- Paperback: 182 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 6, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 146631222X
- ISBN-13: 978-1466312227
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,927,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Crazy About You Paperback – September 6, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Crazy About You is set in the most unlikely of places, in and around a state mental institution in west central Kansas. Attwood's protagonist, a high school student nearing the end of his junior year, is at once naïve and wise beyond his age. These qualities, combined with growing up on the "asylum" where is father works, have created within him a gut-wrenching combination of empathy and Everyman's selfishness that shape him forever and come to a head during one wildly dramatic week when his father and estranged mother are out of town.
Given the protagonist's years, one might dismiss this as a coming-of-age story. It is not. Less a psychological thriller than a psychiatric adventure, the novel fearlessly reveals ways in which human beings face their choices and emotions and those of others -- from loyalty and deceit to cruelty, despair, and joy -- things we all sometimes learn to deal with but never totally control. It is at once gripping, brutal, and tender.
It's not a perfect novel. For some, a dissertation early in the novel on the historical mistreatment of the mentally ill may distract from the narrative. And few short but descriptive sex scenes, a couple of them briefly-described but violent, may upset some readers. This is not a novel for young readers.
Still, Crazy About You defies categorization, but suffice to say that those looking for pure excitement and good story telling will not be disappointed. Nor will those who thrive on the deeper layers of psychological tension. Although the novel often deals with forces out of the protagonist's control, it also tackles tough moral choices that indelibly shape our lives, all within the context of a fantastical drama that will leave the reader musing for days. But ultimately, this is a story about absolution. If you have not laughed out loud often and shed a few tears by the end, you'd better see a shrink.
While Attwood's style and story-telling skills are very much his own, John Irving fans will enjoy this book immensely. New York Times, heads-up!
Or at least I know about a week in the life of the book's 16 year old main character. Son of the hospital's dentist, he seems to live a lot more eventful, and sex-filled, life than just about anybody that I knew growing up. But Atwood not only describes the adventures of a teen-age boy, he draws back the curtain on life in a mental hospital while giving his take on small towns and the early lessons of love.
The book moves quickly and reads well, especially the occasional philosophical digressions and musings. It's touching and funny ("Socialized medicine existed," writes Attwood. "You just had to be nuts to get it."). Read it, and you'll learn more about mental hospitals and the mind of teenage boys--two vastly mysterious, and at times troubling, places.
The story involves brutal staff, many of whom are more twisted than those they are supposed to care for, a sad young woman who was victimized by her father and than by the system, unfortunate souls who need professional help that is seldom available to them, the local juvenile delinquent, and a couple of teenaged girls whose hormones are as out of control as only teenage hormones can be. The author brings them and others together to weave a story that will keep you turning the pages and that you won't soon forget.
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