From Publishers Weekly
Cheney, a former L.A. entertainment lawyer, pointedly dispels expectations of a safe ride through this turbulent account of bipolar disorder. With evocative imagery—time-shuffled recollections meant to mirror her disorienting extremes of mood—Cheney conjures life at the mercy of a brain chemistry that yanks her from soul-starving despair to raucous exuberance, impetuous pursuits to paralyzing lethargy. Caught in a riptide of febrile impulse, she caroms from seductions to suicide attempts while flirting recklessly with men, danger and death, only to find more hazards in the drastic side effects of treatment. More than a train-wreck tearjerker, the memoir draws strength from salient observations that expose the frustrations of bipolar disorder, from its brutal sabotage of romance and friendship to the challenge it poses to the simplest emotions, such as the terrors of being happy that augur mania's onset. Though she sustains an ominous mood and relays horrifying incidents with icy candor, Cheney lightens up at times, as when she marvels at the ease of masking her condition at an office that brings out everyone's manic side. But the narrative hopscotch frustrates readers' need for grounding and context that might clear up Cheney's muddled history and satisfy readers' urge to learn the fallout of her impulse-driven episodes. Her startlingly lucid descriptions of illness merit a more concise chronology. (Feb.)
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“Cheney’s chilling account of her struggle with bipolar disorder brilliantly evokes the brutal nature of her disease...Edgy, dark and often cynical, MANIC is not an easy book to read, but it has heart and soul to spare.” (People)
“Written in episodic chapters that mimic the ups and downs of bipolar depressionhypomania, mania, depressionCheney’s book is a gut-churning ride.” (Los Angeles Times)
“[a] gritty, vibrant, memoir brings this chaotic frenzy to life...through disaster and despair to end in hope. ” (Peter C Whybrow MD author A Mood Apart)
“This is a poignant and compelling memoir ...The writing is outstanding, the story is gripping.” (Dr. Lori Altshuler, Director of the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program)
“Cheney brilliantly brings us along on her haunting and riveting journey of bipolar disorder. ...MANIC is extremely powerful.” (Andy Behrman, author of Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania)
“Filled with gorgeous writing...Echoes of William Styron abound.” (Demitri F. Papolos. M.D. and Janice Papolos, authors of The Bipolar Child)
“[Manic is] more than a train-wreck tearjerker, the memoir draws strength from salient observations…startlingly lucid descriptions.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Cheney...writes with passionate clarity about depression and the lure of suicide but with especially keen intensity about mania...” (Boston Globe)
“Superb...Cheney’s remarkable chronicle of her painful odyssey is as eloquent as it is brave. It is also profoundly necessary, both for her and for us.” (Providence Journal)
“Amazing and powerful...[MANIC] forces the reader into Cheney’s bipolar world, into her deep and fearful depressions mixed with her giddy, high-flying manic moods.” (Orange County Register)