"As his account opens, Knipfel has just failed at yet another frenzied suicide attempt and has been picked up by the police. Soon thereafter he is forced to settle into a hospital psychiatric ward waiting until a doctor, whose once-a-week sessions last ten minutes each, deems him mentally fit to be released. Effectively abandoned, Knipfel begins his self-analysis and embarks on a series of haphazard skirmishes to regain his sanity, make new friends, and devise ways to pass the time.Ultimately, a revelation from public television and insights from a fellow patient and the late comic Ernie Kovacs provide Knipfel with a way out, one that only a paranoid, or Knipfel, could appreciate."
"This heart-rending and ultimately uplifting memoir tells the story of two brothers - one a prize-winning novelist; the other an extraordinarily witty, intelligent man who has suffered the ravages of chronic mental illness for more than three decades - and how their love for one another has enabled them not only to survive, but to thrive in miraculous, surprising ways. In the literature of mental illness, Imagining Robert is the first book to tell us what it is like for the millions of families who must cope over the course of a lifetime with a problem for which, most of the time, there is no solution.
"This is a memoir by one man of another man's life - a brutally honest, deeply tender tale without a familiar (or predictable) happy ending. It gives us something better: an unforgettable story of two brothers that heartens by showing us how even the grimmest of lives can be sustained and graced by the power of love."