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Sharp Hardcover – August 21, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 354 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; First Edition edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062064029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062064028
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,549,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“David Fitzpatrick’s Sharp is a must read, remarkably told.” (Wally Lamb)

Sharp is a courageously honest book by a gentle, damaged soul who fought his way to the light with a ferocity he never thought he possessed. Fitzpatrick’s recounting of his struggle with severe mental illness shines with intelligence, pain and hard-won, self-confidence. ” (Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man and The Astral)

“What makes this memoir so riveting and so unforgettable isn’t the myriad of horrors that its narrator inflicts upon himself. It’s the razor-sharp humor and abiding wisdom and depth of humanity with which its author graces the reader. Sharp cuts deep into your heart.” (Michael White, author of Beautiful Assassin and Soul Catcher)

“Tortured and tormented as he was, Fitzpatrick never blinks as he recounts his residency in hell. Piercingly honest, he forces us to recognize and embrace the most broken parts of ourselves. Be forewarned: this book will expand your heart and mind.” (Rachel Basch, author of Degrees of Love and The Passion of Reverend Nash)

“A mesmeric, dire memoir...a mission (thanks to Wally Lamb’s encouragement) to write this dark, affecting, human story.” (Publishers Weekly)

From the Back Cover

"Endorphins sped through me. I spun around, growing dizzy, frantic, and silly. I wasn't drunk, but I felt a nice stoned feeling, sans paranoia, and I thought, 'I believe I've found my new pharmaceutical deep inside.' I giggled fearlessly, manically at this and looked down at myself; hands, arms, chest, and belly covered in crimson . . . "

Sharp is the story of a young man who began his life with a loving family and great promise for the future. But in his early twenties, David Fitzpatrick became so consumed by mental illness it sent him into a frenzy of cutting himself with razor blades. In this shocking and often moving book, he vividly describes the rush this act gave him, the fleeting euphoric high that seemed to fill the spaces in the rest of his life. It started a difficult battle from which he would later emerge triumphant and spiritually renewed.

Fitzpatrick's youth seemed ideal. He was athletic, handsome, and intelligent. However, he lived in fear of an older brother who taunted and belittled him; and in college, his roommates teased and humiliated him, further damaging what sense of self-esteem he still carried with him. As he shares these experiences, Fitzpatrick also recounts the lessons learned from the broken people he encountered during his journey—knowledge that led to his own emotional resurrection.

Sharp also demonstrates the awakening of a writer's instinctive voice. With prose that is tough and gritty, profound and insightful, Fitzpatrick takes us inside his head while he manically cuts himself, but these episodes are presented with a dignity and insight that has never been seen before. His writing also possesses a lightness of touch that brings humor to a subject that doesn't naturally provide it.

Above all else, Sharp is a tale of hope, a soul-baring quest of a lost man who returns to himself, overcomes his demons, and reclaims his life. It is destined to become a classic memoir.


More About the Author

David Fitzpatrick was born in Dearborn, Michigan, grew up in Connecticut, graduated from Skidmore College, and earned his MFA degree from Fairfield University in 2011. A writer, he works at an auto dealership and is married to writer and graphic designer Amy Holmes. He lives in Middletown, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Very good book and hard to put down.
TW
"Sharp, a Memoir" is a remarkable story of a young mans descent into mental illness.
dosoup
Great book, this will hopefully open many eyes.
Katelynn Blindt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Hickman on August 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
We lost 4 members of the Guilford High School Class of 84: David Ciardello, Richard Eaton, Ronnie Burns, and Lars Schulze. We almost lost David Fitzpatrick. David Fitzpatrick was our most beloved classmate. He was popular, but always nice to kids on the outskirts like me. Although he was a class clown, he always respected his teachers and often made them laugh along. He was voted best personality and best smile. He was our golden boy, and he made school a lot more fun.

I remember looking around for David at one of our high school reunions, and learned that he had had a nervous breakdown and was living in a group home in a bad neighborhood in New Haven. It was whispered that he had gained a couple of hundred pounds and was zonked out on anti-psychotic drugs. It was one of the heartbreaking stories I had ever heard. No one thought any less of David, we were just sad and we missed him dearly.

