Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania

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Random House, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 277 pages
4 Reviews
Electroboy is an emotionally frenzied memoir that reveals with kaleidoscopic intensity the terrifying world of manic depression. For years Andy Behrman hid his raging mania behind a larger-than-life personality. He sought a high wherever he could find one and changed jobs the way some people change outfits: filmmaker, PR agent, art dealer, stripper-whatever made him feel like a cartoon character, invincible and bright. Misdiagnosed by psychiatrists and psychotherapists for years, his condition exacted a terrible price: out-of-control euphoric highs and tornadolike rages of depression that put his life in jeopardy.

Ignoring his crescendoing illness, Behrman struggled to keep up appearances, clinging to the golden-boy image he had cultivated in his youth. But when he turned to art forgery, he found himself the subject of a scandal lapped up by the New York media, then incarcerated, then under house arrest. And for the first time the golden boy didn’t have a ready escape hatch from his unraveling life. Ingesting handfuls of antidepressants and tranquilizers and feeling his mind lose traction, he opted for the last resort: electroshock therapy.

At once hilarious and harrowing, Electroboy paints a mesmerizing portrait of a man held hostage by his in-satiable desire to consume. Along the way, it shows us the New York that never sleeps: a world of strip clubs, after-hours dives, and twenty-four-hour coffee shops, whose cheap seductions offer comfort to the city’s lonely souls. This unforgettable memoir is a unique contribution to the literature of mental illness and introduces a writer whose energy may well keep you up all night.

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User Review  - NathanDaniels75 - LibraryThing

I have read over a hundred books that address mental illness from various angles. Electroboy is easily one of the best, and absolutely one of my favorites. Movie coming soon! Read full review


User Review  - IvyLeagueGradStudent - Borders

Andy Behrman gives an honest, no-holds account of his mental illness, shedding light and awareness. Shocking, yet thought provoking, I appreciated his vivid accounts and in-your-face recollections. I ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Andy Behrman is a manic depressive who has undergone nineteen electroshock treatments. He has worked as a PR agent and an art dealer. His writing has been featured most recently in The New York Times Magazine. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he knows most of the all-night diners and after-hours bars in the major cities across the country. He currently lives mania-free on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. You can reach him at www.electroboy.com.

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