Official Review: Bi-Polaroid by David Samuelson

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Official Review: Bi-Polaroid by David Samuelson

Post by Renu G » 28 Sep 2019, 01:56

[Following is an official review of "Bi-Polaroid" by David Samuelson.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Bi-polaroid is written by David Samuelson. It consists of the creative expressions of an individual afflicted with manic-depressive psychosis. Being a counselor, I was drawn by the title of this book and decided to review it. Indeed, it serves to conscientize the reader about the struggles of those who have to live with this illness. I have known persons with bipolar disorder who have learned to cope with it and lead almost normal lives because of understanding and support from their families and dear ones. I have also known those who feel rejected, isolated, and have suicidal tendencies. My observations regarding the effects of a supportive environment are confirmed after reading this book.

The table of contents begins by giving the impression that Bi-polaroid is a collection of dramatic acts with several scenes and characters. It then seems to turn into a personal journal. I find it difficult to see a logical link or coherence between the topics. They are disjointed and not arranged chronologically according to the year in which the author wrote them. Like a work of art, the publication consists of poems that are sometimes like prose, prose that is sometimes like poetry, and letters that are like voicemails. Initially, I felt confused as well as amused and couldn’t make sense of it. I understood the meaning only after reading it the second time.

David writes poems about the causes and symptoms of depression, his love for his wife, family members, a pet dog, sports, and many other topics. He describes the voices that torment him, the feelings of being rejected by a woman, loneliness, the wounds of Jesus, etc. He also writes a few short stories. I was greatly moved by the story of a lonely old man who imagines his wife is still alive. Another story of a man who eats garbage was heart-wrenching. The author writes a play set in a mental hospital, which did not impress me because it seems to be incomplete.

Bi-polaroid is a collection of a variety of creative writings to suit different types of readers. I do not think the contents of this book are distinctive of bipolar disorder because the mood swings are not so obvious. However, it mentions symptoms that may be associated with it, such as hallucinations, illusions, paranoia, fear, suicidal ideation, etc. Overall, it is an artistic creation that may appeal to people suffering from mental illness as well as their friends and relatives. Coping strategies are included.

Based on what I have already mentioned above, I am happy to rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I appreciate the author for his courage to share his experiences in this book. However, I did not give a full rating because I had to read it twice to understand the contents. I also found several grammatical errors and typos. This publication may appeal to counselors, people suffering from psychosis, social workers, and pastors.

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Post by Letora » 30 Sep 2019, 04:44

My father is bipolar and I've always found it hard to communicate with him. At first I had hoped this book would help me understand him more. After reading your review, I think it would still be something I should read, but not as informative as I would have liked. Thank you for reviewing.
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Post by MsH2k » 30 Sep 2019, 09:02

The title of this book is clever. I commend the author for his courage in sharing these glimpses into his life. Thank you for your thorough review.

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Post by Hannalore » 30 Sep 2019, 10:53

This is definitely a very informative book and I would love to read it. Great review.

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Post by kandscreeley » 30 Sep 2019, 19:45

I do like the title. It sounds like a good snapshot of what some with bi-polar deal with. It's nice that there are a variety of writings within the book. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Meg98 » 30 Sep 2019, 21:27

This sounds like an interesting and informative read. Thanks for this great review! Cheers:)
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Post by esp1975 » 01 Oct 2019, 11:50

Definitely sounds like an interesting collection of works. I know a few people who suffer from bipolar disorder, so may choose to pick this up.

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Post by kdstrack » 03 Oct 2019, 18:35

This is a condition that many people do not understand. Even though the book doesn't go into an in-depth description, these writings might give people a window into what the bipolar person struggles with every day. I enjoyed your thoughtful review.

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Post by Aknotts19 » 19 Oct 2019, 05:55

Thank you for your review. It sounds like something I would enjoy reading. You mentioned that the book was disjointed. I wonder if that is a testimate to the disorganization that occurs within the bipolar cycles?

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