Please click the link below to receive your verification email. Cancel Resend Email. Add Article. Super Reviewer. Share on Facebook. View All Photos. Movie Info When psychology student Alan Newell Sidney Poitier takes a call at the crises center he volunteers at, he discovers that the woman on the other end, Inga Dyson Anne Bancroft , has taken a lethal dose of sleeping pills in an attempt to escape the misery that her life has become.
As Alan struggles to keep Inga on the phone long enough for help to reach her, she relates to him the incidents that drove her to her suicide attempt. Sydney Pollack. Sterling Silliphant , Stirling Silliphant. Jun 24, Sidney Poitier as Alan Newell. Anne Bancroft as Inga Dyson. Telly Savalas as Dr. Joe Coburn. Steven Hill as Mark Dyson. Indus Arthur as Marion.
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Writers: Shana Alexander article , Stirling Silliphant.
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Absolutely wonderful book that seamlessly merges the darkest moments of human crisis with the beauty of the natural world, somehow painting a deeply dynamic and extensive view of human nature and our inextricable links with the animal selves we have forgotten.
Should be required reading for anyone working in counselling of any sort. Ackerman is a beautiful writer with a gift for elucidating the subtle. Jun 22, Erin Stewart rated it it was ok. In terms of style, the book is well-written but lacks focus. Ackerman often uses a call to launch into her own thoughts about a kind-of-related topic, but my guess is that keeping to the call would have been more interesting.
There's also quite a lot about squirrels.
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I didn't have much patience for those parts and ended up skipping over them in the end - and it still felt like a pretty long book. The caller mentioned in passing during a call that she'd be attending an event and Ackerman decides to go too, purely to see what she looks like. While the book mentions that this conduct is not okay, I don't think it sufficiently emphasises what damage it could do to the caller, and to the integrity of the service in general.
It's understandable that phone counselors would get curious about their callers, but it's not okay to risk their confidentiality. Ackerman never shows remorse or redeems herself for this indiscretion. This part really, really bothered me. I'm not convinced that this book is successful, but I also don't regret having read it.
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Jul 28, Meg rated it liked it. Great writing. I look forward to reading more by this author. Sep 11, Karen rated it liked it. I need to read this one again. I want to review it. Oct 04, Anna rated it really liked it. Diane Ackerman is a luminous writer. I'm on page 42, so just at the beginning, but once again, she amazes me with how she weaves across different worlds, here:psychology, helping others out of despair, specifically her experiences as a volunteer at a local suicide hotline and the natural world, observing grey squirrels in her back yard.
“So often loneliness comes from being out of touch with parts of oneself.”
It isn't a natural mix, but she makes it work. Here is a quotation that moves from the etymology of the word promise, to understanding human behavior, the social Diane Ackerman is a luminous writer. Here is a quotation that moves from the etymology of the word promise, to understanding human behavior, the social contract and that earliest of relationships, the one between mother and child. Ackerman starts the segment by noting the surprising power of asking someone to promise she won't hurt herself, that she'll call the Suicide Prevention hotline first--that this strategy actually works-- and from this observation she moves into the following meditation on the meaning and origins of promises.
It is an ancient idea, to make a promise to another person, to oneself, or to one's god. Our species has survived partly because of our great skill at negotiating and working together. What do we 'throw' when we make a promise? What do we 'send forth' into the world? Because a promise foretells how one will act, it allows us the relief of knowing a small shred of the future, of relaxing some of our anxieties.
Without promises we would constantly be in a fret. They allow us to solve some f the future inthe presnt, thereby controllig it, and making it seem less arbitrary, mysterious, beyond our grasp. A promise signal trust: We entrust the promiser with some measure of our anticipated happiness or well-being. Therefore a broken promise warrants punishment or shame. Children are taught how to promise. I think promising goes back to the unstated contract between a mother and child. It's no use her telling a child, 'You must not go near the edge of the cliff, or touch fire, or wander off,' unless the child agrees that it won't.
If the child doesn't agree, then the mother must be more vigilant than is practical. What the child promises is to try to stay alive. What the mother promises, in return, is to love the child and try to keep it alive. So when we ask a caller to promise, we are touching an ancientnerve. The equation written in our cells, in our bones, is that keeping yourself safe will lead to love: It is the oldest and simplest promise. This book was really amazing.
I picked it up randomly at the take it or leave it pile and found it spoke to me on many levels. I love Diane Ackerman and her writing and had no idea what this book was about when I grabbed it. Turns out it's about her time working at a suicide prevention hotline. Amazingly she lived in Ithaca, where I went to college. She mentions talking someone off the bridge which I did once and reminded me of another night when I saw someone clinging to the side of the bridge This book was really amazing. She mentions talking someone off the bridge which I did once and reminded me of another night when I saw someone clinging to the side of the bridge the wrong side and tried to get help, but couldn't call until many minutes later at a blue light box.
Did I imagine that moment or did it really happen. Was he real or a ghost? I was struck by what she said regarding not always being able to know if she helped someone and how the story ended for them. She also described the sad appeal of the Golden Gate Bridge which unfortunately was where one of my friends ended his life. I think it is so important to discuss mental health and be open about suicide. Regarding the book don't fear Ackerman approaches the subject with reverence yet also includes fun anecdotes so somehow it's not totally depressing!
Written during her time spent as a volunteer on a crisis hotline, Ms. Ackerman limns all the aching sorrow, grief, exasperation and incredible wonder that filled her nights as she spent time talking other people off the ledge. Intertwining her conversations with the invisible people at the other end of the telephone are powerful ruminations about birds, animals, insects, weather, food, poetry and whatever else caught her fancy.
The thoughts are not randomly expressed nor are they merely filler b Written during her time spent as a volunteer on a crisis hotline, Ms.
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Here, human beings are shown not separate from nature but an indelible part of it, all too openly expressed in their greediness, desire, despair and hope. Sep 16, Diane rated it really liked it. I enjoy Diane Ackerman's writing and, although this wasn't my favorite of her books, it was still a lovely read.
This is an account of her time working as a counselor for a suicide prevention phone line. Has anyone had the diverse experiences of Diane Ackerman? She seems to have held all manner of odd jobs.