Summary and book reviews of Group by Paul Solotaroff

Group

Six People In Search of A Life

By Paul Solotaroff

Group
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jul 1999,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2000,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Six bright, successful, and remarkably self-destructive people enter into a course of dynamic group therapy in an effort to recognize and overcome their compulsions, addictions, weaknesses, and family legacies. Granted unlimited access to the sessions and the patients' lives, journalist Paul Solotaroff captures an utterly compelling real-life drama as it unfolds. Against a ticking clock--the prescribed period of treatment is ten months--a wide range of human tragedy and comedy plays out, imbuing Group with the pacing of a thriller as we learn, finally, who triumphs and who is beyond help.

Under the aegis of a charismatic, maverick psychiatrist, this engaging and diverse group of strangers commiserate with, badger, and urge one another along toward the goal of finding their "true story"--that is, the life they were meant to lead, their path to happiness--rather than accepting the "false story" they were handed in childhood and are unhappily living out. Accompanying the revelation of their fears, their hopes, their setbacks, and recoveries, come the doctor's psychologically acute insights and prescriptions on dilemmas common to us all. Group is, from beginning to end, an utterly absorbing journey along the often-excruciating and revelatory path of self-awareness and emotional healing.

That Tuesday, the seventh, was one of the coldest in years. Bundled to the eyeballs, people waded against the wind, which seemed to converge from three sides. The few cabs in service crawled ahead at foot speed, unable to stop short on the packed ice. I gave up trying to flag one and walked to Lathon's, ducking into doorways to catch my breath.

In his office, Lathon was apologetic. He'd seesawed all day about canceling the session, but was loath to, given the density of his schedule. At last, he'd called each of the members at work and presented them with the option. None, however, wanted to wait the two weeks, and so, for better or worse, we were on.

It was warm, even sultry, in the larger of the two rooms, as the old radiator hissed like a samovar. The light from the sconces was dialed down, conferring a soft, benedictory glow. In the slim kitchenette, a pot of water was brewing. Grouped beside it sat a cluster of whimsical mugs, each festooned with the caricature...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
Publishers Weekly

The wealth of surprises at the book's conclusion will keep readers riveted up to the last page.

Booklist - Grace Anne A. DeCandido

One's first impulse might be to throw such a book across the room - but what an error that would be. This is a fabulous story, in the root sense of making a fable for our time. Great reading and a convincing argument for the efficacy of group therapy, now falling out of fashion.

Time Out New York - Janet Steen

It is a highly entertaining, engrossing book that might make the most well-adjusted among us want to pull up a chair and start evolving.

Reader Reviews
chris

"Group" is truly a moment captured by an author of lives in progress. As we invite the public into our private life on a daily basis, as well as a pattern of obscure persona creating a story to be heard for entertainment, this encounter by ...   Read More

Anonymous
Daphne Blake
Most people enter a group or decide to become a member of a group, because they seek improved relationships, or they desire a positive life change. In order to change, we must become aware of our interpersonal styles; how we behave in ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Group, try these:

  • A Million Little Pieces jacket

    A Million Little Pieces

    by James Frey

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Intense, unpredictable, and instantly engaging, this is a story of drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation as it has never been told before. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.
    Before considering reading this book, please see the BookBrowse note on the book jacket/review page.

  • Blink jacket

    Blink

    by Malcolm Gladwell

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology and displaying all of the brilliance that made The Tipping Point a classic, Blink changes the way you'll understand every decision you make. Never again will you think about thinking the same way.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh
  2.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois

All Discussions

Who Said...

The most successful people are those who are good at plan B

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.