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Fury: True Tales of a Good Girl Gone Ballistic
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Fury: True Tales of a Good Girl Gone Ballistic

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3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  555 ratings  ·  85 reviews
The author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Smashed" "puts a voice to a generation with their own issues with rage" ("San Francisco Book Review")

Written when she was just twenty-three, Koren Zailckas's memoir "Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood" became an iconic, bestselling account of her years as a teenaged blackout binge drinker. "Fury" picks up where "Smashed" lef
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ebook, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Penguin Books (first published July 29th 2010)
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Megankellie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kerensa
Essentially what Zailckas did was get dumped and whine about it. She relied too heavily on the use of academic quotes instead of actually going further with her emotions. I felt like I was reading a first year college Comp. class essay. It's pretty much [Insert feeling] [Insert quote to explain feeling]. I hate the overuse of quotes to explain a topic or feeling and there was at least one on every page. I loved her first book & really wish this one was written like that one.
Kelly Hager
You might know Koren Zailckas from her earlier memoir, Smashed. I didn't read that, but my best friend Jen did and said it was (a) very good and (b) featured Ocean City, where I have spent many a summer day.

But we're not here to talk about Smashed, binge drinking or Ocean City.

After Smashed, she wanted to write a book about anger, but it just wasn't working. Then, after a breakup (a really bad breakup) with someone she calls the Lark, she moves back in with her parents (her apartment is being su
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Heather
Fury is intriguing but not enthralling. Koren had great success with her early 20's memoir Smashed and as a result was under pressure by her publisher to write a follow up book of some sort. She decided to write a book on her deep seeded anger that stems from childhood issues like her narcissistic mother who never took her feelings seriously.

If you are looking for a book that explores anger issues this really isn't it. In order to like this book you are going to have to be really interested in
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Annie
Fury really resonated with me. I want to write Koren a thank you letter for writing this book and helping me further understand myself, my ideals and the concepts that can frame a life. It is a perspective-changer. This memoir is about anger, more specifically, women and anger. Against the arc of Koren’s personal story, other anger theories are included from her extensive research, a format much like her other bestselling book, Smashed .
The book begins with Koren racing back to the United Stat
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shannon
i don't know that i would marry someone who respondes to an accidental broken window by calling me an idiot, and who seems too frequently ask "what the fuck is wrong with you". but then, when i put together my list of acceptable qualities in a mate, it was "decent hygiene, ability to actually be employed as *something*, not horrifically fucking damaged and not an asshole."

apparently i like to follow fiction about unpleasant families with memoirs about them. i seem to have this fondness for memo
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Mallory
Is it research, or is it memoir? The problem that Koren Zailckas does by trying to combine the two is that she does neither terribly successfully. The research bits often don't fit in well with the narrative and her narrative feels thin in many places. Overall, it was a good idea that just didn't work very well on the page, which is a shame. Repressed emotions are both an interesting and important topic, and the idea that women repress anger (or pretend it is something else) so frequently in our ...more
Brian S. Wise
I don't dislike Zailckas' writing style, and I liked "Smashed", but I disliked this book immensely. A slew of self-diagnosis, quotes from writers that exist only for the purpose of balancing her self-diagnosis, extended conversations with her therapist - these are all writing devices I cannot stand. In other words, "Fury" reads an awful lot like a book constructed for no discernible reason other than it was time to write a book. Like the cover, though.
Lori Wilson
Not sure why I didn't like this book. The author has overcome her alcohol addiction, and now has trouble experiencing all of her normal emotions, especially anger. It didn't pull me into the story and it seemed to me that she was really being whiney and resistant!
Jason
"Your anger is a gift." -Rage Against the Machine (1992)

Really, Zack? Is it always? I think Koren, and I for that matter, may have to disagree with you.

