Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So
Here is Mark’s childhood spent as the son of a struggling writer in a house ...more
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Well, you Should only expect to find the unexpected! For you may find yourself faced with an utter anomaly.
Mark Vonnegut’s that anomaly. After all, if you yourself have at any point of your life gone more than slightly bananas and suffered medical confinement for it, you’re FOR SURE gonna see life - and be seen by others - differently!
Especially if ...more
After the book was published, Mark recovered well enough to get into Harvard Medical School and is a practicing pediatrician till today. That may sound like a happy ending, but no life wraps ...more
Mark Vonnegut first wrote about his battle with mental illness in a 1975 book, The Eden Express. This followup came ...more
I'm not sure if it's just Mark Vonnegut's style, or if this indicative of someone living with mental illness, but the writing had this staccato quality. Ideas jumped from one paragraph to the next. There would be sentences in the middle of paragraphs that didn't seem to connect to much around it.
It's kind of like the old-timey comedians whose routines were:
Set-up, Punchline, Laughter...Set-up, Punchline, Laughter... lather, rinse, repeat. Except this book isn't exactly ...more
"Part of getting better from being crazy included the realization that my life might be a lot longer than I had thought and that I probably wasn't going to get out of anything by having the world end of Western civilization collapse.
It was too bad I was twenty-five, hadn't taken the right ...more
In the introduction to that book, Vonnegut, the son of author Kurt Vonnegut, described himself as "a hippie, a son of a counterculture hero, a B.A. ...more
The book covers topics like mental illness and addiction, but not as extensively as it might seem from the title. The bulk of the focus is on what’s wrong with ...more
This is what it's like to read this book. Completely disjointed, never giving a clear description about anything. In fact, the clearest he got was writing about being a pediatrician before managed health care- but the book isn't call "Just like someone ...more
Vonnegut's book is written in that slightly out-of-focus way--as the title says--"like someone without mental illness only more so". His wry observations illuminate how anyone, diagnosed-and-labeled or not, struggles to make sense of and be sensible about being alive.
The necessity of the arts to survival ("the arts are not extra") and how they add fullness and magic and mystery to ...more
And yet. He writes of his life as if he is looking at himself from afar, studying a specimen of a strange species, holding himself at arm’s length. You get the idea that he is mystified by his life path; he talks ...more
I had hoped the book would dive deeper into the feelings and thoughts about the various issues in his ...more
Mark Vonnegut on Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So
I wrote Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So because I was increasingly annoyed with my younger self, who had wrapped up everything with a bow. You can try but you don’t just get to get over mental illness at age twenty-five, go to medical school, write a book, get married and call it a wrap.
In the seventies I was in so in love with the medical model I almost thought I had invented it. "No...more
"I’m fully prepared to be wrong here, but I suspect that high on the lists of why people gravitate towards reading memoir is because they anticipate a certain unflinchingness in articulation. They expect, oft-erroneously, that if a person’s got the testicular/cervical fortitude to put themselves out in the limelight, then, by gad, they’re going to write with moxy, with aplomb, with some brass! I’m pleased to report that Mark Vonnegut’s got all three. Even though I’ ...more
However, I was unable to finish the ...more
The strength of the book is in ...more
Written in entertaining short segments (just like dad), this is the other bookend to Eden Express, where we get to find out what happened to the hippie, schizophrenic pediatrician with the famous father. The book isn't a masterpiece like his first book -- it's reflective, rather than raw -- the book of a 60 year old, who has lived through another 30 productive years of mental maintenance, illness, alcoholism and health.
The two books should be slip-cased together and given to anyone wants to ...more