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Like Crazy: Book summary and reviews of Like Crazy by Dan Mathews

Like Crazy

Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends

by Dan Mathews

Like Crazy by Dan Mathews X
Like Crazy by Dan Mathews
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  • Published in USA  May 2020
    256 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

A hilarious and heartbreaking memoir about an outlandish mother and son on an odyssey of self-discovery, and the rag-tag community that rallied to help them as the mother entered the final phase of her life.

Dan Mathews knew that his witty, bawdy, unhinged mother, Perry, was unable to maintain her fierce independence at seventy-eight—so he flew her across the country to Virginia to live with him in an 1870 townhouse badly in need of repairs. But to Dan, a screwdriver is a cocktail not a tool, and he was soon overwhelmed with two fixer-uppers: the house and his mother.

Unbowed, Dan and Perry built a rollicking life together fueled by costume parties, road trips, after-hours gatherings, and an unshakeable sense of humor as they faced down hurricanes, blizzards, and Perry's steady decline. They got by with the help of an ever-expanding circle of sidekicks—Dan's boyfriends (past and present), ex-cons, sailors, strippers, deaf hillbillies, evangelicals, and grumpy cats—while flipping the parent-child relationship on its head.

But it wasn't until a kicking-and-screaming trip to the emergency room that Dan discovered the cause of his mother's unpredictable, often caustic behavior: Perry had lived her entire adult life as an undiagnosed schizophrenic.

Irreverent and emotionally powerful, Like Crazy is a darkly comic tale about the perils and rewards of taking in a fragile parent without derailing your life in the process. A rare story about mental illness with an uplifting conclusion, it shows the remarkable growth that takes place when a wild child settles down to care for the wild woman who raised him.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Mathews conveys potentially heavy and gut-wrenching family crises with page-turning style and heaps of wit. This tender, beautifully written celebration of familial love will resonate with readers." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A playful and humane writer, Mathews drolly examines parent-child role reversals as he meditates on the meaning of watching a beloved parent come to terms not only with mortality, but also a devastating illness. Poignant, readable, and even fun despite the dark moments." - Kirkus Reviews

"Like Crazy is exquisite. Full of wry humor, tenderness, and compassion." – Jeannette Walls, bestselling author of The Glass Castle

"Dan Mathews writes with such wit and tenderness about his mother's descent into previously undiagnosed schizophrenia. But that's not all: this book is also about his journey to self-acceptance and ultimately finding love. I couldn't recommend it more." – Alan Cumming

The information about Like Crazy shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Dan Mathews

Dan Mathews was born and raised in Orange County, California by a single mother who encouraged her three boys to bring home stray animals. In high school, he was beaten up for being gay and credits those rough times with helping him develop the thick skin needed to be an animal activist. He spent two years in Italy working as a fashion model and bit-part actor before returning to the US to earn a degree in history from American University in Washington, DC. Shortly afterwards, he began working at PETA as a receptionist and within a year was organizing protests. As PETA's Director of Campaigns, he helps increase awareness of the rights of animals through high-profile events. He has been arrested for his activities more than twenty times but usually gets released from jail within a day. Through a unique combination of sex, humor, and glamour, he has turned animal rights into one of the hottest causes of the last two decades.

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