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Hyper-chondriac: One Man's Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  304 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Does your blood pressure surge if the car in front of you turns without signaling? Do your neck veins pulsate when a cashier takes too long to ring you up? Does relaxing seem like it'll have to wait until you're dead? Then your name could very well be Brian Frazer.

On paper, Frazer is the world's healthiest guy. He eats right, exercises regularly, gets plenty of sleep, ha
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Atria Books (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 806)
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Hilarious. Summed-up in a single word. It has been a long while since I've had a laugh-out-loud moment while reading a book and this one was full of them. Ultimately this memoir is a story about being a paranoid health freak and Frazer delivers it with a realism and humor that can only emerge from a liberal mixing of cynicism, sarcasm, unflinching self-appraisal, and Zoloft. His writing is clear, his insights are genuine, and his timing is perfect. Great book. Go out and read it.
I like this kind of thing. I really liked A.J. Jacobs "Drop Dead Healthy," which this could be compared to, and "The Geography of Bliss" by Eric Weiner. Jon Ronson's books. But these are the things that made this less than a four-star rating for me: this was an audiobook, and I didn't care for the reader; I don't relate to personally to his anger problems; and he dismissed some of the therapies so quickly that I was frustrated - my curiosity was piqued but not satisfied.
Scott Holstad
Nov 19, 2015 Scott Holstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting memoir. At times, it's often quite funny. At times, it's often quite sad. It's about one man's experience with coming to terms with and trying to overcome his rage, anxiety, tension, and violent outbursts. At least he recognized his problems and tried, right?

Brian grew up in a Long Island Jewish family where his mother had MS and was one angry, pissed off, horrible bitch of a human being who practically tortured his father for life and made life miserable for him and his s
Brian Frazer builds his memoir around his relationship with food, frenzy and his bodily ailments. His recounting is so funny that it strains credibility at times, but that's not a complaint. It's quite amusing whether it all took place or not. I picked this up because of its subtitle and it doesn't disappoint. I recognized myself in many of the chapters in which the author is gullible or suspends disbelief in his quest for normalcy.
THIS IS EVEN FUNNIER THAN SEDARIS. I was seriously chuckling/loling at some point on just about every page. READ IT! READ IT! READ IT!!!!!
Nov 03, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs-bio, humor
I loved "Hyper-chroniac: One Man's Quest to Hurry Up and calm Down by Brian Frazer. The subtitle tells the story. I read this book because I saw that Ray Romano is quoted as saying it is a hysterical book. He is right. At this point, I will read any book that Ray Romano recommends.

I laughed out loud so much it hurt and it was so very difficult to lay this book down. I, like the author have an anxiety problem. He is the one who hates long lines, waiting in traffic, waiting for medicine to work a
Although I have it at three stars, I would recommend this book (I'd give it three and a half stars if I could)...It was a quick read, that had some laugh out loud moments (which may be a bad sign, not sure I should be laughing at other's misfortunes!), and I love a lot of the observations, etc...My only issue was that the memoir read more as a series of the author's misadventures and observations without any depth. I guess I compare it to "Night of the Gun," which while a memoir also included so ...more
Aug 30, 2008 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What surprised me most about this book is how many modern cures it both debunked and supported--yoga, tai chi, Ayurveda, cranial-sacral therapy, meditation, etc. I'd like to go out right now and get an Ayurveda practitioner to tell me what I should and shouldn't eat. Though I would never do anything to the extremes that the author did. I think it would be the rare person who wouldn't see a little of themselves in this guy and his afflictions, particularly his anger and anxiety. What makes him un ...more
Okay, I'm a sucker for a memoir but let's face it, a lot of them are not great and most of them are not funny. This book is not the best, but it managed to make me smile often, at least once before I turn a page. It even got my giggling several times. For a long time, only David Sedaris and Dan Savage could do that to me. Since I usually read at a coffee house, I had to set the book down several times to survey people around me just to make sure nobody is watching me and thinking I've lost my mi ...more
May 23, 2008 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm almost finished with this book. The first half was so hilarious, I literally brought the book with me everywhere... gym, kitchen, office, car... (okay, not car!) I couldn't stop reading and laughing. Then it got incredibly repetitive and the author was caught in such a crazy cycle that he showed no growth at all. So though he had new experiences, there was nothing to enjoy looking forward to because he would always deal with them in exactly the same way and learn nothing from them. I more en ...more
Jan 10, 2008 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, psych
Hyper-chondriac is named after the medical condition that Brian Frazer has diagnosed himself with, which is very much like hypochondria except that he actually gets the diseases he thinks he has. The subtitle of the book is “One Man’s Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down,” and Frazer deftly portrays his journey in just this way. He goes through all kinds of treatments from non-traditional to self-destructive to pharmaceutical, finding the humor in it at every turn.

