Aug 9, 2011

Book Review: The Rules of the Tunnel by Ned Zeman

Title: Rules of the Tunnel: My Brief Period of Madness
Author: Ned Zeman
Hardcover: 320 pages;  Gotham
Publication date: August 4, 2011
Genre: memoir, psychology
Source: TLC
Objective rating: 4/5

"Get up. Get the blood flowing. Go somewhere. Anywhere. Except to the shooting range or Ohio....
Call someone, anyone....
Resistance is futile.
Adapt or die.
The future is yours.
These are the rules of the tunnel." (p. 307)

About the book: Reporter Ned Zeman faces severe depression at age 32, so severe that he undergoes electroconvulsive therapy, shock treatment. However, this leaves him with almost two years of amnesia, when he literally has to start all over again. This is his story, of what he went through, what he learned from it, and what he wants readers to also gain from his experience.

My comments: This is not an easy book to read. It is a journey into the mind of a severely depressed person who gives us an insight into what and how he sees while going through his depression, amnesia, recovery. Some things could be scary, if you think deep and hard about it. Did his bout of severe anxiety and depression have something to do with his sensitivity to medication he had been taking? People more sensitive to their environment and to outside influences, either ingested as medicine or as life perceived and experienced, may sway under these influences and even go under.

Zeman shares his "brief period of madness" with us. He also offers solutions, tips to help those like himself cope; he describes his treatments and gives us enough medical information about his condition.

A very worthwhile book. An injection of humor makes it easier to read for those who wouldn't normally pick up a book on this topic.

About the Author: 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.

TLC Book Tours
For other reviews of this book on the TLC tour, see Schedule of book tour stops


  1. I might never think of picking up this book. Sounds scary :(

  2. Veens: It's really easy to read. It just sounds scary after you think about it.

  3. This sounds like a powerful book. I think the author is brave to share his story. Hopefully he'll help someone who reads it.

  4. I've heard this is a good book. I enjoyed your review :)

  5. This sounds like an incredible book and I think he's brave to share his story so that it may shed some light on what he experienced and what others have gone through too1!

  6. bermudaonion and Staci: It is a most unusual and revealing book...

    Kaye: Glad you liked the review. Thanks!

  7. Depression scares the hell out of me, because it seems so elusive to treat. My own husband suffered severely with it, undiagnosed for years, until he eventually died at his own hand in despair. There were no answers, there are none I can give our son, which make any sense. I think it's very brave to read about this topic, to write about it must be even more difficult. I can only pray that this author, and others who suffer similarly, overcome the hopelessness and despair.

  8. Bellezza: Thank you for your candid comments and sharing this with us. This is such a serious topic. The author seems to have pulled out of it, enough to share his experience and insights. Take care and all the best, Harvee.

  9. Thanks for reviewing it. I am buying this book this very moment.

  10. Willa: Thanks for letting me know.

  11. I'm glad to know that there is humor in this one because you're right, this is not a "fun" topic to discuss.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  12. I like your review. This seems like a very important book.


I love getting comments and your thoughts...

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