It's not that I'm unsympathetic to the suffering of the author; it's not that I don't admire his writing skill. I actually feel little guilty that I wasn't more moved by this tale of Fitzpatrrick's sad life as a victim, a non-suicidal cutter, and a manic-depressive professional mental patient. I always have trouble summoning up much empathy for people who accept victimhood as passively as David Fitzpatrick did. It's my nature to fight with all my strength, and I don't understand those who submit. Fitzpatrick tells us that self-punishers like him are competitive, and usually stop in their thirties when they begin to understand the essential futility of continuing on this path. David, on the other hand, didn't stop cutting and burning himself until he was over 40, a degree of stubborn hubris that he appears to think is his proudest life achievement. He leaves hints about sexual preoccupations, about family sadism, about religious confusions, and severe drug abuse, but he never puts it all together. His self-punishing, which was always non-suicidal, still seems to be his main source of self-esteem, judging by the attention he devotes to his episodes. Getting better is a process and this is where he is right now, but not where he may end up. I wish him all the luck in the world.
Rated of 5
by Marion C. (Litchfield, NH)
Growing up the hard way
David Fitzgerald shares his experience with manic depression during his twenty's and thirty's. When young, his older brother Andy beat and insulted Fitzgerald. His college roommates bullied him relentlessly. Fitzgerald never learned to fight back or stand up for himself. At twenty-three, Fitzgerald had no self-worth and the bullying triggered a sharp razor-cutting session leading to psychiatric hospitalizations. Today Fitzgerald functions normally as long as he controls his medicine and keeps appointments with his psychiatrist. Fitzgerald has two novels published and this is his first memoir. There are some disturbing parts, but otherwise SHARP a Memoir makes an interesting and informative read about bipolar disease from the patient's point of view.
Rated of 5
by Kathy M. (Neptune Beach, Florida)
I was not excited when I received this book but when I first started to read it, I thought Ok this is going to be very interesting. I really didn't know very much about self-mutilation and I was interested in the obsession with it. That continued until about halfway through the book and I had to say enough. This guy had a tough time, no doubt about it but I'm really not sure that I needed to be dragged into it. It was very detailed and draggy. It is important for some people to express their ability to overcome huge obstacles but I didn't really enjoy his way of expressing himself.
Rated of 5
by Katherine T. (Atlanta, Georgia)
I am not sure I enjoyed reading "Sharp" by David Fitzpatrick, in that I found that he was just a bit too graphic in some of his descriptions. However, I give him a lot of credit for exposing his illness in a way that really that lets others know how painful mental illness can be. As a psychotherapist who works with cutters, I found his book helpful for understanding how the human mind can begin to become so fragmented.
Rated of 5
by Christy S. (Shrewsbury, MA)
This book is truly a life-work, or, a life-not-working. Either way, it is difficult to read about the author facing such raw emotions. David Fitzpatrick shares with readers in his memoir, Sharp, a painful journey. Unfortunately, it was a little sharp edged and I would have liked it so much more if the author had implied, rather than stated, his detailed thoughts. I realize that maybe that would defeat the purpose of his writing, however.
I really liked how Mr. Fitzpatrick was able to share a deep reaching into his soul about where and when these difficult-to-imagine thoughts and obsessions arose. It was, perhaps, a bit too graphic where it didn't seem to relate to his thinking: I'm not talking about the descriptions of his urge and need to cut, but about the sexual details that seemed non-sequitur.
Overall, I would recommend this book as an average read: I wasn't drawn enough to the path and the pace of the story, but his insight was good and I felt I learned about his journey through mental illness in a way that was more than just skin deep.
British Parliament asks Amazon to clarify why it pays $9 million in income tax on $23 billion of UK sales.(May 20 2013) Amazon will be called back to give further evidence to members of the British Parliament "to clarify how its activities in the U.K. justify its low corporate...