This is an incredible book. What seems to start out as a "Bridget Jones' Diary" retread (which I can only imagine, as I have not actually seen the entire movie; only short clips from its numerous runs on basic cable), quickly evolves into one of the most honest memoirs I have read in quite some time. One that manages to take on a very serious top
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Andrea DeAngelis
I read this book in a flash because I think the subject matter - repressed anger - is not commonly addressed or maybe I'm mistaken. Memoir is not really the right genre for this because it's more than that, Zailckas was trying to write a book on anger but suffered from a major creative impass. It was only until she realize she was repressing her own anger that she was able to retool her book into this strange concoction. She didn't even realize that she had severe problems with processing and ex ...more
Cj
Not a memoir but more a research book into anger theories. Yes, the author uses her life as an example, but as with her first book too much psychobabble and research notes to really make it a memoir (and it's not in the biography section of my library). The author psychologically analyzes her anger, her distance from people and the book reads that way--like she's talking about a distant character.
Katherine
The author explores her repressed self in this book and the outcome via therapy and a lot of self-reflection is getting in touch with her anger and using anger to facilitate a healing process that allows for more love, love, love. Too happy ending-ish. This book pissed me off. I slam threw it down when finished.
Kim
I felt like the author relied too heavily on other sources. I understand that she did a lot of esearch on anger and wanted to use it, but there were too many direct quotes and paraphrases of other people's thoughts. The really interesting parts were her own thoughts.
Trixie Mcbimbo
So....Koren tells her family that her therapist says her family is pretty dysfunctional, and her sister nearly punches her in the face for it, her mother flies off the handle at Koren and sides with Koren sister because no matter what, that is what they do, and her father just seems to have the ability to shut down when the shit hits the fan, and all that happened the night she just had a miscarriage?

Koren had NO ALLIES in her immediate family. She had to bury her anger so deep as to not "rock
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Thomas Holbrook
Fury is not intended to be a book on addiction recovery but I have read few books that offer a more vivid picture of the recovery process. Those who are learning to live without addiction speak of being “clean and sober.” For those who do not have to work daily to keep from returning to an active addiction, such language is foreign, if one is “clean” one is also “sober.” The reality is one is “clean” when they are not using the substance to which they are addicted, one is “sober” when they are ...more
Michelle
Phenomenal! This really spoke to me. Koren's experiences really set of a personal resonance. I found myself growing angry along with her and noticing some of my own habits and fears in her and her family. This was an eye-opening book and I highly recommend it to people who are "nice girls" or who have trouble showing any sort of anger for whatever reason. Any therapist who suggests books to patients who are dealing with emotional struggles would do well to have this in their arsenal.

There are so
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Britney Bulah
I enjoy reading memoirs because I love personal experiences, the feeling that this has happened to someone and affected their lives greatly enough to write about it. Fury is the story of a girl who has just moved to America from England to escape the heartache of the love of her life eventually finding a new one. She is coping with her alcohol addiction and attempting to find herself in her problems. Fury follows Koren through the process of encountering her problems, and slowly letting out all ...more
Joy
"I'm not envious that she's having a baby, but rather that she feels equipped to do it. How does she feel secure enough? How does she know she won't delegate her suffering to her children? How can she be sure that she won't revenge herself on what her latest ultrasound showed was her baby girl? Or make her daughter feel as though it is her sole responsibility to make my sister feel validated? I am fully aware that I'm already controlling and overly critical of my sister, averse to the helpless d ...more
Allison
Just finished this and really enjoyed it. I read Zailckas' first memoir, Smashed in college and loved it. She is an excellent writer, and a vivid storyteller. When I saw that she had another memoir out (with a really spectacular cover), I couldn't wait to read it.

Smashed was her account of binge drinking through her teen and college years, and Fury catches up with her after the publication of her first book. In the process of writing a non-memoir about anger, she discovers that she hasn't dealt
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Meagan
I listened to this on audiobook mostly because once I discovered Koren Zailckas had published a new memoir I couldn't wait to read it and audiobooks are easier to fit into my life right now than real reading due to the amount of required reading I have at the moment.

