In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Close Encounters With Addiction

Maté, Gabor

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
"...This insightful book explores the scientific and psychological causes of addiction, as well as the impact on the addicts treated at the Downtown Eastside Vancouver clinic where Maté is a physician. He widens the lens to address the larger societal problem--speaking also to the risks of more "high-status" addictions, such as wealth, power, and sex. He boldly challenges the War on Drugs, proposing a more holistic, constructive set of alternatives. A riveting, debate-provoking book about an illness that reaches all levels of society, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts provides a much-needed glimpse of hope from an innovator who is taking on addiction with startling clarity, vision, and wisdom."--Cover, p. 4.

Publisher: Berkeley, Calif. : North Atlantic Books, c2010
Edition: U.S. ed
ISBN: 9781556438806
Branch Call Number: 616.86 M4253i 2010
Characteristics: xviii, 495 p. ;,23 cm


From the critics

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Oct 09, 2013
  • ktnv rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent book, well worth the read for anyone interested in having a deeper understanding of addiction. Check out the TED talk under video.

Mar 21, 2013
  • pridi_o rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A MUST READ! Thank you Dr. Mate for your honesty, passion, kindness and a super human heart.

Jan 02, 2013
  • kevincody1964 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The best book i've read regarding addiction/self-help.

I've read a lot of em too, as a recovered addict and former member of the 12-step community.

This book begins to explain it all, mostly, and in a compassionate understanding way. If we weren't so addicted to being right and ideology this book view could be the basis of all public policy on addiction recovery/treatment. Until then we are all stuck in a downward spiral.

Dr Mate has some very great YouTube speeches from various sources as well!! tedx in rio being just one short one. check em out!!

Jul 22, 2012

Read 2010

Jul 10, 2012
  • annacyc rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Excellent read, kept me interested and educated me as well.
I found this book to be easy to read and very real, I could relate many of the case studies and theories to people I know personally and professionally.
I think the most impactful part of this book for me was gaining a better understanding of addiction, attachment and the impact that both can have on our lives. A very human book, once I started to understand Mr. Mate`s theories then I found myself being much more open to other theories and ideas.

Nov 22, 2011
  • wiredonjava rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Dr. Gabor Mate steeps himself into the chaotic, depraved world of an addict and manages to relate, convey compassion, expose the vulnerability of the human spirit and becomes humbled by his experiences. Enlightening stories. I also recommend reading his article on-line about Attention Deficit Disorder.

Sep 22, 2011
  • eatbooksforbreakfast rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

My job in public transportation takes me through Main and Hastings on a regular basis. I appreciate the insight this book gave me into some of my most desperate customers...sure I can give you a free ride.

Sep 22, 2011
  • Lukeinvancouver rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

With all due respect, I do not think that Richard (below) has read the book, or maybe he just has a grudge against Gabor Mate. (How would he know what the doctor would answer to his hypothetical questions?)

I cannot agree with his characterization of the book. I think it is a great and insightful work.

Furthermore, Dr. Mate is brutally honest about some of his own shortcomings. He also honestly mentions his own addiction (of buying music CDs).

I live not far from the DTE and the author shows the human face of the people living there, including the person who had the habit of greeting him with a NAZI salute. (If memory serves, Dr. Mate lost family in the Holocaust.)

I give it an unqualified five star rating.

Jul 27, 2011
  • justinjoschko rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A poignant and articulate portrait of Vancouver's east side. Mate gives us a frank, unflinching glimpse of the Portland Hotel and its poverty-stricken residents, and offers a powerful treatise against the War on Drugs. An insightful and moving read, though I found the conclusion lost steam.

Dec 21, 2008
  • 21288004246712 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

drug addicts as people not criminals

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