Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head

Dr. Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan

True stories are more bizarre than any fiction, and Dr. Gary Small knows this best. After thirty distinguished years of psychiatry and groundbreaking research on the human brain, Dr. Small has seen it all—now he is ready to open his office doors for the first time and tell all about the most mysterious, intriguing, and bizarre patients of his career. 

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head is a spellbinding record of the doctor's most bewildering cases, from naked headstands and hysterical blindness to fainting schoolgirls and self-amputations. It is an illuminating journey into the mind of a practicing psychiatrist and his life in medicine as it evolves over time—a behind-the-scenes look at the field and a variety of mental diseases as they've never been seen or diagnosed before. You'll find yourself exploring the puzzling eccentricities that make us human. 

Often funny, sometimes tragic, and always compelling, Dr. Small takes you on a tour of his career that moves from the halls of a crowded inner-city Boston emergency room to the multimillion-dollar ski lodges of the nation's elite. In between, Dr. Small introduces a strange cast of true-life characters and conditions, while dealing with mysterious hysterical blindness, a man convinced that his penis is shrinking, secret double lives, and frighteningly psychotic romantic desires. His career and personal life come full circle when his own mentor becomes his patient, making Small realize that no one is beyond mental exploration—not even himself.

My Take:

The name of this book really catches your eye, doesn't it?  Well, judging by the name, I thought this book was going to be a funny, albeit, irreverent look at some of the more bizarre goings on in the world of psychotherapy.  What I read were definitely bizarre stories, but they were told in a more caring and insightful way than I expected.  I loved it.  The book started out a bit slow talking about the author's background, and I was anxious because I wanted to hear the crazy stories!  So maybe it just appeared slow because I tend to be an impatient person (my husband will get a kick out of me admitting that) but once it got into the stories, I loved the take it slow and discuss all aspects feel.  The author is not making fun of the patients he had that were bizarre, instead, he illustrated how even people who do the craziest things are regular people too.  The naked lady standing on her head story kind of freaked me out, because the reason behind the naked yoga pose could easily happen to me, or anyone! (except I don't know Yoga, so instead, I'll just be the naked lady sitting on a gurney, not something cool like standing on my head :)  I really enjoyed the fact that the author wasn't afraid to talk about where he thought he might have been wrong in treating patients early on, I always love a person who doesn't always have to be right.  If you are interested in learning more about this world, you'll love the book, it is interesting, thoughtful and funny. 2, Borders with a Coupon

Do you agree with my review?  Do you think I'm totally off base?  Either way I'd love to hear from you, be sure to leave a comment and tell me how you feel!

If this book were a movie it would likely be rated PG-13 for language and some sexual references.

***FTC Disclosure:  This book was provided in exchange for an honest review, no other compensation was given, all opinions are my own***

If you are considering purchasing The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head, please consider supporting The Book Buff by purchasing from the following Amazon link, thank you!



Sam said...

This sounds a lot like Oliver Sack's "The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat", which is an interesting read too.

Good review :)

Kim said...

I think if I were browsing a bookstore and saw this book, I'd pick it up just for the title alone..before I even read your review I had my imagination running wild on the title. I might get it if I were at the library..I think im leaning more towards funny stuff, but it doesn't appear thats the case, it does sound like a decent read though

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I have this one coming to me, so I'm really excited to read it -- and my husband would find it funny, too if I admitted my lack of patience, so I'm glad you gave me a heads up with this book! Can't wait for it to get here!


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