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Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Mayhem by Sigrid Rausing, read by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

A searingly powerful memoir about the impact of addiction on a family.

In the summer of 2012 a woman named Eva was found dead in the London townhouse she shared with her husband, Hans K. Rausing. The couple had struggled with drug addiction for years, often under the glare of tabloid headlines. Now, writing with singular clarity and restraint the editor and publisher Sigrid Rausing, tries to make sense of what happened to her brother and his wife.

In Mayhem, she asks the difficult questions those close to the world of addiction must face. 'Who can help the addict, consumed by a shaming hunger, a need beyond control? There is no medicine: the drugs are the medicine. And who can help their families, so implicated in the self-destruction of the addict? Who can help when the very notion of 'help' becomes synonymous with an exercise of power; a familial police state; an end to freedom, in the addict's mind?'

©2017 Sigrid Rausing (P)2017 Penguin

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Haunting

Maggie Gyllenhaal superbly narrates this haunting and tragic story that leaves its mark on the listener

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and beautifully read

I didn't know anything about the story. I chose it because it is read by Maggie Gyllenhaal and she reads in a mesmerising lilt that I find very soothing yet compelling (I have also listened to her read The Bell Jar and also Anna Karenina). The memoir was fascinating, a sensitive and raw family insider account of a story ravaged by the media, like so many others. I've since been prompted to read more about the family online and am very glad I listened to this memoir first.

1 person found this helpful

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Very poignant and beautifully read

A revealing insight into the experiences of families struggling with addiction. Beautifully written and beautifully read by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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Boring

The author clearly knows how to write but she also writes in a way that makes difficult for a reader to emotionaly connect with the story. The book is more a collection of her thoughts than an involving story. Also, the summary of the book is somehow misleading as it is more the story of the author than of her addicted brother. Great narrator though !

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A classic

Exquisite writing. A sensitive, moving, dignified account of family tragedy. Silken threads unwind and draw you on to the end.