HUGE AND IMMEDIATE RECEPTION: Hidden Valley Road was an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, and chosen as Oprah’s book club pick upon release.
GLOWING MEDIA COVERAGE: The hardcover publication has received praise and coverage in such places as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic, NPR’s Weekend Edition, CBS This Morning, CBS Sunday Morning, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, People Magazine, and more.
A WELL-POSITIONED AUTHOR: Bob Kolker’s first book Lost Girls was a New York Times bestseller and a model of true-crime writing and reporting. For the writing of Hidden Valley Road, every living Galvin, sick and well, cooperated with him.
A RIVETING AND INTIMATE JOURNEY INTO A POPULAR SUBJECT: Kolker’s portraits of the Galvin family’s members are extraordinary. Nearly 1 percent of the population deals with schizophrenic illness, and countless more are affected by it.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
People’s #1 Book of the Year
One of Barack Obama’s “Favourite Books of 2020”
One of Publishers Lunch’s “Very Best of the Best Books of 2020”
One of Forbes’ “Best Higher Education Books of 2020”
One of NPR’s “Best Books of 2020”
One of Smithsonian Magazine’s “Ten Best Science Books of 2020”
One of The Washington Post’s “10 Best Books of 2020”
One of TIME’s “100 Must-Read Books of 2020”
One of Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Nonfiction of 2020”
One of Amazon’s “Best Books of 2020”
One of Indigo’s “Best Books of the Year”
Oprah’s Book Club Pick
A Penguin Book Club Pick
“A stunning, riveting chronicle crackling with intelligence and empathy…Kolker tackles this extraordinarily complex story so brilliantly and effectively that readers will be swept away. An exceptional, unforgettable, and significant work that must not be missed.” —Booklist, starred review
“Riveting and disquieting…Kolker deftly follows the psychiatric, chemical, and biological theories proposed to explain schizophrenia and the various treatments foisted upon the brothers. Most poignantly, he portrays the impact on the unafflicted children of the brothers’ illness, an oppressive emotional atmosphere, and the family’s festering secrets…A family portrait of astounding depth and empathy.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A powerful look at schizophrenia and the quest to understand it…A taut and often heartbreaking narrative…A haunting and memorable look at the impact of mental illness on multiple generations.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A feat of empathy and narrative journalism.” —Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times
“The curse of the Galvin family is the stuff of Greek tragedy. Kolker tells their story with great compassion, burrowing inside the particular delusions and hospitalizations of each brother while chronicling the family’s increasingly desperate search for help. But Hidden Valley Road is more than a narrative of despair, and some of the most compelling chapters come from its other half, as a medical mystery.” —Sam Dolnick, The New York Times Book Review
“At once deeply compassionate and chilling.” —Karen Iris Tucker, Washington Post
“Hidden Valley Road vividly conveys not only the inner experience of schizophrenia but its effects on the families whose members are afflicted…With the skill of a great novelist, Mr. Kolker brings every member of the family to life.” —Richard J. McNally, Wall Street Journal
“A marvel of reportage, research, and style, Hidden Valley Road raises the bar on what is possible in narrative nonfiction. Robert Kolker dives into the exceptional story of one family besieged by humanity’s most mysterious malady. Kolker writes about the Galvin family with elegance and insight while weaving together the decades long quest to understand the genetics of schizophrenia, somehow creating a story that is as haunting and intriguing as a great gothic novel. This book is a triumph, an unforgettable story that you should read right now.” —Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire and The Great Pretender
“This broad-ranging, highly readable, and deeply unsettling book tells the story of a family beset with schizophrenia, and in doing so provides meaningful insights into the devastation caused by the disease. It is, equally, a study of the multiple ways in which familial denial can exacerbate the inherent pain of mental illness, and of the courage required both of those who are themselves diagnosed with it and of those who choose to help and support them.” —Andrew Solomon, National Book Award–winning author of The Noonday Demon
“An extraordinary case study and tour de force of reporting.” —Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
“This book tore my heart out. It is a revelation—about the history of mental health treatment, about trauma, foremost about family—and a more-than-worthy follow-up to Bob Kolker’s brilliant Lost Girls.” —Megan Abbott, author of Give Me Your Hand
“Hidden Valley Road offers a combination of two things that are often in short supply in storytelling about schizophrenia—rigorous research and deep compassion for all involved. In clear and insightful prose, Kolker spins an utterly absorbing tale of one family grappling with the profound personal costs of the illness, alongside a scientific history of an America largely at sea about how to conceive of schizophrenia or to help those who live with it. In a narrative that is at once gripping and humane, Kolker offers a nuanced consideration of schizophrenia’s many complexities, telling an ultimately hopeful story of one family’s small victories and the slow progress of research that may someday benefit millions.” —Marin Sardy, author of The Edge of Every Day
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