GONE TO THE CRAZIES by Alison Weaver


A Memoir
Email this review


Self-absorbed memoir of a conventionally dysfunctional childhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

The product of a well-heeled May-December marriage, Weaver spent her childhood in the care of nurses and nannies, feeling out of place at the posh parties her family attended. She adored her distant father, but had more mixed feelings about Mom, an alcoholic who insisted that her morning Bloody Mary was really Mr. & Mrs. T mix without the vodka, and who tried to mask the liquor on her breath with Binaca. Unsurprisingly, Weaver herself first got drunk at age nine (on a cruise ship in Alaska) and by 14 had become a regular lush. She ran through packs of cigarettes so quickly that even her super-cool shrink was concerned, and no one believed her when, after her mother found pot in her room, she claimed she was just holding it for a friend. She bounced from school to school, finally landing at Cascade, an institution in California that blended academics with an intense therapeutic protocol bordering on brainwashing. (Near the end of the book, she explains that Cascade, now closed, was in fact the offshoot of a cult.) Next came college and a spell in the California rave scene, followed by a move back to New York, where Weaver lived in the East Village, got into photography, took Ketamine and shared needles with an HIV-positive buddy. She’s currently recovered, though she makes it clear that hers is a complex sort of recovery in an irksomely self-important and melodramatic way: “What would you say if I told you that I slipped up and did cocaine two summers ago?”

Weaver’s adequate-but-no-more prose is perfectly suited to her tedious tale.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-118958-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: HC/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2007