Laurence O. (Phoenix, AZ)
Sharp--A cutting-edge, real life memoir
Fitzpatrick's ability to help the reader experience the pain and mental anguish that the author suffers is, a craft many do not posses. He does it expertly--at times graphic, that is just what is called for and so appropriate and timed perfectly. Definite read for those that have an interest in life, the good, the bad and the ugly of life--but one that delivers an upbeat, positive message.
Sheryl R. (DeQuincy, LA)
Painfully honest account of bipolar disorder
Even though I am a mental health professional and have heard more than my share of brutally honest, painful stories, this first-person account of David Fitzpatrick's struggle with bipolar disorder was, in a word, "sharp". Cutting through the secrecy, rationalizations, self-destructiveness, and defensiveness often associated with this disease, Fitzpatrick gives a close-to-the-bone account of his struggles and attempts to cope with his illness. It helps that he is an accomplished writer; I found myself focusing on the beauty of the writing when the reality of the words cut too close. Very much worth the read, especially if you or a family member has bipolar disorder.
Alexandra S. (Chicago, IL)
A wonderfully written book that tells the tale of one man’s two decade struggle with mental illness and self-mutilation, Sharp is a must read. David Fitzpatrick takes you on a journey into the depths of his broken psyche and shows you the inner workings of his mind. As someone who has watched friends and family members struggle through mental illness, Fitzpatrick does a wonderful job of explaining how he feels, why he has these compulsions to harm himself and what he is thinking as he’s doing these terrible things to his body.
Sharp is dark, it is depressing and at times it's downright brutal, but is ultimately a story of triumph. Fitzpatrick has talent and has been able to channel his life into a story worth telling. It gives hope to all of those people struggling with debilitating mental illness, that with time and patience and effort, you can claw your way out of the rubble and emerge a version of yourself you could never have imagined.
Elizabeth K. (Dallas, TX)
Reclaiming a Life from Severe Mental Illness
Sharp is horrifying, puzzling, and encouraging. This beautifully written book by David Fitzpatrick shows what mental illness is like from the perspective of a patient, and I think it is well worth reading. We don't always know why someone suffers from mental illness, and the cure and/or management of these maladies is hard to find, but I'm glad David has shared his experiences with the world. If you have family members or friends who are struggling, or if you grapple with your own compulsions, I think this book will bring you hope that you can overcome and live a more normal lifestyle.
William E. (Honolulu, HI)
To the Dark Place and Back Again
Sharp should not be considered in any way as a frothy beach read or a part of that esteemed genre. Sharp is a harrowing account of a person's descent into a very dark place demanding of self mutilations and self torture. To travel there and back is a mesmeric journey of pain and ultimately of transcendence making for a life changing read.
Kim L. (cary, IL)
I found this book fascinating and one I could not stop reading. Maybe I was intrigued by the subject matter because of personal experience with a family member who is mentally ill. The author's ability to express an accurate detail of the emotions surrounding mental illness were spot on. His story made me sad but also hopeful because of his ability to overcome this disease.
Marnie C. (Baltimore, MD)
Sharp by David Fitzpatrick
Sharp is the harrowing, heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring memoir of a man who suffered from bipolar disorder and cut himself to relieve the depression. Fitzpatrick vividly shows how a (mostly) happy childhood and adolescence metamorphosed into an untethered early adulthood. When he began manifesting symptoms, he had no idea what was happening, only that he felt as if he had "black bile" oozing underneath his skin. After a horrific breakdown, he entered his first psychiatric facility in his early '20s; he didn't leave for good until nearly 20 years later. This book will prove especially enlightening for those who work in the mental health professions or who have a personal or family history of psychiatric disorders, but anyone who appreciates well-written memoirs will also find much to admire.