Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Author . Tarcher $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-58542-624-9

This book’s title makes a promise it doesn’t keep. Martinez-Lewi, a marriage and family therapist, devotes more space to describing what she calls the “classic high-level narcissist”: charming, manipulative, needing to maintain a facade of perfection and power. But one can’t always free oneself from narcissists (at work, for instance) except emotionally, which is the focus of her advice, when she gets to it. For the first 160-odd pages, the reader is treated to a melodramatic, vitriolic and metaphor-heavy (“we have been through the forests and thickets of the inner and outer world of the narcissistic personality”) outpouring of loathing for these “impossible” people. The juiciest parts of the book describe historical figures such as Ayn Rand, Pablo Picasso and Frank Lloyd Wright as prisoners of their own narcissistic personalities. As for her plan to free oneself from narcissists, she makes it sound more like a battle plan than self-help, involving guerrilla, spy-counterspy and cat-and-mouse strategies. In the end, it amounts to being true to yourself and practicing meditation to stay grounded. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/12/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-101-21613-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 256 pages - 978-1-4295-9341-0
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