Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crazy Enough

To be honest, I hadn't heard of Storm Large before I was contacted about reviewing this book,  Crazy Enough: A Memoir,  but I looked her up online right away to find out more.  The first thing I noticed, of course, is her striking beauty.  She's tall and very attractive (although in the book as she is growing up she does not see herself as attractive).  I then played a few clips to get a sense of her voice and personality,  and decided that this was a memoir I had to read.

"People think I'm nuts. They think that I am a killer, a badass, and a dangerous woman."
~Crazy Enough, Storm Large

Published in January 2012,  Crazy Enough is the story of her life so far.  As I began the first chapter (you wouldn't believe the opening line), I was flung out of my "comfort zone",  hard and headfirst.  Storm is very troubled by her mother, Suzi's, frequent bouts of mental illness and hospitalizations, and understandably worries about her own future when a doctor tells her that she, too, will be "crazy" like her mother when she's older (in her twenties).  I was discomfited the entire time I was reading this book, and often on the verge of tears; I felt that Storm desperately needed a mother to guide her through childhood, but her mother was absent, often in the hospital or institutionalized for months at a time, being treated for various, nebulous mental illnesses.   As a consequence, as a child in the town of Southborough, MA, Storm was left to her own devices, and unfortunately drawn to dangerous things, such as sex and drugs.   Her father, Henry,  tried to be a good parent to Storm and her brothers, John and (also) Henry, but he had to work long hours in order to support his family and his wife's expensive, never-ending health care. 

While I found some of the language hard to take, this book is so real and honest and funny that it won me over almost immediately.  Storm doesn't sugar-coat anything in her memoir, and is truthful about her experiences and feelings.  Her early bouts with sex and her hypersexuality, as well as her experiences with alcohol and drugs (including heroin!) were strange and fascinating to read about.  I could not put this book down, and finished it over the course of a few days.

"You know her life was saved by rock 'n' roll."
~Rock 'n' Roll,  Lou Reed, The Velvet Underground

After a tumultuous childhood, Storm attended acting school in NY, turned to music, and gradually achieved success as a singer (her powerful rendition of Where is My Mind is breathtaking),  fronting bands and releasing albums, and landed a part on the TV reality show Rock Star: Supernova (which I'd love to see),  and a role in the musical, Cabaret.  Eventually, she created her hit one-woman show, Crazy Enough (which I'd also love to see).  This bold book tells her story candidly, and while it was disturbing to read at times, Storm's story is one of determination, survival, and triumph, and one that I will not be able to forget.

Special thanks to Kristin from Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy of Crazy Enough.

7 comments:

  1. This sounds like an interesting memoir Suko. I had not heard of her myself until I saw this book on your blog.
    Thanks for sending Lost in Fiction my way :)

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    1. Naida, I think this book would keep you riveted as well.

      I look forward to reading your post for Lost in Fiction. I may write a guest post as well. :)

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    2. I never heard of this book either but it sounds like a really good one.

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  2. Sounds like the book lives up to the cover!

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  3. I am also going to be reading this one, and had not heard of Storm before the book came out. I am intensely interested now that I have heard some of her music and some of what she went through. I can imagine that it's going to be a wild ride, and I am really looking forward to it. This was a great review, Suko, and it reflects both the incredulity and the compassion that you had for the author as you were reading.

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  4. This sounds like a really interesting read! I hadn't heard of her but I'm definitely intrigued. Great review Suko!

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  5. This sounds like a tough memoir to read. I hadn't realized she was from Massachusetts. Thanks for sharing with us.

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