Stop Paddling - Readers' reviews

You don't have to be bipolar to enjoy this book.

I have recently read "Stop Paddling, Start Sailing". It was very inspiring. I'd not come across the idea of memes before and it does make a lot of sense of things. I also like the simple way you write about determinism, which is a concept I've liked for a while. Miriam Hodson


This book is well written and easy to read, either in one session or a few short 'bites'. Being married to someone with bipolar meant that before reading this I could never quite understand what was going on. Now the book has made everything so real and easy to relate to. I can now be more tolerant, and hopefully understanding, when i need to be. This book has changed my view of bipolar forever. Reklaw - review left on


I found Stop Paddling/Start Sailing a thoroughly enjoyable read. Roger conveys very useful information on the treatment of mental illness without ever slipping into woe or grief over the challenges he has faced. I was left with an optimistic and refreshing new view of life with Manic Depression. JD Stottlemire, Author of "You Me and Apollo: Hope Beyond Bipolar Disorder"

Your book I read twice. Thought your description of the 1st major manic as perfect gripping writing. Likewise writing about your other experiences relevant to the notion of memes. Val Martin Revell


Stop Paddling/Start Sailing is an resourceful work of literature that draws upon the imagination, and opens up areas of enlightenment. The literary style will keep your interest allowing you to turn each page with ease. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new perspective on how to view life and its challenges. C. Fowler, North Carolina, USA


I found your book extremely interesting and uplifting: the mixture of personal experience, story and plain advice means that it is a pleasant as well as an informative read. I should like to buy the copy you loaned me... it’s looking a bit dog-eared now. Teifion Davies, Senior lecturer in community psychiatry, London, England


I got this book on a course Roger ran and didn't know what to expect. It is a treasure - accurately and poetically describing aspect of mental health as well as offering some interesting insights into memetics.
It is easy to read and worth going back to.
Reviewer: magdapio, England


I really enjoyed it - more than I thought I would, in fact, as I often find it difficult to read the stories of people's journeys through distress due to it tapping into some of my own intense anxieties and the pain of some of my own experiences. I found it really thought provoking, and I really appreciated the way in which you'd written it, the way in which you'd not only condensed and made more easily understandable some pretty complicated ideas, but also the way in which you told the story of your journey to make it easily understandable and readable, and I do appreciate how difficult this is. Hey, it might even get me to write down my own life's story! Shaun, Melton Mowbray


It was amazing how easily I understood some of what you were describing in Version 1...
It was a very easy book to read, very inspiring and I felt that I could relate to some of the things you had been going through. I too feel like I've been paddling...for years now I have had periods where I felt very down and had problems with anger management and self esteem; mainly due to issues in my childhood.
Thanks to reading your book I have finally decided to reflect on my life and be proactive by getting some help.
I'm using your book as a framework to face my demons, try to understand more about me as a person and to (hopefully) start the healing process which is long overdue.
C.T., Student Nurse, September 2006


Attractive cover and reader friendly layout. I like the way in which the book conveys your ideas so uniquely - I've not read any other book with three different versions of the same story and with such an intriguing weaving together of anecdote, science, popular song, memory, poetry etc. The way in which you keep returning to the central metaphor which constitutes the title in various inter-related ways is also impressive. I hope it reaches a wide audience. Dr Martin S., Oxfordshire, England


I was impressed by the allegorical writing. I was reminded of Thomas Hardy's description, `Life only begins when one enters the labyrinth and ability to cope with its unexpected twists and turns depends mainly on two things; the particular qualities with which one is endowed and the experience gained in the labyrinth itself. M. Stone, Hampshire


I Just wanted to let you know that I have just finished your book. It is fantastic. Amanda F., BBC


Roger i found your book really useful and found the way you used paddling and sailing a really good expression to explain times in life, i think i will take the knowledge of memes with me and try to remember their influence in difficult situations. i also lent this book to a friend who panics when she leaves the house she said she really liked it too! Kahla Parker, Grantham, England


Your book arrived on Wednesday which I read and cried and read again. I am so sad that "S" was unable to read this but am glad that I was and have passed it on to my friends to read as I think it will really help.

I thought the book was wonderful and I really loved the way that you told your story, it really touched a cord and it related to "S" in many more ways than one......a remarkable book which I know will help me as well. Nikki Crane, London, England


Review: An inspiring and very informing view on Life and MD, July 13, 2004(On Amazon)

I picked up this book and wondered just 'what could I possible get from this' yet another book on how I see the world. WOW, how wrong can you be!! Not only written in a beautifully engaging and yet refreshingly simple manner, but it's the first time that I honestly think anyone has managed to make me want to write a review. I read the chapter about memes 'Ideas Like rain' and was completely taken aback. The book was able to help me understand better about an episode of MD but without excess details. I was intrigued by the Mood Scale. Well this book is a quick read and I recommend it very strongly to you. I have read it several times. One message to the author, more please.... in the same refreshing style!!! Terry Gibbs Effem from Lincolnshire, England


Review: From a paddler learning to sail., July 2, 2004 (On Amazon)
A most interesting and insightful read. Although I was unfamiliar with the theory of memes before, I have heard of similar theories, and this book brought them together beautifully. I believe that more detail and information about memes and how they work would have been ideal, but that is the only (and very minor) shortcoming of this book.
Having suffered from MD myself for a number of years, I recognised and identified with a lot of the experiences and feelings that the author was going through. One good point about this book is that it informs the reader about an episode of mania or depression accurately but without being melodramatic or ploughing into unnecessary details.
As well as being an enjoyable read, this book was very informative. For example, I have never seen the mood chart mentioned in this book before but I found it fascinating. Overall, I found this book intriguing and helpful, and I would certainly read it again.
Kate Whitehead from Nottingham, England


