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About the Author

Gabor Mate, M.D., has been a family practitioner for twenty years. He was a long-standing medical columnist for The Vancouver Sun and The Globe and Mail in Canada
Image credit: Dr. Gabor Maté, M.D.

Works by Gabor Maté


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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Maté, Gabor
Hungary (birth)
Places of residence
Budapest, Hungary
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada



It's taken me over 8 months to finish this book, as I decided about a third of the way through I hated it but stubbornness kept me committed to finishing it.

I bought this book originally as it's a joint effort between Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté and I'd enjoyed a previous book of Maté's, although with a dollop of scepticism. The bit of the blurb that caught my eye was reattaching to your kids, and at the time that I bought this my (then) 13 year old was proving harder to communicate with and I was keen to recapture our bond.

The first few chapters had me nodding my head in some agreement, particularly in relation to immaturity and a tendency for some adolescents to need to fit in with their peers. So far our set of circumstances at home. But then Neufeld and Maté completely lost me. The book became full of sweeping statements and generalisations which I felt are totally unfair on the majority of our young people. It seemed totally lost on these two 'experts' that lots of kids want to fit in during their teens and that friends are an important part of your rite of passage through adolescence. In their eyes, spending time with peers means peer attachment issues and a slippery slope to bullying, aggression and goodness knows what else. There was no middle ground of teenagers figuring out who they are and coming out the other side OK - it was either devils or angels.

I do get and agree with the main point of the book, which is that it's important for children and young people to develop and keep a firm attachment with a parent/s or guardians / trusted adult, but for scientists to have written this book there seemed to be so much that was subjective and based on opinions rather than firm data.

And it went on and on and on about the same basic point, page after page in small print. Talk about repetitive and filler content.

So I'm delighted to at last to be done with this book that is a horrible read on several levels.

1.5 stars - I'm done now with both of them.
… (more)
2 vote
AlisonY | 11 other reviews | May 6, 2024 |
This should be required reading for everyone who encounters people struggling with addictions, and all addicts struggle. Mate tells stories about patients he has known as the physician to many drug addicts and alcoholics, but he also tells of his own and others behavioral addictions. He is sensitive to the people he describes as people and honest about the times his awareness of themas troubled and traumatized people slips into judgement. I have ordered my own copy because this book is inspiring and filled with excellent ideas about harm reduction and addiction.… (more)
nmele | 43 other reviews | Mar 26, 2024 |
Full of information and insight, some of which I knew and believed in broadly, but with much less specific knowledge. This is a book that will convnce your parents of the importance of harm reduction and broad drug decriminalization, but may be less useful if you already have a strong understanding of those concepts.
Dr. Maté does occasionally overreach in his analysis--particularly, I noted, in his understanding of overeating as an "addiction"; the passages in which he posits this are some of the most consistently under- or unsourced sections of the book. I also think this book could have used a tighter edit, as it is sometimes repetitious.… (more)
localgayangel | 43 other reviews | Mar 5, 2024 |


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