Get a free audiobook

The Noonday Demon

An Atlas of Depression
Written by: Andrew Solomon
Narrated by: Andrew Solomon
Length: 6 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

With uncommon humanity, candor, wit, and erudition, National Book Award-winner Andrew Solomon takes the listener on a journey of incomparable range and resonance into the most pervasive of family secrets.

The Noonday Demon examines depression in personal, cultural, and scientific terms. Drawing on his own struggles with the illness and interviews wit fellow sufferers, doctors and scientists, policymakers and politicians, drug designers and philosophers, Solomon reveals the subtle complexities and sheer agony of the disease. He confronts the challenge of defining the illness and describes the vast range of available medications, the efficacy of alternative treatments, and the impact the malady has had on various demographic populations around the world and throughout history. He also explores the thorny patch of moral and ethical questions posed by emerging biological explanations for mental illness.

The depth of human experience Solomon chronicles, the range of his intelligence, and his boundless curiosity and compassion will change the listener's view of the world.

©2004 Andrew Solomon (P)2004 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very disappointed this was abridged

Why isn't it written somewehere that this is not the full book? :( otherwise, great book!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A humbling experience

Andrew Solomon tackles on a challenging topic with nuance, empathy and insight. While he has a personal stake in the discussion of depression and leverages his own experience fighting it, he nonetheless does not make the book about himself. I highly recommend this book to anyone either debilitated by the 'Noonday Demon' or attempting to gain understanding in order to help a suffering friend or a family member.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must listen to if you suffer depression

A very interesting and engaging audio book, and a must listen to if you suffer from, or are even remotely interested in mental disorders of any kind. Thank you Andrew Solomon for this. I will refer back to this when the dark clouds come back over my mind.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A masterpiece!!!

As someone who has suffered from depression for many, many years, this book was a game changer for me - both in terms of learning more about the disease and in terms of listening to someone who so vividly and accurately describes what depression feels like. It was the first time in my life that I heard, in words, what it is to feel depression. I care not that the audible version is condensed One of my issues when depressed is concentration - I’d rather have access to this information in a condensed form than not have any information at all. Given this book was published almost 20 years ago, I can’t help but wonder what, if anything has changed. I would love for Mr. Solomon to write a follow up.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • michael
  • 2011-07-29

It's a good audiobook, but

It's a good audiobook, but it's abridged. It is well researched and well written, but abridged books always leave you feeling like you missed something that may have been important. Honestly, if you are going to produce an audiobook why not just produce the unabridged version?

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 2013-11-19

ESSENTIAL READ FOR THOSE IN NEED

While I very much wish an unabridged version was available, this is perhaps one case where an abridged version of a book is a good Idea for some. While I'm not suffering a terrible level of depression now, I certainly have- and know how difficult it would be to listen to a 30hr version of this, or any book for that matter while being depressed. Hopefully the abridgement was a good one and an uncut version of this multiple award winning book is in the works.

Before this book I read/ listened to the author's other non-fiction masterpiece FAR FROM THE TREE. That book blew me away and my review of it is in these reviews. Andrew Solomons writing is just incredible!

Solomon uses his own life experiences in this book as he did in Far from the tree. Having battled severe depression himself he's able to write from the vantage point of a fellow sufferer. Solomon is remarkably forthcoming with all the intimate details of his story and others who have suffered terribly. There is much more here than biography though, All treatments I've ever heard of and then some are explained in detail, along with all the other related aspects of this disease. What sets this book apart is Solomons remarkable writing. His honesty, empathy, intellect, erudition and magnitude of research provide a uniquely readable and helpful tool to help those who need help or those who want to understand and help others deal with this dreadful all too common illness. Regardless of severity, this book covers it all. If you are depressed or want to help someone who is depressed I would encourage you to get the book format after listening to this.This is a heavy abridgement, the full book is over 500 pages and by sheer volume must contain important points left out here. Beyond that this is the kind of book to keep as a reference I don't have the book yet but a relative that has fought depression her whole life tells me that her copy is worn to bits and has been her source of solace for years.

