What People Are Saying

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"This is an extraordinary work: searingly honest, painful, and compelling; easily the most incisive and moving account of mental illness I have ever read."
— David Price, Author and Actor

"This is a beautifully written book. From the first moment Alex, the protagonist, captures the reader's attention and sympathy just by her honesty and humanity, not by any cheap trick to pull heartstrings. Her mental journey is chronicled with all its ups and downs, but the whole time one never stops rooting for her recovery.

The supporting cast of characters - from the nurses and psychiatrists to the patrons of the bar where Alex works - are equally unforgettable and realistically drawn. Judy Adams' novel flows wonderfully, making it impossible to put down. By turns funny, powerful, and unflinchingly genuine, The Existence Game is truly a great book. I highly recommend it!"
— Carmen Paddock, Actor

“This is writing of the highest caliber. Outstandingly well told. The more I read, the more I want to read. I am frankly I awe of Adams’ ability to convey Alex’s predicament with such searing accuracy and straightforwardness.”
— Fran Macilvey, Author

“I'm up to chapter 14 and down to half a box of tissues (the BIG box). This book is so incredibly moving and heartfelt.”
— With genuine appreciation, Rose Simpson, Shepherdstown, WV

"My God, this is so painful and yet so wonderfully positive too. How fortune Alex was to find Dr Frank and how rare a doctor is he. The relationship between the two of them takes us to the heart of what being human is about. He saved her and perhaps no one else could have reached her that way. What a remarkable combination: Alex and Dr Frank. A [friend who is a therapist] recently wrote to me, saying many things that relate to Alex's story. He wrote: "...the application of humanity in psychiatry is at least as important as biology, and sometimes it is all one has to offer." It is a tragedy that there aren't more doctors like him and Dr Frank.

Adams has expressed the agony of a mental illness with great insight. Through [Alex's] eyes, we see that what from the outside might be perceived as irrational or insane is really an attempt to alleviate the unbearable pain of being Alex. Those feelings of being overwhelmed and disorientated, lost and alone... they are terrifying. [Medication] may relieve the worst of it but it is human contact and understanding that makes the difference. It is this that may turn a life round.

Alex's story shows there is sometimes a light at the end of the tunnel. It will be reassuring and encouraging to any reader going through what Alex suffered. And if professionals read Alex's story, I hope it will inspire them and show them that sometimes a life can be turned around. This is a major achievement."
— Cherry Gregory, Author

“Dear Judy,
...I recently finished The Existence Game, and I wanted to express my sincere admiration for the excellent job you did with what was obviously a labor of love. ...There were some very intense moments that were difficult to get through, but I'm glad I did because it gave me a better sense of what someone with a mental illness must experience. [And] there was always an underlying feeling of hope that kept me eager to see how things would turn out for Alex. All of your characters are so compelling and fully fleshed-out. I feel like I know them! And your sense of humor really helped lighten some of the heavier moments.”
— Jen Ickes, Franklin, Tennessee

“The Existence Game takes us on an extraordinary journey into the heart of abuse and neglect, yet manages to remain deeply human and hopeful. Alex's story challenges us to look at our own influences, and to better understand those of the people around us.”
John Mullins, Author

“Riveting!” — Linda Williams, Fairfield, Pennsylvania

"At first, I was a little apprehensive about reading a work of fiction that dealt exclusively with mental illness. It’s an area in which I’ve worked and it’s a minefield of false belief and prejudice. Adams provides us with deep insights into the mind and world of the sufferer and reminds us that "Alex" could be a very real person, like anyone else we might meet, anywhere at anytime. Her story is told with compassion and tenderness. The links between psychological suffering and the dysfunctional family, abuse and molestation provide us with important insights into the causes, not only of Alex’s suffering, but also, of mental anguish everywhere.

The Existence Game is a great work of fiction that captures one’s heart, soul and mind. It’s also a story of love, dedication and hopefulness, of belief in the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity. I applaud Adams for writing a recovery story. Many believe that conditions like Borderline Personality Disorder can only be managed. I believe that with love, care and dedication, complete recovery is possible and I found myself cheering Dr Frank in his devoted care of Alex. Dr Frank and his like exist in real life, but they are a rarity.

I felt I knew Alex personally by the end of The Existence Game and I would recommend this book wholeheartedly."
Geoffrey Mann, Author

"The therapeutic process, the emergence of the frightened child, the characters along the way, the acknowledgment of the self-destructive voice, and the recovery of an early trauma -- all accepted and encouraged by a skilled and insightful therapist, make for a riveting read. Adams' keeps the reader firmly on Alex's side. She is a lost part in us all, which makes this story universal."
Ashen Venema, author, Course of Mirrors

"What a story! I could not put it down. What an incredible story! The dialogue made it an easy read and the mystery and intensity of the story was well developed. [The Existence Game weaves] a timely hot real-life topic throughout this work of fiction."
— Delores Eshleman, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

"What a super talented writer we have in Judy Adams. She has an extraordinary story to tell and she tells it brilliantly.

Alex Moser, a young woman diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder, has suffered unbearably at the hands of her mother who doles out crippling emotional abuse merely for the fun of it. As the young Alex reaches her teenage years she turns to the rougher element of society where she is befriended and where illegal highs are the norm. Her depression deepens until one day she makes a serious attempt at suicide. She is committed to a psychiatric ward where she meets Doctor Frank (the Frankster). This man is about to turn her life around.

This is not a sob story. Incredibly moving, yes, but it has lots of very funny comic moments. Alex's great sense of fun ripples through the pages; yet you will shed a tear at the injustices thrown at this wonderful person. This story is already way up there with my Top Five of 2012. *****Five Stars Plus!"
— Mary Jo S., United Kingdom

“Lots of wisdom, lots of grace. What else could you want?”
— E. Broughton, Maryland

"The Existence Game has a communicative, easy flowing narrative 'voice.' Poignant at times, cuttingly sad at others, relatively light hearted in places, and continually honest and frank, The Existence Game is an engrossing read."
Robert Davidson, Author

“I have to be honest. I have little empathy, no empathy's not the right word. I have little indulgence for these types of characters, the addictive, problem-ridden types of characters who wallow and whine and just can't seem to shake themselves off and get on with it. I'm a very caring person; it's not that--I guess I just get impatient with artistic representations of drug addicts, abuse, etc. It all seems so indulgent. So I was expecting to have to use all my reserves of patience to get through this. Wow, was I wrong. The absolute artistry of Adams’ writing is that we immediately get inside Alex's head, not just as if she could be someone we know. I felt as though she could be me. I was so utterly drawn in. She's not annoying, not whiney...none of those things. She's just a woman with a remarkable problem. The tone here is so utterly convincing and straight-faced. Chilling, what Alex is doing to herself, yet it seems so inevitable that we literally feel the weight she's carrying. Powerful stuff, could not tear myself away. Chills, tears. That Adams could hold this tone and manage this effect is amazing. Wonderfully done.”
— Mary Vensel White, author, The Qualities of Wood