Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Life Gone Awry: My Story of the Elan School” as Want to Read:
A Life Gone Awry: My Story of the Elan School
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Life Gone Awry: My Story of the Elan School

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  10 reviews
When Doctor M. Scott Peck suggested Elan to my parents, I was skeptical because the first program they sent me to was a drug program, and I had never done drugs. He assured us that it wasn’t, and told me that Elan treated teens with emotional problems. He said that they had psychiatrists and counselors, and had activities, so I agreed to go.

What I witnessed was unbelievabl
ebook, 144 pages
Published July 29th 2011 (first published July 1st 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  38 ratings  ·  10 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Life Gone Awry: My Story of the Elan School
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The Elan story is vastly interesting but this is atrociously written. References to Cleveland are written as ClevÉland because the author did a "Find and Replace" on all instances of Elan to insert that accent rather than just type it out.
Shaeeza Haniff
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Years ago in Guyana, when I was eleven years, my family and I lived in Onderneeming Compound on the Essequibo Coast. Onderneeming was known for the "Boys' School". A reform school for delinquent boys run by the Guyanese government. We're told by our parents to never, EVER talk to the boys who were allowed outside. They had a watchdog system off record to make sure the boys did not come in close contact with the officers' children. But we were invited to their Christmas shows and movie nights. So ...more
Jenna Glatzer
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Disturbing and real and raw. It's about the author's experiences at the Elan School, which was billed as a school for troubled teens, but was more like a house of horrors. The kids spent most of their days screaming or being screamed at, paddling each other, wearing humiliating signs and costumes, scrubbing bathrooms, and planning escapes. The writing is excellent, though the grammar is imperfect. It's a story well worth reading, and relevant to today's "troubled teen boot camp" trends.
Elle Borella
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book opened up an entire memory stream. Thank you for the fight.

This book was an eye and memory opener. I was also there at the same time, and was friends w pp in the book. The list at the end of dead kids has shook me. To the core. The fight must continue. No kid should have to go thru what I saw pp go thru there, and am probably hiding my own memories. Thanks to all who still exist and love to those who are still able to .
David Dewlow
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gut wrenching

Painful first person account of life in an abusive teen therapeutic community. Unregulated, there was no one to guide the ship.
Ross Perchonok
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
really fucking disturbing!!!!! I couldnt put it down tee hee hee. Why do I have to read this stuff? reminded me so much of my childhood that is so very hazy. Also the era this took place in was a really fucked up but a far more simple time when one could really focus on destroying themselves properly without all the distractions of facebook, cell phones, internet. This is the beginning of a series of three and will begin the next one immmediately!
I found the memoir to be believable at some points and embellished at the same time. I too went through a program such as Elan.
He put himself front and center to much to soon. I understand it is only 144 pages so he had to get to the point quickly. I think then maybe it should have been longer. I don't doubt that verbal and physical abuse happened just not to the extent he says it happened. I seem to feel that was done purposely to sell the book.
Feb 15, 2012 added it
Pretty poorly written and consigned to the "Started, Not Finished" pile.

There is little explanation as to why this young man went to this Elan School, and he just ploughs right into descriptions of sociopaths and abuse once he's got there.

Frankly, it's been done much better by other authors, and this one, to me, was just plain boring by the time I got to 25% - which took me only about 20 mins!
Mar 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting story.
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Interesting and horrifying. I would have given it more stars but it's unorganized and rambling which made the story hard to follow at times.
rated it it was ok
Mar 30, 2013
Ellie Taylor
rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2019
Susan D. Frisbie
rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2015
Sarah Goins
rated it really liked it
Feb 23, 2016
rated it it was ok
Feb 11, 2012
rated it really liked it
Oct 18, 2014
Craig Brogan
rated it really liked it
Apr 11, 2020
Ciera Blackburn
rated it liked it
Jun 09, 2012
Kimberly J. Dennehy
rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2015
rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2016
Brandon G
rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2019
Wayne Kernochan
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Brian Mckenzie
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2014
rated it liked it
Dec 08, 2012
rated it liked it
Aug 19, 2019
rated it really liked it
Sep 02, 2011
Epidemic The Book
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Mar 30, 2016
Jerome Schlicker
rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2018
rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2014
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Liar cheater thief plagerizer 1 3 Jun 25, 2013 01:25PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Young Team
  • Finding Feminism: A Memoir
  • Scars from a Memoir (The Memoir Series, #2)
  • Memoirs Aren't Fairytales: A Story of Addiction (The Memoir, #1)
  • Faint Echoes Of Laughter  (Empty Chairs, #2)
  • Empty Chairs
  • Baby Huey
  • Believe Like a Child
  • Uniforms and Heraldry of the Empire
  • David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview and Other Conversations
  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future for You (Season 8, Volume 2)
  • Closure, Limited and Other Zombie Stories
See similar books…

News & Interviews

Whether it’s magic schools, dystopias, paranormal love stories, or contemporary explorations of important real-life issues, young adult books a...
142 likes · 129 comments