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Rage Against the Meshugenah: Why it Takes Balls to Go Nuts
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Rage Against the Meshugenah: Why it Takes Balls to Go Nuts

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  368 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
In his early thirties, Danny Evans had a smokin' hot wife, a new baby boy, and the highest paying job he'd ever had. Then, in the span of one week, a sudden layoff and the events of 9/11 plunged Evans into a crushing depression. At turns poignant and uproarious, Rage Against the Meshugenah vividly traces Evans' journey through the minefield of mental illness from a modern ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by NAL (first published July 10th 2009)
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May 23, 2009 Torrie rated it it was amazing
This is the book equivalent of standing in gym class naked. It's raw, brutally honest, and laugh out loud funny. Danny bravely talks about his struggle with depression without depressing you.
Jan 30, 2010 Dinah rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction, psych
I'm wrestling with this one. My poor review of this book probably has as much to do with me as with Mr. Evans. The book starts off strong on two counts: humor, and a few truly evocative descriptions of living with depression. Unfortunately it's all downhill from there.

The book mostly becomes about the author's Daddy issues, recounting therapy sessions and fights with his wife. This is roughly as interesting as listening to an acquaintance rehash his/her dreams.

My bigger issue with this book is
Daniel Solera
Jan 02, 2011 Daniel Solera rated it it was ok
One of my resolutions for the 2010 year was to read 50 books. On December 30, I was at 49 and needed a quick read to finish the year. A Christmas gift from one of her cousins, Steph suggested that I read Danny Evans' Rage Against the Meshugenah and after seeing its enormous typeface, I decided to go for it. I was 40 pages away from finishing when I got sleepy and went to bed on the evening of December 30. The 31st came and went and I forgot to finish it. So there you go: I failed my New Year's R ...more
Leila T.
Aug 21, 2009 Leila T. rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2009 Angella rated it it was amazing
Buy it. Read it.

You will laugh, you will cry, you will be moved.

It's available for pre-order. GO.
Jun 27, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010-reads
Instead of a synopsis or blurbs, the back jacket of this book excerpts a passage from the first chapter, a hilarious shout-out to Evans' first therapist, named Neil Diamond (no relation). Highlight: he spends much of his time with Dr. Diamond trying to work up the courage to say, as he's leaving a session, "Thanks, Doc. Good times have NEVER been so good." HAAAA! As it turns out, this jacket copy was an excellent PR decision, as that passage is the only really funny thing in this book, which bil ...more
Sondra Santos
Nov 29, 2009 Sondra Santos rated it it was amazing
Last week, I went to Danny Evans‘ book signing here in Escondido. It was pretty deceiving, since we walked into the large bookstore and explored the entire store without finding Dad Gone Mad or anything that remotely looked like there was an event going on somewhere in the vicinity. In fact, we almost left, my friend making fun of me for driving such a long way on the wrong night, or driving to the wrong location. Then, I asked an employee to help me figure it all out once I had the Dad Gone Mad ...more
May 04, 2010 Dayna rated it it was ok
There are a lot of books about depression and mental illness, and I've read quite a few. Rage Against the Meshugenah is a memoir of a father's struggle to overcome depression. It was a quick and easy read but was not my favorite in the genre. Maybe I just can't relate to a macho, Jewish dad of two? I don't know.
I felt like the author was a bit of a chauvinist and that he wasn't very respectful of his wife. It was clear through the book that he loves his wife very much, but something about the w
Betsy (Gray Matter)
Oct 30, 2009 Betsy (Gray Matter) rated it really liked it
I have to be honest, I was a little iffy on the book as I was reading it. There were so many times I wished Danny would have stayed in his "authentic" narrative as, at times in an effort to inject humor, I felt that it broke the flow of the powerful story he was telling about his battle with depression.