Nearly 20 years later, David has emerged from the hell of mental illness. And he isn't just surviving--he is triumphing. At the age of 40, after nearly 2 decades of institutional living, he went back to college and earned his MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in creative writing from Fairfield University. He married a beautiful, intelligent woman who is a professional writer and graphic designer.

Not only is David living a healthy and productive life, he has accomplished every writer's dream--he has completed a riveting memoir which is being published by HarperCollins, and hits the shelves on August 21st.

Our prayers have been answered. Fitzy is back.

And he's getting rave reviews:

"He writes with a personal urgency initially tapped by author Wally Lamb, who encouraged him to commit his experiences to paper.
Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Summertime Reader on August 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David's story is heart wrenching - but offers much in terms of insight into the human spirit, mental illness, family, and overcoming personal demons and survival. At times the brutality of his illness, his experiences in life and the pain and suffering that come from his experiences are difficult to read. David seems to have a very gentle soul and innocence that comes across in his writing. The support from his family both in terms of emotional support, boundaries, as well as those of his care takers comes through. This book is well written - and offers one an opportunity to reflect on the fragility of being human and the edges of our own human condition.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By eric boehlert on August 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How many people experience the true depths of despair that self-hatred and mental illness can unleash, and then live to write about it? And not just write about it, but produce a breath-taking memoir that brims with clarity, honesty and passion from the first page to the last? Not many people, but David Fitzpatrick is one and he's done it with his stunning effort, "Sharp."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rajiv Pant on August 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As David's brother-in-law who witnessed his return, I find his memoir -- like his life -- to be an honest, moving and inspirational story. As powerful as this book is, it is not a comfortable read (especially for someone like me who knows well in real life the characters in the story). When I first met David about four years ago, I did not know that he'd make it out of his difficulties and write a book about it. It is a wonderful turn of events to see David being interviewed by newspapers, radio stations and video shows.

As someone who reads many of David's writings ranging from friendly, caring, personal emails from him to his professional writings, I find his writings to be like him: honest, emotional and human. David is often deep, yet lighthearted at the same time.

His book is a true story of a human's journey through sad times over a period of nearly two decades and then of his recovery, something amazing that I personally witnessed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By letters2mary on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
David Fitzpatrick has an easy, engaging, conversational writing style. It is possible to read him and believe you are talking to a long lost friend, which I think is what he needed as he began his descent into madness. Nonetheless, I found the book frustrating from a clinical perspective and from the perspective of self-honesty. First of all, where were the parents? If all the children were bedwetting at advanced ages, what was there to be so uptight about? And how did this fellow really tolerate the torture of his housemates? Being stoned doesn't answer it all. Why the passing but insubstantial and inconsequential references to Catholocism? The point? And so forth. Just too many ellipses to account for, taking a long journey into decades of institutionalization and a short explanation of re-entry into life and obtaining an MFA and a wife. Seriously? The good writing just could not overcome these points. I hope to read more from this writer even if -- perhaps particularly if -- it means adding to this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Furnaros on October 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was more than I expected. It spoke the truth. I myself have a mental illness and self harm and it hit home. However it is very triggering. So if you self harm I would proceed with caution. Definately a good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne on October 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Wow - I just finished reading David Fitzpatrick's memoir, and find that days later I'm still thinking about it. I identified closely with his writing and experiences - I'm about the same age; grew up in a similar middle-class/upper middle-class east coast neighborhood (in Baltimore); went to a good college; etc., and many of his experiences in life hit very close to home for me. Although I have not been diagnosed with the same mental illness that Fitzpatrick writes of, I have struggled through the years with depression; misdiagnosis; alcohol and substance abuse, among other things. His book scared me - I saw myself in it; saw how close I might have been to tipping over into the next level of mental illness, and it was terrifying. I connected with his story on a very personal level, and I think much of the reason is due to his honest & open portrayal of living with mental illness. It was a difficult book for me to read; but, I think, a very important book for me to read, and I'm so glad that I did.

One part of the book that I found extremely poignant and moving is in the prologue, when Fitzpatrick writes about what he would tell his twenty-year-old self today, if he had had the opportunity to foresee what was in his future. I found myself going back and re-reading this particular passage several times. I appreciate Fitzpatrick's honesty in sharing his story, and admire his bravery in `laying it all out there,' so to speak. I hope that his story can give others who suffer from mental illness a sense of hope; a sense of a future. It did for me.
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