#Giveaway and Book Review: The Rules of the Tunnel: A Brief Period of Madness

I am pleased to be part of the TLC Book Tour if The Rules of the Tunnel: A Brief Period of Madness, with both a review and a giveaway!  One of the things that I love most about doing book reviews is that I can stretch my usual comfort zone and read books I might have otherwise passed by in the book store and this is one of those books that I'm glad to have gotten the opportunity to read.

From the Publisher:
The Rules of the Tunnel: A Brief Period of MadnessA 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 Fairwhere 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.

My review:

What struck me about reading this book is that while it was an autobiography, it spoke volumes about how an insidious disease can infiltrate any life - and take it to the brink of destruction.  Learning about Ned Zeman and his life was a fascinating, poignant, funny and heart-wrenching.  I thought it was an excellent chronicle of just how difficult and long the road is when dealing with mental illnesses like depression, but that good can come out of any situation.  

If you like books that offer a real look at how a person handles themselves when faced with some of the toughest and poignant times in their lives and then retells it with self-deprecation, humor and honesty, then this book is for you.

About Ned Zeman 

Ned Zeman is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, where he has covered a wide range of subjects: crime, politics, Hollywood, and outdoor adventure. He has also written for Newsweek, Spy, GQ, Outside,and Sports Illustrated. Two of his articles have been finalists for the National Magazine Award, and he cowrote the screenplay for Sugarland, the forthcoming film starring Jodie Foster. He lives in Los Angeles.

And there is a GIVEAWAY!