A fragmented, agonized, and puzzling account of mental illness and the justice system.


Murphy documents his struggle to reassemble his memory after a traumatic arrest in this debut memoir.

In the spring of 2008, the author stayed in a hotel in Deland, Florida, while his home was being renovated. Murphy, who suffers from bipolar disorder, felt a manic episode coming on, so he switched hotels, thinking he would feel safer at a nearby Holiday Inn. Sometime later, he locked himself out of his room with the water running, causing it to flood into the hallway. Another guest shouted at him and threatened him until the police arrived; they then arrested Murphy on a charge of criminal mischief. The author asserts that while he was being held in the Volusia County Jail, “something extremely inhumane and perverse occurred…perpetrated by the guards on duty, somewhere between May 5, 2008, and on or around May 6, 2008, causing my mind to be shattered and erased.” A monthslong series of hospitalizations and court cases followed, during which Murphy attempted to recover his memory and address the wrongs that he felt had been done to him. This book—which is composed primarily of letters that the author wrote to various people, including his cousin, his pastor, his lawyer, his seventh-grade teacher, and even the president of the United States—is an account of his long legal and psychological struggle. Murphy’s prose can be difficult to follow at times. However, it features occasional flashes of visionary imagery: “Imagine your mind was the atmosphere, and it broke, sending all of the stars, planets, and moons into an orbit, never to be retrieved.” There are other moments that feel grandiose, as when the author says, “Just as Martin Luther King Jr. has been to the mountaintop for blacks in America, I can see clearly from the top of the mountain for people who are mentally ill.” The account may give readers the sense that authorities in Florida mishandled Murphy’s case. However, the book as a whole is disorganized, and it’s often difficult to piece its narrative together.

A fragmented, agonized, and puzzling account of mental illness and the justice system.

Pub Date: May 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64367-539-8

Page Count: 166

Publisher: Urlink Print & Media, LLC

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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