Darkness Visible

A Memoir of Madness

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Darkness Visible
Random House, Inc.
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

A work of great personal courage and a literary tour de force, this bestseller is Styron's true account of his descent into a crippling and almost suicidal depression. Styron is perhaps the first writer to convey the full terror of depression's psychic landscape, as well as the illuminating path to recovery.

Baker & Taylor
In a candid and moving memoir, the author of Sophie's Choice chronicles his descent into depression, discussing not only the anguish of his own experience and recovery but also how others can find help. Reissue. 15,000 first printing.

& Taylor

The author chronicles his descent into depression, discussing not only his own experience and recovery but also how others can find help.

Publisher: New York : The Modern Library, 2007
Edition: Modern library ed
ISBN: 9780679643524
Branch Call Number: B Styron
Characteristics: 84 p. ; 20 cm.


From the critics

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Feb 17, 2015
  • jkovacs rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I read this very quickly (in about an hour or so). It is an honest look at one person's struggle with depression. I think the author does a great job and telling his story, but also in letting the reader know that his struggles are his own and that others may have different symptoms and that not all treatments work for everyone. I found it particularly telling in that prior to his mental illness, Styron admitted he couldn't understand someone taking their own life (which I think many people who haven't suffered from depression also feel) but while in his depression nearly did so. To me that speaks volumes to the seriousness of mental illness and the reason why 25 years after this book was written we still need to keep talking about it.

Nov 29, 2014
  • JCLBeckyC rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Styron's masterpiece about his descent into clinical depression. This short memoir is beautifully written despite the dark subject matter. Gives hope to those who suffer with clinical depression or other socially isolating mental illnesses. Highly recommended.

Oct 24, 2012

one of the best books on depression by someone who lived it and his take on the doctors and too much medication

Jul 06, 2012
  • mstockwe rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very astute look into depression. I am amazed that the author was able to write so vividly aobut his depression. Obviously written once he had resumed some semblence of mental health.

Oct 15, 2010
  • Travel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is THE book to read for anyone who wants to understand depression. Strangely enough, it is comforting for those experiencing severe depression.

As Dan Hill recently wrote:

"Rather than psychiatrist's, writers - for example, William Styron in his gripping and jagged Darkness Visible-A Memoir of Madness-consistently come closer to deconstructing depression"
- Dan Hill, Me and My Shrinks, article in Maclean's, Oct 18, 2010, Vol 123, No 10


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Darkness Visible
Styron, William, 1925-2006
Darkness Visible

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