I bought this as a gift for someone whose mother has been sectioned a few times. I was hoping it would debunk the myth of One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest, offer some comfort that locked wards are not scary places peopled by uncaring staff, and just make the whole thing less upsetting with a little gentle humour. However am very glad i read it before giving. Absolutely not appropriate - far too much relish in scenes of restraint, particularly for those patients with unlikeable characters and bad behaviour. Far too many scenes enforcing huge doses of meds and "jagging" (injecting) and controlling unreasonable behaviour through sedation. Very few scenes depicting patient care through other therapies. Patients were sketched in terms of their crazy off the wall behavior - which admittedly is interesting (possibly amusing), just not so much if it is a member of your family behaving like that. For this reason, I didn't like the tone of the book much. However, mental illness is such a dark terrible mysterious and acutely distressing plight, and caring for the afflicted such a hard job, I only have respect for the people who can handle it, never mind do it for 8 years. As a book it does succeed in giving a behind-the-scenes account in a simple "Rough Guide" travelogue kind of way. I guess the country of insanity is best passed through without any real understanding! I only wish that there was another way of dealing with the mentally ill other than orderlies imposing order on disordered minds through enforced medication.