Brian Frazer used to be one of the t
Lee Reaves
Jul 28, 2015 Lee Reaves rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Extended rant about his anger issues and his inability to ever be calm. Absurd number of off-the-wall treatments tried and failed. Jewish anxty narcissist. No idea why it is so well reviewed.
Entertainingly irritating, in that best-selling memoir kind of way. But his neuroses and anxieties are ones I'm more sympathetic to (there's one or two I share, even) than most of the popular memoirs that have made the rounds in the last few years. Unlike, say, Augusten Burroughs, this guy's world overlaps a lot more with mine: various forms of stress, alternative medicine, quests for self-improvement. Just when I'd think what an a**, I'm not reading any more, then the emotional tone would chang ...more
Jun 22, 2009 Tricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brian Frazer is clearly in the wrong place. I can think of little else that would spur someone to a homicidal incident than Los Angeles traffic, but for Frazer, road-rage is only one side of his anger management problem. Brian comes to realize that he needs to address his anger, and do it now, before he ends up exiled from yet another store or chasing down another dog owner. Lucky for him, L.A. has lots of options. From tales of frost-bite to Ayurvedic massage, the stories are laugh-out-loud fun ...more
Sue Collins
Jul 07, 2008 Sue Collins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you need to calm down or know someone who needs to calm down, buy this book NOW! Brian Frazer is not only laugh-out-loud funny, but his writing has tremendous depth and will help you find inner peace. It's up there with "Eat Pray Love" for me. (But a lot funnier). He's very much like David Sedaris, but he actually exposes himself - especially when dealing with familial issues. Lovely, fulfilling ending, too. I can't stop thinking about this book and look forward to reading his next.
Jul 03, 2016 Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
It's rare to find a book which I have to put down frequently because I am laughing out loud and can't read the next lines. But Mr. Frazer forced me to do just that with his witty, scathing criticisms of his own life and his quest for stress management and ailment-free living. I found myself relating to the author so much, I'm a bit afraid we might be distant relatives. :)

The only thing that kept it from getting five stars was that I had an advanced reading copy so riddled with typos, it really d
Sep 03, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a healthcare provider I was torn between fits of laughter, complete empathy with this guy, and the desire to throw the book and scream "Oh, Please Grow Up!" An enjoyable read, though not completely realistic (at least I hope few dermatologists feel the need to dole out antidepressants). Frazer through his adventures offers an interesting and somewhat scary look at the many alternative therapies that are available out there. Speaking of which....Did I happen to mention the ocean front property ...more
Sep 25, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I ended up liking this one more than I thought I would when I started it. In a nutshell, the book is his story of exploring alternative approaches to the anti-depressants he takes for his "chronic" severe neuroses, which manifest in all sorts of ailments. Frazer writes very well, with his (often self-deprecating) humor hitting its mark almost every time, although his bouts of cluelessness were sometimes a bit distracting for me. Definitely recommended.

P. S. I thought I was a picky eater, but I b
Susan Katz
I honestly don't remember. I read it several months ago. Must not have been that great if I don't remember anything about it!
Nov 10, 2015 Gretchen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Very funny memoir.
Aug 08, 2011 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a revelation! I first picked up this book thinking it would be a light little read about a typical modern neurotic - you know, like early Woody Allen. Instead, what I found was the deep underpinnings of these neuroses, and the touching ways they are manifested in on person's life. Brian Frazer has been on a wild ride - not all of has been pleasant, but he is able to find the humor in his harrowing circumstances and, thankfully, has the talent to allow us all to share in them.
dora morgan
Jun 02, 2009 dora morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i enjoyed this memoir of stress and his quest to circumvent it somehow. he is a funny guy and his take on the alternative medicine bunch is pretty dead on! he gives credit where credit is due and pokes fun at the things he tried that were just crap. i have to say knitting was an unexpected turn in his trying to calm down! i find it just as trying as he did! i like his writing style and hope he has more to say in future books as i would be interested in his take on other supposed cures.
This book is written around an interesting concept--overreacting to the perceived stress in your life can make you not only miserable, but also physically ill. The book recounts the quest of the author to find peace in his life in order to heal himself. The story is funny, and the author's journey through many different healing therapies is entertaining.
May 27, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is not what I thought it would be. It was much better. I thought it would be a more serious look at the author's hypochondria (hyper-chondria), but it's quite hilarious. It's always nice to read about someone more off-balance than oneself. Frazer is a good writer. He actually kind of reminds me of David Sedaris, which is a compliment.
Heather Shugarman
My favorite kind of reading is memoir essay-style, specifically that which makes me laugh out loud. This book delivered, but not only in laughs, in lessons, too. Heartfelt moments and understanding of of the character weren't lacking, either.

It was a fairly quick read, which I truly enjoyed each page. highly recommended.
Leenda dela Luna
This is like reading my own life... tons of illnesses based on anxiety, which took years to realize was even actually a problem (if you don't know anything other than living with anxiety, you don't realize you have it!). I loved the entire book!

I found the live show in LA and am seeing it on Nov 5.
Courtney Perry
Dec 21, 2010 Courtney Perry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a fantastic and thought provoking book. It was so hyseterical I found myself laughing out loud at the scenes and events Frazer would describe. I recommend this book to anybody and everybody, something I can usually never do. Its light-hearted but at the same time mind blowing.
Jan 06, 2010 Tiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
People. Buy this book. It's that simple. Brian Frazer is brilliantly funny, delightfully clever and unbelievably honest. I have no doubt David Sedaris and Anne Lamott would agree with me. And would want to borrow this book from me. If they didn't already own it themselves.
Apr 26, 2008 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
This is a very funny book. Some laugh out louds. Also an interesting family history, and even though he does some kind of weird new age stuff, he does a good job pointing out the aspects that are helpful and not going on about supernatural explanations or anything like that.
Apr 29, 2008 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had hope for this book since misplaced rage directed at strangers is a cause near and dear to me. Unfortunately, the author turns out to just be a supremely annoying guy who is either subconsciously masochistic or a total idiot. Either way, don’t read this book.
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Hyper-chondriac 1 11 Oct 08, 2008 05:37PM  
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Brian Frazer is a former stand-up comic who has also written for a variety of television shows, including Mad TV, The Tom Green Show and Blind Date, where he met his wife, Nancy, when they were both thought-bubble writers.

He now writes regularly for Esquire and ESPN the Magazine, and has a monthly column for Los Angeles Magazine. Brian has also written for Vanity Fair, Premiere and Maxim.
More about Brian Frazer...

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