Some people don't like Solomons narration but I think he does a great job. If you're impressed with his writing I strongly recommend FAR FROM THE TREE. Considering the prevalence of depression and the severity of damage inflicted by it I Highly recommended this book for everyone

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lou
  • 2011-12-20

This book is right on!

Narration by the author added credibility to what is revealed in this book. I have listened to it several times and am impressed with the way hard to describe feelings are dealt with via metapors and analogies. I highly recommend this book. Luca

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Flávio
  • 2018-08-08

Need the full version

Need the full version of this audiobook... Any info about it?
Great book but this is abridged

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dlb1228
  • 2015-09-17

Brilliant and life changing.

No one has ever described to me the workings of my own breakdown with such clarity and beauty. It is as if he lived it for me. And the final chapter's conclusions about how Mr. Solomon lives day to day were so familiar and made me cry and also smile. The best book I've ever experienced about my illness. I will never look at my depression the same way again.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Neuron
  • 2020-03-07

A multifaceted view on depression

The author describes in detail his own, and others, life long struggle with depression including the ups and downs, including suicide attempts as well as the surprising positive aspects of the depression.

Overall this book gives the reader a good introduction to depression, and I think that it will remove some of the stigma associated with the disease in the mind of the reader if any exists. The book discusses psychological as well as pharmacological aspects of the disease. In my opinion the author is sometimes a bit too open-minded when it comes to certain treatments. For example the author at one point discusses a friend who used homeopathic remedies to treat her depression, hinting that such treatment might work, which is of course nonsense. (The girl who used homeopathic remedies fell back into depression and only got better after switching to conventional treatments).

Overall, despite some dubious sections, I can recommend this book to those who want to learn about depression and what it is like to live with it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-07-17

Brilliant and beautiful

Definitely recommend it if you think you are depressed or have been diagnosed with depression or have a loved one suffering from it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 2017-01-01

DEPRESSION IN AND OUT!!

Where does The Noonday Demon rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very Very good although Andrew Solomon's voice can be a bit shrill. He has lived in the valley of severe depression and does an excellent job of both sharing his experiences, interviewing others, making some very good points and has done quite a bit of research both on current and past treatments modalities and the history of depression. I am a Psychotherapist in private practice for over 30 years and also struggled with my own severe depressions at times. I felt joined by him and hope that other's who are struggling or know someone struggling will feel some hope.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea L Campbell
  • 2016-11-24

The Noonday Demon

Andrew Solomon puts into words what I felt and suffered but could not really articulate myself. His own experience with and research about depression is enlightening, comforting, and empowering. I recommend this book and Solomon's TED Talks to anyone suffering depression, anyone who thinks something is happening to him/her but don't feel he/she yet qualifies as depressed, and those who know sufferers and wonder why those people can't just get over it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JOHE
  • 2016-08-08

heart touching, had me balling many times,

Help Me Grow so much as a person and made me understand so many experiences I've been through and needed help and there was no one, I hope I can be there for somebody else that is going through something similar

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Geoffrey
  • 2020-01-14

Be careful with this book

It's interesting but I worry about how it can impact different readers. I find some passages dangerous if you are depressed and in the middle of a really bad phase (for example the part about euthanasia).

You are told one great tip at some point: the sentence "it isn't always going to be like this" is supposed to help a lot, but it is demolisehed soon after when you are told your brain is fundamentally and irreversibly altered by what happened to you and it's mostly going to suck from that moment on. I don't find it to be completely incoherent, but how can the tip remain efficient for the reader now?

Some statements seem to be mere opinions while others seem to be reasearched. It is not always easy to know because the author is very assertive. Also, at least in the audiobook version, sources are not provided (except when he quotes an authority figure, but this quind of source is problematic to me because a quote is not rigorous and can be interpreted subjectively).

I regret that he did not reasearch cognitive behavioral therapy (if I recall correctly). Basically your are told that there are two efficient therapies, this one and interpersonal therapy, Andrew makes a strawman of the former but then insists that it works and admits he doesn't know much about it. I mean, if you are going to present it in such a way, maybe you should refrain from doing it because you make it very unattractive...


Also, it may be because I am not a native English speaker, but the reader seems to have this whining voice the whole time.