Terri Cheney
Manic: A Memoir
Book Review by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony

I heard Terri Cheney on some radio talk show. Her frankness impressed me. I'd also been nursing a curiosity about this affliction, as there have been some people close to me that had either suspicions or an actual diagnosis. So I bought the book.

The foreword warns, "I've chosen to tell my life story episodically... I rarely remember events in terms of date or sequence... I remember the emotional state I was in. Life for me is defined not by time, but by mood." She also takes time to explain that her disease and the attempts to cure it have taken their toll on her memory. Which makes this book quite likely simultaneously a true story and a work of fiction.

Her first couple of dramatic accounts seem concocted; the details made me immediately suspicious, I wondered if this was one of those fake true stories. Then I remembered her memory and the fact that she had written the book in such a way that we were going along for the ride -- the manic-depression ride. So, I agreed to be taken for that ride.

Certainly the moments where she discusses her moods, her reaching-in-the-dark efforts to determine her various states -- those explanations seemed quite real. They were also better written, more enlightening, and more than occasionally philosophically profound.

"In my case, it could definitely be illegal to be too happy. ... I stopped just to see if I could stop. Then I ruthlessly pinpointed the moment on the mood scale, skewered it like a dead butterfly. Happiness management was a cruel science. It may have kept me safe from unexpected butterflies, but it killed all the flutter and delight."

More of a series of short stories, certain topics are introduced as if they hadn't been introduced prior. The redundancy is a little irritating. And there is an arc, albeit cut like puzzle pieces and out of order. And there is hope.

Overall, I believe I have gained more insight into this confusing state of being. And dare I say understand better the people in my life who may have been living a similar inner life.

Another quote from the book:

"It seemed monumentally unfair somehow that I should have to apologize for the actions of someone I barely know. Sure, I'd met that manic redhead before... we frequented the same mirror... As far as I was concerned, she'd hijacked my flesh, and I shouldn't be held responsible for anything my body had done while she was in control of it. But deep down I knew I was liable. ... Regardless of who was ruling my brain chemistry that day: the manic seductress or the anxious associate or the lovesick fool... they were all someone the world knew as me."

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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Wednesday, 29-Feb-2012 11:14:21 PST