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The rules of the tunnel : my brief period of madness

by Zeman, Ned.

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction RC516.Z46 2011
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  RC516.Z46 2011
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Non Fiction 616.89 ZEMAN
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  616.89 ZEMAN
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 ZEMAN
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 ZEMAN
A journalist faces his toughest assignment yet: profiling himself. Zeman recounts his struggle with clinical depression in this high- octane, brutally funny memoir about mood disorders, memory, shock treatment therapy and the quest to get back to normal.

Thirty-five million Americans suffer from clinical depression. But Ned Zeman never thought he'd be one of them. He came from a happy Midwestern family. He had great friends and a busy social life. His career was thriving at Vanity Fair where he profiled adventurers and eccentrics who pushed the limits and died young.

Then, at age thirty-two, anxiety and depression gripped Zeman with increasing violence and consequences. He experimented with therapist after therapist, medication after medication, hospital after hospital- including McLean Hospital, the facility famed for its treatment of writers, from Sylvia Plath to Susanna Kaysen to David Foster Wallace. Zeman eventually went further, by trying electroconvulsive therapy, aka shock treatment, aka "the treatment of last resort."

By the time it was over, Zeman had lost nearly two years' worth of memory. He was a reporter with amnesia. He had no choice but to start from scratch, to reassemble the pieces of a life he didn't remember and, increasingly, didn't want to. His girlfriend was gone; friends weren't speaking to him. His life lay in ruins. And the biggest question remained, "What the hell did I do?"

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, profane and hopeful, The Rules of the Tunnel is a blistering account of Zeman's twisted ride to hell and back-a return made possible by friends real and less so, among them the dead "eccentrics" he once profiled. It's a guttural shout of a book, one that defies conventional notions about those with mood disorders, unlocks mysteries within mysteries, and proves that sometimes everything you're looking for is right in front of you.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "An amnesiac's memoir ought to be a brevis narratio.Yet Zeman's haunting second-person narrative remarkably details his descent into a self-described madness that culminated in electroshock therapy, which many regard as maddening in and of itself and that was supposed to cure what ailed his flailing psyche. Rather than relieve Zeman of the double demons of depression and psychosis, the technique in fact caused amnesia. Though it is not so stated, it seems that, if he could just forget his past, he might be healed. Hmm. But what then does a journalist, a professional reporter for goodness sake, do without his memory? Why, he reports. Intriguingly, Zeman set out to compose a profile of himself as if he were profiling an actor or a statesman and include his profiles of previous subjects who may or may not have suffered from similar mental illnesses. The result is a mirror held in front of another mirror, in which Zeman sees his reflection and thereby reclaims a portion of his own life.--Chavez, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Depression and mood swings nearly crippled Zeman's promising journalistic career, which took him from Newsweek and Sports Illustrated to Vanity Fair, where he is a contributing editor based in L.A. In this memoir-told cheekily in the second person-Michigan native Zeman recounts his gradual descent, involving stupendous prescription-drug cocktails, years of successive shrinks and hospital stays, and even electroconvulsive therapy, which robbed him of short-term memory. In 1997 Zeman first started at VF, eager to follow in the footsteps of his literary heroes Capote and Mailer and not be outclassed by the trappings of what Zeman calls the "Media-Industrial Complex"; plunged into editing a forbidding roster of writers, Zeman began losing sleep, not returning calls, and growing homesick. While his depression worsened, he also drew some inspiration from characters he researched for the magazine whose bipolar conditions drove their creativity: Bruno Zehnder, a photographer who perished with his beloved emperor penguins in Antarctica in 1997; Hollywood super agent Jay Moloney, who could not kick his cocaine addiction and hanged himself in 1999; and numerous "shockheads" who underwent ECT as a last resort. Ensconced in L.A., nurtured by a cadre of caring friends, Zeman experiments with psych wards, pharmacological cycles, and shock treatments by turns frightening and enlightening, and conveys his "melancholic demeanor" with tremendous wit and verve. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Zeman, Ned -- Mental health.
Manic-depressive persons -- United States -- Biography.
Manic-depressive persons -- Rehabilitation.
Manic-depressive illness -- Treatment.
Publisher New York :Gotham Books,2011
Language English
Description 308 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781592405985 (hardback)
1592405983 (hardback)
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