I felt like I should read this book a long time ago, since I'm supposed to be interested in everything having to do with psychology. But I just couldn't get into it the first times I tried. I mean, I never actually opened the book, I just stared at the cover and sighed to myself. I tried watching the movie too a couple times, and it didn't resonate after the first five minutes.
But then, I gave the movie one last shot, and it was amazing. The story centers on Susana Kaysen and Lisa, a sociopath who is the catalyst for most of the trouble at the mental hospital. THe movie is very character-driven, and we get to know a few of the patients in depth.
After watching the movie, I had to read the book. And I loved it even more, although the two were different in a lot of ways.
The book is full of short, memorable anecdotes that give you a bigger picture of life in a mental hospital, but doesn't give a clear story. I wouldn't expect one since the book is autobiographical. I was never bored, and I finished almost n one night, but I had to put the book down and sleep.
The book asks what it means to be mad. Are we mad? We have delusions that our bodies are too fat, we're paranoid that people wouldn't love us unless we're skinny. We hallucinate giant stomachs and thundering thighs.
But mostly we can see reason. We're not dangerous to anyone else. So are we crazy then?
I don't think I am.