Night Falls Fast : Understanding Suicide

by Kay R. Jamison

Hardcover, 1999




New York : Knopf, 1999.


Provides historical, scientific and other helpful material on suicide.

User reviews

LibraryThing member twomoredays
I first came upon this book when I was about fourteen and suffering through what would be the first of many major depressions. I remember standing at a Barnes and Noble table, idly touching the smooth dust jacket and wondering if this book would have answers as to the way I felt. Nearly six years and two suicide attempts of my own later, I’ve finally read the book.

I’ve been a big fan of Jamison’s ever since I first read An Unquiet Mind, her memoir of manic-depression. She is an eloquent writer and speaks about her subject with authority. She captures the feelings and lives of those who were lost to suicide in a way most reports on suicide never even graze. As far as a reading experience, this book is smooth, information packed sailing.

My complaint, however, is that it seems that Jamison poses more questions about suicide than answers. Despite the subtitle, despite being someone who has stood on that brink between life and death more than once, I don’t feel I understand suicide any better at all. Maybe that’s the nature of the beast, but I was hoping for a little bit more.

Regardless, the book is still expertly executed and well worth the time of anyone who had ever been touched by a suicide or simply wondered about the suicidal mind.

I give it four stars.
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LibraryThing member vampyredhead
One of the best books on deprssion ever written. Some of the greatest stories. Very insightful. Very emotional book.
LibraryThing member meggyweg
This is one of the most illuminating and interesting books on suicide that I’ve read in a very long time. It goes about as far as any book can in helping to explain this deeply tragic event, and to provide hope and alternatives for those contemplating taking their own lives.
LibraryThing member bness2
If you want to know the ins and outs of suicide, this is the book. Jamison reviews the history of suicide, what factors seem to predispose people to suicide, what to look for in people who are suicidal, the pervasive role of mental illness and drug addiction in suicide risk, suicide prevents, and more. As a clinician who has lived with mental illness herself and knows what it is like to be suicidal, this is just an excellent resource. Although somewhat out of date now (it was published in 1999) the field has not progressed enough yet to have left it behind, which is too bad, as suicide remains a serious health issue, killing more people than many other causes of death.… (more)
LibraryThing member harrietbrown
Kay Redfield Jamison writes about mental illness and the effect it has on people's lives with brilliance, understanding and compassion. You can't do better than to read her books on the topic of mental illness.



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