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The Eden Express [Paperback]

Mark Vonnegut
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

Nov. 5 2002
The Eden Express describes from the inside Mark Vonnegut’s experience in the late ’60s and early ’70s—a recent college grad; in love; living communally on a farm, with a famous and doting father, cherished dog, and prized jalopy—and then the nervous breakdowns in all their slow-motion intimacy, the taste of mortality and opportunity for humor they provided, and the grim despair they afforded as well. That he emerged to write this funny and true book and then moved on to find the meaningful life that for a while had seemed beyond reach is what ultimately happens in The Eden Express. But the real story here is that throughout his harrowing experience his sense of humor let him see the humanity of what he was going through, and his gift of language let him describe it in such a moving way that others could begin to imagine both its utter ordinariness as well as the madness we all share.

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About the Author

After writing The Eden Express, MARK VONNEGUT went to medical school. He lives with his wife and two children in Milton, Mass., where he is a full-time practicing pediatrician.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terribly compelling and incredible story Feb. 25 2004
By A Customer
Two years ago I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and have since been put on medication and fully recovered. My therapist suggested that I read Mark Vonnegut's telling of the descent into schizophrenia. I've read other accounts of schizophrenia, but Mark's definitely takes the cake in terms of realism. I'm not even sure if I can finish the book, the book is so unsettling for me. If someone you care about has schizophrenia, read this book, it will help you understand what this disease does.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Eden Express a must-read for former hippies Jan. 27 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an interesting book, especially paired with Mark Vonnegut's latest, Just Like Someone With Mental Illness, But More So.
I live in B.C. and am familiar with the places where Mark and his friends tried to establish a hippie commune, and also where he was taken after his breakdown (Hollywood Hospital in New Westminster).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great schizophrenia memoir March 19 2003
There are only a handful of memoirs about schizophrenia, and this book and "The Quiet Room" are probably the best ones available. The author apparently inherited his father's excellent writing and storytelling abilities, as this is an engaging and insightful description of life in the 1960s and the descent into and emergence from schizophrenia. The description of the illness alone makes the book worth reading, and is in some ways reminiscent of "Darkness Visible" and "The Bell Jar". The book is also quite humorous. Highly recommended. Avery Z. Conner, author of "Fevers of the Mind".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Personal Account Feb. 13 2003
I am 15 years old and I read this book for a Schizophrenia research paper. Mark Vonnegut has been my doctor in Boston all of my life. It was an interesting journey to explore through HIS perspective of his own experience... Highly Reccomend it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Insight! Jan. 8 2003
I had taken several classes in psychology in college and really thought that I had a grasp of what it was like to live with schizophrenia. Not so! This book takes you into the world and mind of a person with this disorder. Mark Vonnegut is so honest and open and you really gain a real world feel for what it is to be a person living with schizophrenia. If you are at all interested in this topic, I really feel it is a must read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good book about a first psychotic experience Jan. 8 2003
By A Customer
This was a very personal book, written by the man who was my pediatrician for 18 yrs. He had his first psychotic experience in his 20's and describes the details in exceptional detail, as well as how he begins to recover a normal life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars incredible journey Oct. 4 2002
I first read this book my junior year in college as a class text for a psych course in disorders. I wish all my psych texts were half this interesting! This is a personal account of what it's like to develop scizophrenia, go through treatment, recover, relapse, etc... My only criticism of this book is that I wish he had waited longer to write it and told more about his life since recovering. One other thing to note: this is a really funny book. If it weren't for all the heavy stuff in this book, it could easily be a comedy book.
The thing about this book that makes the deepest impression on me is that even in his most wacked out, deeply scizophrenic episodes, he still gives you the impression that it's the rest of the world that's gone crazy and he's just floating along trying to keep his head above water.
The author is the son of the famous Kurt Vonnegut, which he references occasionally in his book, but it's not a predominant theme by any means. I think part of the reason for that is that his dad wasn't famous until he was almost an adult and then had this "son of a famous guy" thing cast upon him just as he was trying to strike out on his own and make his own life.
Anyhow, this is a must-read book, and is one of my favorites of all time.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Synchronicity and Schizophrenia as Social Commentary
I was lucky enough to stumble on this book in the library browsing shelves, and was soon sorry I hadnt read it much earlier. Read more
Published on July 23 2001 by nonamespecified
5.0 out of 5 stars Book hit close to home
This is one of my all time favorite books. Not only because the commune was located in my home town of Powell River B. Read more
Published on June 3 2000 by Doug Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I read this book when I was a teenager and have been trying to find it again for several years. I picked it up at the time only because I was a Kurt Vonnegut fan back then and... Read more
Published on March 8 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-gripping account of a young man's battle with madness
I have read and re-read this book at least a dozen times over the years. A true masterpiece from a gifted writer. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 1999 by ALAN H. JEWETT
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely hopeful; Valuable to medical & literary community
When I read it nearly 10 years ago in Germany, I fell in love with the writing, clear and with deep compassion for all the people that he came in contact with. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 1998 by Greg Strange (
5.0 out of 5 stars a lucid report of mental chaos
What a valuable work this is! Unlike many hippie reports and reminiscences, it is clear and direct. The author conveys the horror of his disease, the joy (yes, joy! Read more
Published on April 23 1998 by
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