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Cheer Up, Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,850 ratings  ·  149 reviews

Susan Calman is a well known comedian and writer who has appeared on countless radio and television programmes from The News Quiz and Just a Minute on BBC Radio 4 to hosting the quiz show, The Boss, Armchair De
Hardcover, 262 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Two Roads
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,850 ratings  ·  149 reviews

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May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I enjoy Susan Calman's work anyway but this was so funny, so thoughtful and so unapologetic. I've read a few books that mix mental health with comedy and 'Cheer up Love' is one of the greats.

From what happened to her Wham! Scarf to the sewers of Paris to the dark clouds that she's fought her way out from under, Cheer Up Love is part autobiography, a tiny bit self help, all delightful.

I listened to the audiobook of this and loved hearing the funny anecdotes, honest retellings
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I can only describe this as a Calman hug in a book.

This is a funny, honest, moving and emotional account of Susans experience with depression and her battle with her crab of hate. (The voice that drags you into the dark)
With some great advice for anyone else who suffers and those around them.
Shining a light on mental health and anxiety through emotive, funny stories of life.

I listened to the audiobook and mourned when it ended. I just want Susan to keep talking, her book helped me feel less alo
Amy Jane Smith
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. Loved listening to this. One of the funniest books I've read and I would definitely recommend the audio over the book for this reason - Susan is a brilliant comedian (though not one I've been lucky enough to see live yet, this was my first experience with her) and this really shows through in both the writing and her reading of it. For this to be so, while also being predominantly about depression is quite a feat - and the insight into the illness is powerful and helpful. A really upl ...more
Frannie Pan
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Nice and interesting audiobook to listen to!
I must say, it didn't make "laugh", which someone might have been expecting, since Susan Calman is a stand up comedian.
What it did was making me feel understood because I could see myself in what she was describing, when she spoke of anxiety and low self-esteem and depression.
I've been through all of that. And I'm better now. And listening to her words and her experiences and "solutions" was comforting in a way.

Besides the middle part (which I found sl
This is a very personal account of the author and comedian Susan Calman's life long struggle to cope with crippling depression and anxiety.

It's a good mix of accounts of episodes of depression combined with the many and varied attempts at treatment, some more successful than others.

I think it's a very brave honest book and an important one to add to any library of self help depression memoirs.
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I do have rather mixed feelings about this book. #SusanIsAwesome and the humorous side of this is ace, I read the whole thing in her voice which made me smile.
But I think I might have had too high expectations of it, as my friend who just read it raved about it. He thrust it into my hands saying 'you must read this, it really helped me understand you'. So I think I had this vision of Poor Susan telling the story of my life rather than hers, and I was disappointed that in fact, she hadn't.
I like
Mrs Erica Morley Hillard
Wry self-help

Intensely personal and apparently honest this is a warts-and-all appraisal of depression. I didn't pick it up as a self-help book, but that is what this is. If like me you expect a conventional autobiography, pick a different book. It is interesting, not the laughs you might expect from Calman, more wry observation. I found it slightly repetitive, but worth a read, if only to remind yourself that 'successful' people aren't necessarily contented.
Iqra Choudhry
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A frank and funny book about living with depression. Whilst staying light-hearted, it's a book that handles difficult conversations about mental health. A must-read.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice one Susan! Tricky topic shared with strangers-not an easy thing to do. Big love to you!
This curious volume is Susan Calman's combination memoir and self-help book, detailing her experiences learning to live with chronic depression--or, to use her metaphor, the Crab of Hate, a highly critical crustacean with its pincers firmly attached to her ears, in order to better fill them with negative self-talk.

For those of you who don't recognize her, Calman is a stand-up comedian and frequent BBC Radio4 contributor. Of course, I believe even those unfamiliar with her other work would still
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This is a review of the audiobook read by the author.
Sounds just like her. Heh.
Calman reveals (almost) all - about her life with depression and learning to cope. She does this with the same humor we would recognize from her stand-up. Her Crab of Hate tells her all the bad things about her, pinching her ears and bringing her down and down and down. Fortunately, she has a wife who is sympathetic (but not all the time - there are limits) and for whom she decided to find a good therapist and get som
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I've seen Susan Calman occasionally on Mock The Week and various other comedy panel shows in the UK, which is surprising because they all seem to have some kind of aversion to female comedians, but there were go. I didn't know a huge amount about her, but I am always interested to read memoirs about depression and how others have coped with it. Depression is such an individualistic thing, from experience to therapy to recovery to coping mechanisms, so I wanted to know how she viewed it.

This mem
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As instructed by the author I am leaving my feedback under the hashtag #susanisawesome

I have been a huge fan of Susan Calman for a number of years now, mainly from her work on the radio and her excellent radio sitcom "Sisters". I have always thought she was an extremely talented writer and comedian and I found (and still do) her inspirational. Someone that wasn't afraid to be her own unique self in an age of vapid social media identi-twits.

