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A Hell of Mercy: A Meditation on Depression and the Dark Night of the Soul

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A Hell of Mercy: A Meditation on Depression and the Dark Night of the Soul Cover

ISBN13: 9780060825188
ISBN10: 0060825189
Condition:
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Staff Pick

This small book contains a condensation of wisdom and experience that is best savored slowly. Farrington does an admirable job of comparing and distinguishing the mood or clinical state of depression and the spiritual condition often referred to as the "dark night of the soul" (famously and powerfully described by St. John of the Cross). Farrington mixes his own life experiences, wide reading, and now-clear thinking, and from it distills a beautiful meditation on what that dark night might be and what it most probably is not. I was particularly thankful for his warm sense of humor, which balances the weight of his topic.
Recommended by Kelly L., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

n this unflinching look at depression and the human struggle to find hope in its midst, acclaimed author Tim Farrington writes with heartrending honesty of his lifelong struggle with the condition he calls "a hell of mercy." With both wry humor and poignancy, he unravels the profound connection between depression and the spiritual path, the infamous dark night of the soul made popular by mystic John of the Cross. While depression can be a heartbreaking time of isolation and lethargy, it can also provide powerful spiritual insights and healing times of surrender. When doctors prescribe medication, patients are often left feeling as if part of their very selves has been numbed in order to become what some might call "normal." Farrington wrestles with profound questions, such as: When is depression a part of your identity, and when does it hold you back from realizing your potential?

In the tradition of Darkness Visible and An Unquiet Mind, A Hell of Mercy is both a much needed companion for those walking this difficult terrain as well as a guide for anyone who has watched a loved one grapple with this inner emotional darkness.

Review:

"The size of this little book — an expanded essay — belies its power. Acclaimed novelist Farrington (The Monk Downstairs) drills deep into his soul to ponder his own lifelong coexistence with depression. It is a meditation: the author lays bare his stream of thoughts, experience, details, a few pretty good jokes and many insights drawn from the consummate spiritual writer on interior darkness, John of the Cross. Farrington is well-read and draws from other writers and artists as well as the Spanish mystic in showing his way through the dark wood. He writes about his slow crawl to regular, functional life with beauty, cleverness, bone-breaking honesty and a deep, hard-won appreciation for the holy. Medications help; faith helps even more, and that costs a lot more than pharmaceuticals ever will. This book may be too unbearable for some who are depressed. For others, it could be a small voice in the darkness and a lifeline for those unsung sufferers living with someone who is depressed." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

In this poignant exploration of the dark night of the soul, novelist Farrington writes with heartrending honesty as he explores his lifelong struggle with depression and seeks to unravel the profound connection between depression and the spiritual path.

About the Author

Tim Farrington is the author of Lizzie's War, The Monk Downstairs,—a New York Times Notable Book—and The Monk Upstairs, as well as the critically acclaimed novels The California Book of the Dead and Blues for Hannah.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Peteandpete, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Peteandpete)
I am so thankful for this book. Dealing with depression and constantly battling the advice of peers, loved ones and professionals, it is certainly relieving to find common ground through misery. A Hell Of Mercy, has allowed my tired body and mind to slow down and accept my depression as a state of renewal and enlightenment. I would recommend this book to anyone, truly.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060825188
Subtitle:
A Meditation on Depression and the Dark Night of the Soul
Author:
Farrington, Tim
Author:
by Tim Farrington
Publisher:
HarperOne
Subject:
Depression
Subject:
Spirituality - General
Subject:
Psychopathology - Depression
Subject:
Depression, mental
Subject:
Depression in adolescence
Subject:
Depressed persons
Subject:
Psychology : Depression
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20090203
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
7.48x5.78x.63 in. .54 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Psychopathology » Depression
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Depression
Religion » Christianity » Christian Living
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

A Hell of Mercy: A Meditation on Depression and the Dark Night of the Soul New Hardcover
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$18.75 In Stock
Product details 128 pages HarperOne - English 9780060825188 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

This small book contains a condensation of wisdom and experience that is best savored slowly. Farrington does an admirable job of comparing and distinguishing the mood or clinical state of depression and the spiritual condition often referred to as the "dark night of the soul" (famously and powerfully described by St. John of the Cross). Farrington mixes his own life experiences, wide reading, and now-clear thinking, and from it distills a beautiful meditation on what that dark night might be and what it most probably is not. I was particularly thankful for his warm sense of humor, which balances the weight of his topic.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The size of this little book — an expanded essay — belies its power. Acclaimed novelist Farrington (The Monk Downstairs) drills deep into his soul to ponder his own lifelong coexistence with depression. It is a meditation: the author lays bare his stream of thoughts, experience, details, a few pretty good jokes and many insights drawn from the consummate spiritual writer on interior darkness, John of the Cross. Farrington is well-read and draws from other writers and artists as well as the Spanish mystic in showing his way through the dark wood. He writes about his slow crawl to regular, functional life with beauty, cleverness, bone-breaking honesty and a deep, hard-won appreciation for the holy. Medications help; faith helps even more, and that costs a lot more than pharmaceuticals ever will. This book may be too unbearable for some who are depressed. For others, it could be a small voice in the darkness and a lifeline for those unsung sufferers living with someone who is depressed." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In this poignant exploration of the dark night of the soul, novelist Farrington writes with heartrending honesty as he explores his lifelong struggle with depression and seeks to unravel the profound connection between depression and the spiritual path.
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