I was also a little frustrated by his "Jackie Mason-esque" Jewish "schtick" when talking about growing up in a very religious house, it was so contrary to his impressive writing when he was expres
Feb 14, 2010 Indra rated it liked it
**spoiler alert** The title is irresistible, and it got me to pick it up and buy it. The blurb was good, too. I appreciated Evans' humor and that he has the cojones to tackle depression from a male perspective. The humor and the honesty about what depression feels like and is on a daily basis were the strengths of this book, in my opinion--that said, the loose ends tied up awfully suddenly and neatly: his corner got turned because of his kids. The writing is fine, but I wasn't able to connect wi ...more
Sarah Bloom
Oct 30, 2009 Sarah Bloom rated it it was amazing
Rage Against the Meshugenah is alternately laugh-out-loud funny and wipe-your-tears-and-hide-your-face sad. Above all it is honest and touching, giving the reader a way to connect with depression whether they recognize something in themselves or in a loved one.

Danny is smart, funny, and not afraid to tell you about his penchant for porn and masturbation in the same book he is exposing himself (so to speak) as a giant dork.

If you have been touched by depression in your life in some way (and shit
Aug 15, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it
I laughed, I cried, I snorted and I read aloud so my Dad could do the same.

He asked to borrow it when I am done. You can have it tomorrow Dad.

Danny masters hilarity as he trudges through a valley I pray to never see myself. The insights are snarfably perfect in their timing and precise in their messages.

In sickness and in health indeed. Thanks for the reminder Danny, I am glad you are where you are with this illness and grateful for having come across your book.

If nothing else I get to sound
Feb 21, 2011 Tracyj rated it liked it
A very interesting look at depression and what goes on in the mind and body when you are in the throes of depression. Funny at times, however I couldn't help feeling that he was trying a little too hard to be funny - the humor just felt forced in parts. He also jumps around sometimes chronologically which was confusing. While I realized he writes a blog and exerpts from this book were lifted directly from his blog, other parts that weren't supposed to be from the blog still felt bloggish. I know ...more
Douglas Lord
Apr 11, 2016 Douglas Lord rated it it was amazing
Evans’s heartfelt, charming chortle-fest relates a lifetime of therapy, Jewishness, and depressive fun en route to redemption. I coined a new term for our Jewish dudefriend: djewde, one who is both shaped and deformed by his faith. For instance, Hebrew school kept him out of baseball, and your heart feels it when he describes his baseball debut (and finale) at age nine—age nine. Evans’s solidly average (a Fresno State alum, for G-d’s sake) life replete with wife, kids, success, and crazy urges t ...more
Oct 23, 2009 Yak rated it it was ok
A Jewish man chronicles his depression and recovery, including too much information about his sex life and childbirth. He's so enamored with being a funny potty-mouth in many parts that it's hard to take him seriously when he IS being serious, like musing on what he really wants to do with his life vs. just having a job, but still an amusing and mostly sympathetic character. Definitely more of a blogger than a novelist though.
Aug 07, 2009 Pam rated it really liked it
Danny Evans is the writer behind the popular blog, Dad Gone Mad. This is his first book.

RATM is a raw account of his dealing with clinical depression as jewish man as well as how this affected his young family. Despite the subject, this book is not depressing.

If you have ever experienced major depression or know someone who is, you should definitely read this book. If you haven't, well, you should read it anyway.

Nov 22, 2009 Jb rated it it was amazing
This book brings together a few topics that have been touched on before- growing up Jewish in the suburbs, mental illness, and the struggle and renewal of hitting bottom in your life. The thing is, they're almost never looked at as they relate to each other. And Danny adds a large dollop of honesty and perverse humor on top of everything. Great book.
Aug 11, 2009 steen rated it really liked it
Danny's honesty, vulnerability, insightfulness and humor blend into an incredible memoir; he leaves no stone unturned as he details his slide into depression, the struggles he faced as he tried to pull himself out, and the events that helped push him in the right direction. It's well written and I applaud him for writing about such a raw part of his life.
Feb 05, 2010 Mari rated it it was ok
Meh. There's some good writing in here, but this book lacked a cohesive narrative. It's a memoir, but it jumped back and forth. It definitely read like the blog that it was based upon.
Jul 27, 2010 Heather rated it it was ok
Apparently anyone can write a memoir about anything. We should all probably write books. Not very exciting.
Jan 20, 2010 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 5-star
This is Evans' recounting of his battle with clinical depression. It’s a powerful tale, written with his trademark wit, insight, and honesty. It’s an obvious labor of love, and also an obvious attempt to reach out to other men (and women) who either battle with depression or have a loved one that battles depression. For those not in the know, meshugenah is the yiddish word for crazy.

