The Man Who Couldn't Stop: Book summary and reviews of The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam

The Man Who Couldn't Stop

OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought

by David Adam

The Man Who Couldn't Stop by David Adam
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Apr 2014
    304 pages
    Genre: Biographies/Memoirs

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

This book offers an intimate look at the power of intrusive thoughts, how our brains can turn against us and what it means to live with obsessive compulsive disorder. Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? You are not alone. In this captivating fusion of science, history and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind, and how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsions. David has suffered from OCD for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn't Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences.

What might lead an Ethiopian schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece; or a pair of brothers to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that they had compulsively hoarded? At what point does a harmless idea, a snowflake in a clear summer sky, become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts?

Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal, and what is mental illness. Told with fierce clarity, humor and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare, and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

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

"Adam moves from these full-blown cases to more commonplace obsessions with ease, while his smooth prose ensures an enjoyable read. Not neglecting the darker nature of obsession, Adam manages to end on a note more hopeful than harrowing" - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Riveting, at times disturbing, but always enlightening... Adam clearly shows both the devastating impact our thoughts can have when they turn against us, and how science is helping us fight back." - Booklist

"Starred Review. An engrossing first-person study of obsessive-compulsive disorder from within and without... Well-researched, witty, honest and irreverent, Adam's account proves as irresistible as his subject." - Kirkus Reviews

"[A] fascinating study of the living nightmare that is obsessive compulsive disorder... [David Adam] has written one of the best and most readable studies of a mental illness to have emerged in recent years... An honest and open and, yes, maybe life-changing work." - The Observer (UK)

"A clear-sighted and eminently accessible account... The Man Who Couldn't Stop is a fundamentally important book." - The Sunday Times (UK)

"[An] engaging, exhaustively researched neuro memoir, a blend of brain science and personal history." - Evening Standard (UK)

"A captivating first-person account of how a blizzard of unwanted thoughts can become a personal nightmare. At times shocking, at times tragic, at times unbelievably funny, it is a wonderful read." - BBC Focus (UK)

"This blew me away. Stunning." - The Guardian (UK)

The information about The Man Who Couldn't Stop shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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!

More Information

More Information

Dr David Adam is a writer and editor at Nature, the world's top scientific journal. Before that he was a specialist correspondent on the Guardian for seven years, writing on science, medicine and the environment. During this time he was named feature writer of the year by the Association of British Science Writers, and reported from Antarctica, the Arctic, China and the depths of the Amazon jungle.

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!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more biographies/memoirs...

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice


Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Seven Days of Us
    by Francesca Hornak

    A warm, wry debut novel about a family forced to spend a week together over the holidays.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.