wouldn't normally read this kind but I really enjoyed it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Val Horsfall
An interesting read with some insight into the thoughts of a depressive personality. It makes you think that you don't know people at all.Published 19 months ago by belinda potter
I bought this book more to find out about the mind of Alastair Campbell than anything the story, per se, promised to deliver. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Chris_Carlisle
quite enjoyed this book. easy read. not the best writing but insightful to depression and good to raise awareness on this topic.Published 23 months ago by Fiona M Miller