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review 2018-01-10 16:45
Gorilla and the Bird by Zack McDermott
Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love - Zack McDermott

This is a fantastic memoir by a public defender with bipolar disorder, who occasionally experiences intense psychotic episodes. Zack McDermott is an excellent storyteller and onetime aspiring comedian, so this book will pull you right in, keep you rapt and sometimes make you laugh, despite its sometimes heavy subject matter.

The beginning of the book throws readers right into McDermott’s first psychotic episode: having met with a producer about his comedy routine only a few days before, he walks out of his apartment convinced that he is in the middle of an audition. He wanders New York City for hours, acting wacky for the cameras, until the police pick him up and take him to the hospital. Over the next couple of years, he’s hospitalized several times, struggling but eventually learning how to keep his disease under control. He is supported throughout by his mom “the Bird,” a rock star teacher of underprivileged teens who is there for her kid no matter what. The book also traces McDermott’s childhood – growing up poor in Kansas City with a single mom putting herself through school – and includes a fair bit about his work as a public defender. (I enjoyed those bits a lot; they are as no-holds-barred as the rest of the book.)

McDermott would probably make an excellent novelist, because he turns his life into a compelling story, with humor and sharp dialogue alongside a gripping plot. I read it very quickly, and it’s one of those books that’s hard to review in part because when I return to look at something in the book, I start reading it again. It seems to me that, despite some dark subject matter, the author chose to put an optimistic spin on his life in the book; an essay published the same week includes some of the same material but also discusses trauma that’s absent from the memoir. It seems like the book’s happy ending is true as far as it goes, but also isn’t the whole story. Probably no memoir is.

At any rate, it’s an excellent book. And without ever appearing to have an agenda (the author seems more upset about the way poor people of color are treated in the criminal justice system than anything that happens to him), the book challenges the stigma around mental illness, as well as the notion that a serious mental illness will inevitably ruin someone’s life or end in tragedy. I definitely recommend this one.

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review 2017-12-22 00:53
Leaves on the Wind, Zack Whedon
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind - Zack Whedon

Great to move on from filling in gaps left by the cancellation of the TV series and instead see what happens following the events of the film Serenity - and also answer a question I had regarding River's fellow abused genius school kids i.e what happened to them...

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review 2017-12-09 17:48
Zack - Esther E. Schmidt

Zack (Areion Fury MC #1)
by Esther E. Schmidt (Goodreads Author)

20353481
Wendy Hodges's review
Nov 13, 2015  ·  edit

 
it was amazing
 

I absolutely loved this, Zack is great. he might be a badass biker but he is in deep with Belle, always has been. Belle has been through a lot, losing her whole family and coming back to the only people she has left, her friends. although this is a biker story with the usual stuff associated with such a story, there are some light hearted moments that make you chuckle. its also nice to have 2 bikers mc clubs get together to sort out a problem and end up almost friends, sometimes its worth it for the greater cause. I look forward to the next books in this series, will def be following this author

 

20353481
Wendy Hodges's review
Nov 13, 2015  ·  edit

 
it was amazing
 

I absolutely loved this, Zack is great. he might be a badass biker but he is in deep with Belle, always has been. Belle has been through a lot, losing her whole family and coming back to the only people she has left, her friends. although this is a biker story with the usual stuff associated with such a story, there are some light hearted moments that make you chuckle. its also nice to have 2 bikers mc clubs get together to sort out a problem and end up almost friends, sometimes its worth it for the greater cause. I look forward to the next books in this series, will def be following this author
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review 2017-09-21 12:45
The story develops as do all the characters
Eclipse Volume 2 - Zack Kaplan

 

 

This comic collection deals with a world where the sun has become hot enough to burn and kill so, in New York, the people live underground during the day, only coming out at night. This volume concentrates on the phenomenon of the men who do not burn. Cielo and Bax are heavily involved in parallel stories into corruption among the leaders and others.

 

Quite a good yarn although the artwork does not always make it clear who each person is. The story continues and there is more to come.

 

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text 2017-09-14 19:01
Reading progress update: I've read 65%.
Zack's Awakening - Jaclyn Osborn

OK Jackson...it's time to say it...

 

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