THE DOWN COMFORTER by Juliene Berk

THE DOWN COMFORTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An express train of ""nostrums"" (says even the author) whistling past with more momentum than intelligence. Berk first arouses suspicion by listing seven life crises she has weathered (""three surgeries in one year alone"") as her primary qualification for writing a book on cures for depression. She then proceeds to divide depression into four rather arbitrary types--""circumstantial,"" ""chemical or barometric,"" ""entertainment,"" and ""habitual""--with ""entertainment"" the shakiest, since it really means the melancholia into which Berk slips when things get dull. Thereafter the book is devoted to brainstorms for ending or preventing depression (the habitual sort, mostly) by expressing anger before it turns inward or by engaging in some kind of action, be it ever so humble. At worst, readers are advised to find ways to be a ""little"" self-destructive (to wean themselves away, that is, from major self-destruction). ""Don't bathe for a week,"" Berk suggests, or ""Go over Niagara Falls in a barrel."" Some comfort!

Pub Date: April 25th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's