Review: Amazing, June 27, 2004 (On Amazon)

I have read Stop Paddling three times and have to say it is a truly amazing book. I was afraid it would be depressing considering it is the story of a lifelong manic depressive but there was no dwelling on the bad times. Although my own journey through life has been smoother than that for the author I can easily relate to the boating analogy of the main story. But the cleverest thing I found was how he explains about "memes", which previously I had not understood at all. His ideas of there being something other than paddling and other than drifting through life are inspiring. I highly recommend this easy to read book. Colin Ashworth, England


Review: Excellent read for all, June 21, 2004 (On Amazon)

A life-book that has guided me to a self realisation that any problem or task can be overcome, with the right mind set and tools. This book is a joy to read and offers a rewarding finale with a fresh approach to managing difficulties anyone may encounter in life. A helping hand along the journey of life, to wherever you want to reach. A definite must on everyone's shelf or coffee table. jan61243 from Leeds United Kingdom


Review: (On Amazon) Nov 25, 2004

I came across this book by chance. It was a real eye opener. Although I have not experienced the problems of the author, I felt it was easy to relate to and all of us could benefit from a bit more sailing.
I would recommend the book to anyone who has laid awake at night with many thoughts in their mind and could only worry and not get back to sleep.
Face up to the flow of the river, and use it to your advantage you can't change it.
amanda7979 from Amersham, Bucks United Kingdom


I found your book to be a very compelling read. I was able to sit down and read the entire book at one sitting which helped in understanding the meanings of the first two of the three stories. I have now passed the book onto my wife who has much less understanding of bipolar disorder than myself and it will be interesting for me to have her comments.. G.P./Doctor, Lincolnshire, England


Your journey is just that! - A journey which I could understand through the words. Well done to you "sailing" your way to a better place. Mark T., Leicestershire, England


I read it during one of my trips. I found it enlightening, understandable and enjoyable. I want to re-read it and give some fuller feedback. Now I am wondering about writing a book as well. Stuart R., Orleans, France


I enjoyed reading your book it was very enlightening of your experiences. I also liked your analogies and the three versions of the same story. I plan to read it again sometime which confirms to me that I liked it. What seems to stick in my mind are the flags! G. Heys, Preston, UK


I enjoyed reading your book, both for its autobiography aspects and as a story of recovery. I like the three stories approach. Much of my work as a therapist is helping people to tell their stories in different ways, hopefully assisting them to find a version that enables them to move on in their lives. I read your book in this way; the first version being like the short and seemingly un-understandable or extreme story at the start of therapy, the second being more detailed, full of personal meaning, understandable within the therapeutic relationship but not in a form that others would easily understand and the third version, with self reflection, when the person could translate their experience to be understood by anyone if they chose to do so. Barry, Yorkshire


My cousin in London read Stop Paddling/Start Sailing and thought I could use a copy of it for my work as a Counselor. So she sent me a copy.
I have to say that Stop Paddling/Start Sailing is a book that is not just informative but life altering. I am very impressed with they way you have written a story and made it so educational at the same time. I have a nephew that has major issues with BiPolar,FAE and Manic Depression, what I found interesting in the Memes parts is it could have been written about him. You have educated me on how to help many of my clients using a new approach and I can't thank you enough. Sharing your journey and thoughts will be inspirational to anyone who reads the book. For me it was and is a page turner. Every time I sit down and reread it I pick up on more new ideas in your thoughts. Keep writing Roger your words are meant to be shared with others.
Brenda Herzog: Personal and Family Counselling, Canada


I read the book as soon as I opened it and could identify with it straight away. I think most bipolar suffers would do, and I think it could be a good method for non sufferers to get an idea of how things go, in a very potted form, and in a sweet way. I think I will need to read it again to get a better understanding of memes as I didn't know what they were before. Paul L., Surrey, England


I really enjoyed reading your book. I think the greatest learning in life is experiential. Thanks for publishing your experiences and your journey so far. I think the style and structure was excellent. You painted a story first - a 'picture speaks a thousand words.' Summarising your journey through abstract metaphors was a very powerful way of relaying your life story. It really got me thinking and it also made me think of writing my own life-story one day. Mark Joseph, Yorkshire, England


This book is a window into Roger's thoughts. An inspiration in re-affirming that it is our own character, which will allow us to sail. Jance, Newcastle, England


Thank you so much for letting me have a copy; it will definitely be on my recommended reading list:your clear and straightforward accounts of your ascents and descents are very powerful. Joan Fogel, London, England


My thoughts on the book....The whole idea you give of looking at things a different way is central to dealing with problems. I found training as a science teacher that using analogy is a great tool but also if you want to convey a concept fully then sometimes need to get people to define the limits and the opposites directly. But in this case ambiguity is powerful.I guess your story might mean don't try to go upstream, work with the wind and the tides.We have to work with what is around us but also with what is within us, which can be more scary! Ian, Cheltenham, England


I came home today as the mailman delivered your book.

And just curled up on the couch and read it through.

I am feeling really relaxed.

Don’t really feel I am cognitively into the memes, but feel like I am going better with the flow.

Thanks for the personal note, the rapids are a tempting place to paddle about! CP - California, USA


I read it coming back to Nott'm on the train. It's good. Have you written anything else? S..., Nottingham, England