Liking her first memoir, Smashed, as much as I did, it seemed possible this would be a let down, but Fury did not disappoint. Once again I found her writing to be like slipping beneath the surface of very warm water, completely surro
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Elizabeth
I feel odd commenting extensively on the subject matter of this memoir, though if the author went ahead and published it, I suppose I shouldn't be worried. Anyway, I'll say this. This book, before turning into a memoir, was supposed to be a much more impersonal look at women and anger in America, and this really shows. Research material was shoehorned in at the strangest times. For example, the author was recounting an argument with her family, where her sister went in to take a swing at her, an ...more
Kara
Smashed is one of my favorite books so I went into Fury hoping that it would be just as brilliant but fearing that it might fall short of the pedestal I hold Smashed on! I found the beginning a bit slow-going and reluctant to move away from talk of therapies and remedies that made the writing seem almost clinical. But I had faith and stuck it out and, sure enough, about halfway through Fury, more emotion began to work its way in and soon the familiar writing style with the unabashed personal sto ...more
Alicia
At first I thought, "Why should I care how angry this person is?" But near the end of the book, I really was able to see some of the actions and feelings that she had in my own life. I mean, there is anger in my family, but there is a lot of covering up, as well. A lot of explaining and covering up how we really feel. And I think that almost all families have this. The author's therapist says just as much: "all families have their routines and their roles to play"

I like how the author was able t
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Kasey Jueds
Definitely one of the most unusual memoirs I've ever read, in the sense that it's focused on a particular emotion... I don't think I've ever come across a book that so specifically confronts one woman's experience with/journey through anger. And I really liked it, even more than I expected to; it was one of those lucky finds at my local library. Occasionally the writing seemed a little show-offy to me--as if a particular word was chosen for its shock value/strangeness rather than because it was ...more
Kelli
I really resonated with Koren - for about 2/3 of the book. I, among so many ladies, just don't have a good grasp in how to really be angry in a healthy, non-suppressive way. This isn't by any means a self-help book, or even really a memoir in my opinion (especially given she is only 27-ish in this book - I'd like to see a check in 30 years from now).

What I liked about this book is her imperfect journey through this process. I also like the composite of her anger research, use of traditional tal
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Mary Campbell
I agree with the reviews that fault this book for reading like a research project; however, I was interested enough in the author!a personal (though whiny) story to read to the end.
Camyla H.
I suppose you could say I expected much more out of this book considering I'd just read "Smashed" merely a month before. The more I get to know this author through her memoir, the more I realize she's a complainer who has been handed a lot of things on a silver spoon and she should have just "sucked it up" and realized how easy she had it compared to most of the rest of the world.

It was also quite annoying to read constantly about the history behind anger. Had I wanted to learn about the histor
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Justin
I think this is almost straight personal diary and reflection. I'm not sure if that qualifies for memoir, but suppose it does. It probably could have been cut in half, given the excessive descriptions (however accurate and acute, they take away from her main points). Still, I felt compelled to read the book, and it is in some ways a totally open account of what it is like to be 27 years old. I also found myself repulsed by scenes and emotions because of the familiarity of life experience, so the ...more
Audrey
I listened to the audio version.
The overall message the author communicates in this book, and a very powerful one, is the importance of communicating feelings and conveying emotions--both the tremendous value added to the quality of life an individual when he or she feels safe and able to do this, as well as accept and encourage it from others. The author uses extensive research and her own family and relationship life to tell this story, which often times works very well, and other times becom
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“I'd written Smashed not because I was ambitious and not because writing down my feelings was cathartic (it felt more like playing one's own neurosurgeon sans anesthesia). No. I'd made a habit--and eventually a profession--of memoir because I hail from one of those families where shows of emotions are discouraged.” 15 likes
“There's a limit to my patience with anything that smacks of metaphysics. I squirm at the mention of "mind expansion" or "warm healing energy." I don't like drum circles, public nudity or strangers touching my feet.” 11 likes
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