What was great about this book is how any person can see bits of their own life in it. How anyone can identify wit
Nov 19, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok
I never paid attention to this subtitle, so a few pages in I was really confused about what I was reading. I thought this was going to be a memoir about growing up Jewish ala Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. But not so much (other than the fact Evans is Jewish; then the stories are just totally different).

Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of this one. Props to Evans for being forthright with regards to his depression, but dude aired a little too much dirty laundry for my taste. Perhaps he and his t
Dec 10, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Danny Evans was a young husband and new dad in September 2001, when he lost his job just days before 9/11. The combination of personal setback and national tragedy sent him into a spiral of clinical depression. This memoir details his struggle to get his life back in order, with the requisite doses of humor and poignancy. His gift as a writer is that he really nails the emotions and experiences that occur during a moderate to severe depression, and he is not afraid to share personal details. Occ ...more
Lane Holland
Sep 17, 2012 Lane Holland rated it it was ok
1) The book "Rage Against the Meshugenah: Why It Takes Balls to Go Nuts" by Danny Evans is about how he spirals into depression when he loses his job a week before 9/11, so he compares his life to the tragedy. He starts to neglect his wife and child, almost refusing to even acknowledge their presence. Once Danny starting to go see his therapist, he started to see things from a different perspective. He learns to accept his depressing new life, and learns to live with the sorrow filled days.

2) I
May 25, 2010 Lynn rated it it was amazing
The title of Danny Evan's raw book about his battle with depression, Rage Against the Meshugenah, is derived both from the name of the band whose most famous song's refrain is "Fuck you! I won't do what you tell me!" (Rage Against the Machine) and the Jewish word for crazy--Meshugenah. That combination alone compelled me to read this book.

But this isn't just a funny book about depression. Evans "outs" his depression in a way that is deeply moving and hysterical because it is so honest as to fee
Oct 24, 2009 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I've read many books about depression and the one thing I never paid attention to until listening to an interview with Danny Evans, is that they're all written from a woman's perspective. Very little exists about depression from a male's perspective.

Along comes Danny Evans, a man whose blog I've been reading for a few years. He's alluded to his depression in his blog but he's never gone into it to the level that he does in this book.

With a strong wit and deep insight and the ability to self dep
Amy Murray
Jun 06, 2010 Amy Murray rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010-amy
I loved this story, mainly because hearing a man talk about his depression (in a hilarious way, to boot) is such a rare thing in our society. You'll find yourself rooting for Danny throughout the story, even in those moments when you know his depression is so deep and all-consuming that his family is suffering as a result. (Danny's wife, Sharon, is a saint.) Overall, this is a hysterical account of what is truly a sad illness, one that destroys the lives of many people. Kudos to Danny for puttin ...more
Amy Mingo
Feb 07, 2010 Amy Mingo rated it it was amazing
Danny Evans did the seemingly impossible. He wrote a funny book about depression. Having struggled with depression myself, I found myself nodding along with Danny's insights too many times to count. While a man seems to struggle in different ways than a woman (or maybe it's just a different struggle person to person) I found a lot of wisdom in what Danny had to say and even found myself wondering if I shouldn't seek counseling again for some things I might need to work through.

I found myself lau
Aug 31, 2013 Lastgirlstanding rated it really liked it
I really need to stop reading books on planes... especially this book. This book had so many "I didn't know anyone one else felt/thought that way" aha moments. And not in a "that's neat" kind of way but in a "oh my G-d, maybe I'm not crazy/stupid/doomed if there are other people in the world with the same thoughts and feelings as me and said people are successful, funny and clearly awesome". There were times when it felt as though I was reading my very own thoughts, word for word. I didn't know ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Vicki rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Like, not "love." I was waiting for the laugh on every page, as one of the blurbs said...but there is NOTHING funny about clinical depression, and it comes through on every page.
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Danny Evans chose to write for a living in spite of his parents' contentions that he'd make a perfect rabbi, and the past two decades have confirmed the wisdom of his decision. Had he made the opposite choice, he would not have experienced ejection from a Major League clubhouse by a Hall of Fame manager wearing nothing but a scowl. He would have missed a Denver omelet breakfast with Tiger Woods, a ...more
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