Andy Behrman is a manic-depressive. For most of his adult life, he had periods of tremendous highs and terrible lows. He enjoyed drug binges and cross-continental shopping trips and sex with strangers. Then, in what would become a notorious art scandal in the 90s, Behrman masterminded a scheme to defraud his employer and friend, the artist Mark Kostabi. Behrman was convicted of fraud and sentenced to five months jail and five months house arrest. Seven psychotherapists misdiagnosed Behrman before his life ground to a halt.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Electroboy by Andy Behrman.
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 l Electroboy is an emotionally frenzied memoir that reveals with kaleidoscopic intensity the terrifying world of manic depression.
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.
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. 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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Mar 07, Oriana rated it it was ok Shelves: read I feel shitty about it, so I'm redoing this review. Sorry if that's a bit revisionist-history of me. I also want to say that I don't have any kind of psych background, and little context to understand manic personality disorder. To be completely honest, I think my longtime partner may have tendency toward some kind of mania, or bipolar, or something, and I happened to find this book when he was in sort of a tough place.
It did not do that at all. Electroboy is not a book about diagnosing and dealing with the reality of manic-depressive disorder. It's a memoir of a person who runs as fast and far away from sanity and salvation as he possibly can, for a really long time. Andy Behrman comes across as a spoiled rich kid from the get. He has a crazy amount of sex and does an astounding amount of drugs. His morality is dubious and extremely fluid. He hurts all the people around him, with varying degrees of intent and satisfaction.
He is incredibly narcissistic. He is way, way, way out of control, and is virtually unchecked for most of his life. Where were his parents? Where were his friends? Why was no one paying attention to this volatile, self-destructive person? Here are some things Andy does. He stays up for days, answering classified ads and going to strangers' homes to snort coke and have orgies.
He runs and works at various PR agencies—very successfully, in fact—launching and enhancing the careers of a while slew of awful people.
He also works as a go-go boy and sometimes prostitute. He makes and drops friends at a, well, manic pace, just as quickly as he meets and discards therapists and medications. And even when he's on a cocktail of a dozen different different meds, he still "gets restless" and goes out to take huge amounts of drugs and sleep with hookers.
I think the point was that the reader would feel bad for him, because the mania is driving him or whatever, but he was just so unapologetic, so boastful, so preening and proud. He never really faced what he was doing, never took responsibility for all the damage he'd wrought, for all the people he'd hurt.
It was all very hard to stomach, and very hard to enjoy. View all 19 comments. May 19, Liz Wright rated it really liked it. Reading this book was like watching a horrible TV special on fast-forward horrible because it made you feel uncomfortable for Behrman and also for the people he knew, not because it was written poorly. Jun 30, Charles Michael Fischer rated it really liked it. I'd rank it up there with Marya Hornbacher's "Madness. Behrman trusts readers to pick up on the style's expression of theme; as another reviewer wrote, Behrman "shows" mania.
If you want mere information, try Google or a broch "Electroboy" is one of the better Bipolar memoirs I've read. If you want mere information, try Google or a brochure, not a memoir.
It goes without saying that you shouldn't expect a creative memoir to introduce you to the disease. Anyway, Behrman has a story to tell, unlike many Bipolar memoirs that boringly milk the premise "I'm Bipolar"--yawn; who cares. That might sound harsh, but I'm Bipolar and more trees don't need to die for these repetitive books to flood the market, books that simply ride the premise. I also wasn't bothered by Behrman's privilege. He's upfront about it from jump, self-deprecating, and the moments of braggadocio are so clearly at least to me showing grandiosity a symptom of high-octane mania and posturing.
Again, it's not his job to fill in those gaps for you and I appreciate his willingness to allow me, the reader, to participate in the reading of the text without dictating in sappy, dishonest self-help rhetoric. Oct 14, Nathan Daniels rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction.
One of my absolute favorite books. Fast-paced and highly entertaining. I read it for the second time this year. Aug 27, Jenny Schmenny rated it liked it. A memoir by one of those 80's yuppie schmucks. This one is afflicted with manic depression, emphasis on the manic part, so the more interesting parts of the book deal with his crazy, obsessive, reckless, scamming, over-sexed, money-burning frenzies.
Oh, and he was involved in a major international art fraud case. I didn't like him, his writing style, or aspects of the book, but it was still interesting, and it reminded me of some of my manic friends, except on a grander, more screwed up scale.
I c A memoir by one of those 80's yuppie schmucks. I checked out his website and he's now offering services advising other bipolar people. Dec 20, Karen Tyrrell rated it it was amazing Shelves: memoir. Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania by Andy Behrman hooked me in from the very start with his childhood obsessions, his manic episodes and shocking behaviour. One minute I was cringing, the next totally engaged with his art forging escapades and electro-shock therapy. Always emphathising with Andy Behrman the person, praying that he would somehow Recover and lead a normal life.
Jun 18, Lisa rated it really liked it. I forgot about this one, red it years ago. But on my quest to find a new "crazy" book, I remembered this little gem!
I thoroughly enjoyed it, perhaps because of my own identification with a lot of it I think you'd have to really WANT to read about mental illness and how entertaining it is to enjoy it
Electroboy : a memoir of mania / Andy Behrman.
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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? The author describes his longtime battle with ills of manic depression, his desperate search for the ultimate high, the art-forgery scandal that confined him to jail and to house arrest, and his decision to opt for the controversial treatment of electroconvulsive therapy to preserve his sanity. Read more Read less. About the Author Andy Behrman is a manic depressive who has undergone nineteen electroshock treatments. He has worked as a PR agent and an art dealer.
Electroboy: A Memoir of Mania
Readers of Andy Behrman's memoir may ask themselves which of these syndromes are being described. The press reviews cited on the book's cover suggest that psychiatrists will question Behrman's account. Although these sources seem to find Behrman's book terribly exciting, it is hard to locate the source of their enthusiasm. Granted, the author spends an inordinate number of pages referring to sex, and his masturbatory habits, alone or in company, but presumably even reviewers tire of this. Her nanny takes the child to another room, and we talk about a program of wellness. I discuss my illness, and she seems to have a real understanding of manic depression.
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