Reading this book was a brilliant insight into a perso
When did we change from ‘don’t make a scene’ to ‘I want closure’? It, of course, means that you’re over something, which is in direct contradiction to perhaps the most fabulous of all the traits of the British. The slow burning, unexpressed emotion. It’s what we’re famous for. In literature our great heroes are people who have no ability to say what they actually think. Mr Rochester was, I think it’s fair to say, rather stand-offish. You wouldn’t want to go caravanning with Professor Snape. And ...more
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Funny and honest memoir of a life lived with depression. Some of the advice isn't stuff I'd recommend, and her aversion to medicine and counselling bothered me (particularly the drawing therapy where she blamed the therapist rather unfairly, I felt) - but she's clear that what works for her isn't what might work for others, and vice versa.

There's an early diversion in to being gay which seems like it might belong to another book - it was interesting and revealing, but stuck out a bit given that
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I've always enjoyed Susan Calman's comedy, and what I viewed from afar as quite a positive outlook on life. In fact Susan DOES have a positive outlook on life, it's just that she's also had to deal with a brain that misfires and tells her everything is wrong (I can relate!). This is a very honest account of what depression does to your mind and your body, and how any one person's coping mechanisms can be totally different to your own.. and that's all FINE.

Susan, with her background in law, also
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-favs
I just love Susan’s honesty and way with words. Serious with enough humour to get you through it.
Zena Cooper
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting, funny, touching and informative book written by Susan Calman about her experiences of depression, anxiety and being gay. There were parts of this book that really had me laughing out loud and equally at times I was moved. Although overall I found this book quite enjoyable to read I did find it at times a little repetitive and almost self indulgent. However I do feel that this book could be wonderfully useful for those who have yet to find an answer to difficulties they face or co ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
People hand me books like this to read, so I know I’m not alone. I already know that, and to be honest I prefer a bit of escapism in my reading. However, books like this are important as they offer a comforting hand to people, and sometimes some helpful insight. This books makes me like Susan a lot and I hope it helps people to try different ways to deal with depression, or indeed just keeps them keeping on. Not medically or expertly informative, but then it isn’t meant to be. An encouraging and ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was bought this book as a present and am ashamed to admit that I actually didn’t know who Susan Colman was before she appeared on Strictly which makes me sound terribly low brow but it’s the truth. I found this book really interesting. I love a good autobiography but this one wasn’t about the things that happened throughout her life but the feelings that happened to her. I thought it was funny and insightful and I enjoyed reading it.
David Brown
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Part memoir part advisory note, calman bravely dwells on her own battle with depression and makes fun of it at the same time. She talks about her coming out, her inability to make it in the law, the problems in her early stand up career, her fashion and friend disasters - all the time battling her manifestation of her depression, the crab of hate. At times a tad repetitive, at times trying a little too hard to caveat her advice, it was still funny and worth a read
Jess C.
Listened to the audiobook. Overall it was good. Depression, as usual is boring and brings out the narcissism in all of us. So the beginning was a bit boring. But about a third of the way through it became funny and interesting - and less about being depressed and more about living with or in spite of depression.
Richard Barber
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are good books,and there are important books,and occasionally along comes a book which is both good and important at the sand time. Take a bite, Susan Calman, for you have written a good,important book.
A generous, sensitive, warm and honest journey through the experience of someone who lives with depression, this is essential reading.
Michael Walby
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Susan Calman writes an honest and insightful account of living with depression and anxiety. Readers experiencing similar mental health challenges will take encouragement from Susan's humorous and optimistic anecdotes. For those supporting loved ones with their own 'crab of hate', the book provides a useful insight into the mind of an anxious depressive. Susan is indeed 'awesome'.
Sue Goult
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Depression and being funny

Susan Calman is a lesbian comedian who also suffers from depression. She is very honest about it all in this life memoir, and also gives wise counsel about when to seek help. Admirable stories about being depressed and how she has learned to deal with it. Honest and thought provoking.
Emma Dargue
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny and moving look at Susan Calman's life story documenting her struggles with depression and anxiety. Calman writes with depth and honesty about her struggles and doesn't gloss over difficult subjects such as self harm. Well worth a read even if you dont suffer from mental health issues.
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it! I didn't even know this lady, I probably need to watch more telly than I do, lol, but I could relate to so much of this book! A huge help. I shall have to keep it close at hand to re-read if necessary.
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I live with depression and anxiety, reading Susan's book really helped me feel less alone. I loved her honesty and openness. A brilliant book for anyone living with anxiety/depression or for their loved ones or friends.
Jane Wilson
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Having watched this amazing lady on Strictly in was curious to find out more about her. Her story of her battle with depression is genuinely inspirational. I have nothing more to add than #SusanIsAwesome
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“I’ve found myself leaving an event or a party paralysed with fear because of something that I’ve said, and spent the next couple of days worrying about what people would think of me. Of course, in reality, the hundred or so people who were at the event didn’t spend the hour after I left the party talking about me. Despite what I might believe, I am not the planet around which everyone else orbits.” 2 likes
“Help might not be required, but it’s nice to let a person know that you’re there if assistance is required.” 1 likes
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