I came to this book after seeing a post on Youtube of Eleanor Longdon's impressive talk about her hearing voices. There she struck me as very sane, intelligent and articulate while talking about her hearing voices: a subject many would consider madness.
The book, though short, adds considerably to her talk, discussing various issues about the subject of hearing voices both scholarly and her own experience. If I did have a criticism it is that she perhaps summarises her experiences rather than giving us fuller details of say dialogues between herself and her voices which she acknowledges as a community inside her head. That said she gives an eloquent summary of her own experience, being abused as a child, her alarm at the voices that began to appear and which lead to her being diagnosed as schizophrenic. Then she describes her experiences of how she told lies to get herself out of a mental hospital and eventually found help from a voices hearer's support group and a "radical" psychiatrist. She is now doing research into the area and has completed an MA.
Though not against psychiatric and scientific interventions in this area, she points to inadequacies of some of their methods, and the failure of pharmacological and genetic research to find things that might help people in a similar situation. She also suggests that "medicalising" some of these things may not be the best way to help here, and looks at some of the radical alternatives stating that though a therapeutic approach was helpful to her, other alternatives exist via other cultures and institutions.
All in all this is a fascinating document which will be of help to people in a similar predicament and those supporting them. But this will also be of interest to those in or training in psychotherapy and psychiatry. The book is well referenced with books an papers to follow up on, though here I would have liked a list in author order to supplement references, as this would make the task. She joins a long list of figures who have called for better understanding of many psychological issues. Let us hope this has an impact, because it won't have a more articulate advocate.
One final comment. This book is only available in e-format at the moment. What is said here is so valuable, not least that it could provide invaluable help to carers, therapists and suffers. It's still not the case that everyone has an e-reader or Kindle. Could it be made available in book format. There must be a print on demand that could do this.