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My Fluorescent God

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Joe Guppy’s life derailed in 1979. The 23-year-old was dealing with a bad breakup and existential angst, but it was a few stomach pills he took in Mexico that pushed him over the edge into paranoid psychosis… and straight into the mental ward of Seattle’s Providence Hospital or, as he perceived it, Hell. In the ensuing six months, he battled his real-life demons, jumped ou ...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published August 7th 2014 by Booktrope Editions
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A really interesting and engaging book on depression and mental health. My Fluorescent God is strongly written and maintains a great mix of serious introspection, poetic observations, and even some humor. Very impressed with this book. I hope it doesn't get overlooked since it was published by kind of a strange "team publisher" thing called Booktrope. ...more
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My Fluorescent God is a beautifully written account of a personal journey through madness. Throughout his memoir, Guppy paints a vivid picture of his inner world that is not only real, but relatable. His writing weaves together the emotional intensity of his experience with humor in a way that is truly remarkable. This is one of the most unique memoirs I have ever read. I admire Guppy's courage for sharing his story. It has touched and inspired me on a deeply personal level and I am sure it will ...more
Jenny's Book Life
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
Final Review for "My Fluorescent God" by Joe Guppy

"My Florescent God" is a memoir of the year the author spent in crazy town. I couldn't put it down. Everybody should read this book to add to their understanding of what "approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experience in a given year." ( Or if you know somebody who is suffering from a mental illness, read this book for some hope. If you are a memoir-lover like I am, read this book for a stellar biog
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Guppy's first person narrative is vividly descriptive and compelling. I felt deep, personal compassion for Joe as I read his story. I appreciated his honesty and authenticity. Joe's story broke my heart and inspired me at the same time. Readers will grow quickly to love him as they enter this difficult part of his life and let him walk them through it step by courageous step.

Joe's story leaves the reader feeling a little less serious and concrete about life. It reminds us that the veil between "
Peggy Laoh
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it
An honest account!
Jane Hinton
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Highly recommend this book. It reminded me of "Brain on Fire" and "Girl, Interrupted" - compelling true stories of humanity and health care systems. At times stark and scary, the author also brings a curious, wry and hopeful voice to bear. ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is a solid memoir by a psychologist. He reflects upon his declining mental health while he stayed in a psychiatric ward in his early 20s after a psychedelic trip in Mexico went wrong. I much enjoyed reading it as he is a craftful writer and is a great writing coach to boot! Highly recommended to those who enjoy these types of memoirs.
Allie Burke
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-read, brt
My issue with memoirs is this: they are boring. They are not boring because they are boring, but because people who are typically writing memoirs are not writers and all of the editing in the world could not make them unboring.

Not My Fluorescent God. Guppy's story and the way it is written could not be boring if it tried really hard.

When I was introduced to this memoir through Guppy's absolutely stunning book trailer (it gave me chills), I basically started reading it the same day. It's one of t
Doug Loviska
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
My Fluorescent God is an insightful and moving memoir and, from my own experience, one that is painfully accurate and true. I survived a similar episode in my early twenties and reading this book was like reliving that period in my life. It was all there: confusing visions, disturbing physical sensations, the frightening experience of not being able to determine real from unreal, and the nagging urge to end it all. It is a story of a person who, while teetering on the brink hopelessness and desp ...more
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
This book is about a mental breakdown, slow recovery, and post analysis. As I read the first part, it was very easy for me to say that I have never been even vaguely close to this mentally ill. It struck me at the time, also, that this guy was very traumatized by his religious upbringing, albeit, seemly a rather common one. The second part which is the halfway house portion of the recovery, is really more the same, but with a more upbeat disposition. These first two parts are personal accounts o ...more
Stacya Silverman
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I cannot wait to see the movie version of this book. It is going to be a breakthrough role for some young actor! I love the dry humor, even though the topic is so difficult. I found myself wondering, who else had this experience???? I wasn't aware that this could even happen! It isn't just a good story-- it is a thoughtful, well documented, fascinating journey into the darkest places in the human mind. I love the way this complex subject is written with such a simple, straightforward narrative. ...more
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
How does one come to understand, let alone to terms with, one's own insanity? Grappling with his brief, but significant psychotic episode, in this memoir, Joe Guppy takes on the immensely important task of making sense of a time in his life that, in many ways, made no sense. With the perspective of a psychotherapist and wry humor of a comedy writer, Mr. Guppy wades through his "crazy period" day by day, inviting us to "see the Other as a human identify with the Other in some way..." ...more
Arleen Williams
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In his memoir, My Fluorescent God, author and mental health counselor, Joe Guppy, offers readers a rare and fascinating peek into the world of the psychotic brain: his own. Through a detailed research and meticulous recounting of his personal experiences as a young man in his early twenties, readers see the slow, and yet very possible, process of healing as well as the reality of what can be accomplished with appropriate medical intervention. And, it's a great read! ...more
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As a horrific side effect of a prescribed stomach medication, Joe is plunged into a psychotic hell reminiscent of the worlds of Dr. Caligiri or Hieronymus Bosch. His sensitive memoir of his experiences and feelings makes compelling reading, and his final victory over the demons is an inspiration.
Jane Kaplan
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok, just finished this - wow. My Florescent God worked on so many levels. 1. An engrossing story. 2. An education about mental health facilities and therapeutic approach. 3. Humor, one of my favorite things. Guppy takes us straight to the heart of insanity and compassionately invites us to join him. This is a book by a very sane man. Highly highly recommended.
R Gar
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dang! This is a seriously juicy, well-told true story. I found myself completely absorbed in Joe Guppy's naked truth and razor sharp use of language. I haven't stopped thinking about it. And while I hoped his suffering would end, I didn't want the book to end! LOVED every moment. Crazy good! ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 - Interesting description of the author's experiences, but I found his retrospective analysis less helpful. ...more
veda hitchcock

This book made me see things in myself that I really had to think about. Also made me more considerate of others and the difference between
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Honest, reflective journey that will be most likely helpful to family and friends of people struggling with hospitalization for mental collapse, who want to find hope and understand.
Jul 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Amazing personal memoir about mental health. Absolutely captivating and unique. I haven't read one quite like this. His writing is clear, so real, and just so enthralling. ...more
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