Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/product_reviews/pr_id/114934-Girl-Interrupted
ASIN: 0679746048
ID #114934
Girl, Interrupted   (Rated: 13+)
Product Type: Book
Reviewer: Choconut ~ Busy Writing!
Review Rated: ASR
Amazon's Price: $ 12.66
Product Rating:
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Summary of this Book...
This is the first time I’ve read the book, although I’ve seen the film a few times. I have to admit, I was disappointed, at first. But, as I read more, I realised that this book is probably a more accurate depiction of the author’s time in a psychiatric institution. The movie is embellished and made more fantastical, I guess, because that’s what movies do.

I liked the way this book jumps around in periods of time. It felt like the author was writing memories as they came to her. Maybe, she intended to highlight the brokenness of her personality. That might be reading too much into it, though.

I was surprised at how little emotion has gone into this. Okay, so Kaysen is angry. At her diagnosis, the time she spent in a hospital, the people who put and kept her there. Yes. She seems angry. But there is little compassion, towards herself or others. In fact, she is quite detached. Which, again, after seeing the film, is a bit of a disappointment.

I’m glad I read this. I’ve been meaning to ever since I first saw the film years ago. Maybe, though, I would have enjoyed it more had I read it before watching the film.
This type of Book is good for...
Anyone who wants to learn more about the treatment of mental illness and how it has evolved. You get to learn about Bordeline Personality Disorder. Although, the author is quite dismissive of her diagnosis. Angry about it, even. The book is good for people who enjoy reading memoirs that don't have too much emotion attached to them.
I especially liked...
Lisa. She definitely has more appeal than the other patients. I also really liked Valerie. She seemed to have some heart, which I felt was lacking in the other staff members. Valerie treated the patients like real people with real feelings.
I didn't like...
The detached style. I really wanted more emotion. I wanted to understand how it felt for Susanna Kaysen to be "voluntarily" locked away. Because I've been there, so I am always interested to hear about the experience of others. I also disliked the fact that I kept comparing the book to the film. Usually, books come out on top. Not this time, though, and that is bcause of the lack of emotion.
When I finished reading this Book I wanted to...
Watch the film again.
This Book made me feel...
Disappointed, a little. That said, I tore through the book in one sitting. So, I still enjoyed it. I also felt sad for patients like Cynthia. I laughed at some of Kaysen's ironic musings.
The author of this Book...
Susanna Kaysan. She was in McLean Hospital, Belmont from 1967 to 1969. She is hard to get a handle on. She doesn't give her true feelings away. Except for her anger at being diagnosed as BPD and locked away in the hospital for so long.
I recommend this Book because...
It is a good memoir in terms of facts and giving the reader an understanding of how horrific these hospitals used to be.
Created May 18, 2022 at 6:22am • Submit your own review...

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