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The Great Pretender


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About the Author

Susannah Cahalan is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, a memoir about her struggle with a rare autoimmune disease of the brain. She lives in Brooklyn.

@scahalan | susannahcahalan.com


People have asked me over the years: if they liked The Psychopath Test, what should they read next? I now have an answer. Susannah Cahalan's The Great Pretender is such an achievement. It's a wonderful look at the anti-psychiatry movement and a great adventure - gripping, investigative. It's destined to become a popular and important book

Utterly compelling . . . important and spirited
* * Observer * *

A fascinating piece of detection . . . passionate [and] a warning against easy answers
* * Sunday Times * *

A well-crafted, gripping narrative that succeeds on many levels. Cahalan, who gained the trust of Rosenhan's family, is meticulous and sensitive in her research; compelling and insightful in her writing. She accurately conveys the troubles that have haunted psychiatry over the past half-century . . . her book, which I hope wins awards, has immense value as a historical account
* * Financial Times * *

Brilliant detective work . . . fascinating
* * Guardian * *

I wasn't really prepared for the story Cahalan ends up telling. That she discovered the truth about Rosenhan is a testimony to her dogged research. That this truth was inconvenient for her own outlook on psychiatry is a compliment to her integrity. She writes it all very well too, with clarity, economy and style
* * The Times * *

A vivid account . . . An impressive feat of investigative journalism - tenaciously conducted, appealingly written . . . as compelling as a detective novel
* * Economist * *

The Great Pretender recounts the remarkable investigation that [Cahalan] undertook. The book reads like a fascinating real-life detective story . . . Exposing what [Rosenhan] got up to is a quite exceptional accomplishment, and Cahalan recounts the story vividly and with great skill
* * Spectator * *

The Great Pretender reads like a detective story, with Cahalan revealing tantalising clues at opportune moments so we can experience the thrills of discovery alongside her
* * New York Times * *

A quite remarkable and utterly compelling real-life detective story
* * Times Literary Supplement, Book of the Year * *

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