Praise for Into the Gray Zone
What scientists and experts are saying about Adrian Owen's unforgettable neuroscience journey.
Riveting and strangely uplifting … the testimonies of people who have returned from the gray zone evoke the mysteries of consciousness and identity with tremendous power.
At the heart of every scientific discovery is a great detective story. Adrian Owen’s Into the Gray Zone offers a riveting yarn of how researchers tackled an intractable scientific problem, namely how to make contact with those who can no longer communicate with the outside world.
Into the Gray Zone takes us on an unforgettable journey, and provides fascinating insight into cutting-edge neuroscience and the power of the human psyche. Owen’s impressive scientific credentials and remarkable personal experiences make him the perfect host as we attempt to discover the truth about patients thought to be in a vegetative state. Time and again we are taken to the edge of our seats, reflecting on what it means to be alive and how hope can triumph in the most tragic of circumstances.
Taking my evening bath while dipping into the opening pages of Into the Gray Zone, I finished three hours later, with the water cold. The book is simply unputdownable. What kept me in the bathtub is Owen’s account of communicating with the most impaired neurological patients—those unfortunate individuals whose damaged body and brains often put them at a greater distance from us than an astronaut lost in space.
This is a great book—immensely moving, profound, and engaging, with a zest for life and science that bubbles off the page. This is serious science, but also a human story to be read in a single sitting. Adrian Owen has lived the dream of a neuroscientific discovery that changes thinking about a terrifying medical condition and how patients and their families can be given the answers they crave. Reading how this happened will make you alternately laugh, gasp and cry.
As a journalist observing Adrian Owen’s pioneering research over the years, I’ve grown used to the media sensation created by his descents into the twilight world between death and consciousness. But to understand the profound impact of his work on his many patients, told in his own words, is truly moving and inspirational. Though their experiences are disturbing, Into the Gray Zone provides an uplifting testament to the power of scientific curiosity and the extraordinary resilience of the human spirit. This book delivers an eloquent message: even in the most desperate circumstances, there can be hope.
This is an unforgettable book. Owen weaves together stories of human resilience in the face of extraordinary adversity with an account of his own ground-breaking research, and in so doing takes us on a deeply moving journey to the very frontiers of consciousness. I couldn’t put it down.
Into the Gray Zone is both a crystal-clear description of cutting-edge neuroscience from one of the pioneers in the field, and a set of intensely personal stories about patients in the twilight of consciousness. Owen deftly knits these two strands together to raise fascinating ethical questions about human identity and value. The result is one of the most moving and gripping science books you're ever likely to read.
Into the Gray Zone is required reading for anyone who wants to explore the outer limits of consciousness, and the human spirit. Neuroscientist Adrian Owen takes us on gripping, often harrowing journey into the most mysterious realm of human experience: the twilight zone between life and death. He narrates this real-life scientific thriller with authority, compassion and unexpected humor. Into the Gray Zone is a riveting read that will open your eyes, your heart, and your mind.
What an amazing read! Adrian Owen takes us on a personal and scientific journey, which leads to the discovery of lost minds hidden within the damaged brains of patients in a vegetative state. The book is a real page-turner, both because it unpacks the complexities of modern neuroscience in an accessible way and because it directly confronts profound ethical questions.
Captivating ... In this book, which will bring new hope to many, we see Owen explore new realms of consciousness—ones experienced by patients who are devastated by brain injury yet surprisingly endowed with thought, feeling, and memory.
Fascinating … With remarkable clarity, Owen punctuates his findings with concise dispatches on the human condition and the disparities between what is considered quality of life and what some consider an inhumane, dysfunctional existence … A striking scientific journey that draws hopeful attention to how the brain reacts, restores, and perseveres despite grave injury.
Vivid, emotional, and thought-provoking . . . Owen’s story of horror and hope will long haunt readers.