Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love by Zack McDermott

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Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love Read Online Free - The story of a young man fighting to recover from a devastating psychotic break and the mother who refuses to give up on him

Zack McDermott, a 26-year-old Brooklyn public defender, woke up one morning convinced he was being filmed, Truman Show-style, as part of an audition for a TV pilot. This was it - his big dreams were finally coming true. Every passerby was an actor; every car would magically stop for him; everything he saw was a cue from "The Producer" to help inspire the performance of a lifetime. After a manic spree around Manhattan, Zack, who is bipolar, was arrested on a subway platform and admitted to Bellevue Hospital.

So begins the story of Zack's freefall into psychosis and his desperate, poignant, often darkly funny struggle to claw his way back to sanity, regain his identity, and rebuild some semblance of a stable life. It's a journey that will take him from New York City back to his Kansas roots and to the one person who might be able to save him, his tough, big-hearted Midwestern mother, nicknamed the Bird, whose fierce and steadfast love is the light in Zack's dark world.

Before his odyssey is over, Zack will be tackled by guards in mental wards, run naked through cornfields, receive secret messages from the TV, befriend a former Navy Seal and his talking stuffed monkey, and see the Virgin Mary in the whorls of his own back hair. But with the Bird's help, he just might have a shot at pulling through, starting over, and maybe even meeting a woman who can love him back, bipolar and all.

Written with raw emotional power, humor, and tenderness, GORILLA AND THE BIRD is a bravely honest account of a young man's unraveling and the relationship that saves him.

Title : Gorilla and the Bird: A Memoir of Madness and a Mother's Love
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0316315141
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 pages


Debbie rated it ★★★★★

October 25, 2017

4.8, manically rounded up, up, up!! I’ll tell you, my socks were officially knocked off. The better to run and keep up with this guy. Never mind, I'll grab my pogo stick, whee! It's faster and more fun. But it's not a whee for Zack, a public defender in New York, who ran through the city half nake...

Petra X rated it ★★★★☆

January 10, 2018

A 2.5 book upgraded to 4 because of insights. Very thought-provoking. I finished the book despite long periods of boredom. The author's descriptions of his psychosis were interesting as were his observations of his job and clients - he is a Public Defender. He made me think, which is what I like...

Diane S ☔ rated it ★★★★☆

September 13, 2017

His mother nicknamed him gorilla when he was a child, because he had a very hairy back. He called her the bird. This is a story of the devastation of mental illness, it is also a story of a mother's fierce, abiding love for her child. Mental illness ran in their family, but Zack had no clue the h...

Esil rated it ★★★★☆

February 05, 2018

A high 4 stars. Gorilla and the Bird has a raw honesty that really comes through in the audiobook. Zack McDermott is Gorilla to his mother who is Bird to him. McDermott comes from Wichita, Kansas. Despite an economically challenging childhood, his uncanny intelligence, his mother’s unwavering love...

Kelli rated it ★★★★☆

February 04, 2018

That was brave. Zack McDermott holds nothing back in this painfully honest memoir that is also a love letter to his most deserving mother, who may be the living embodiment of a saint. This covers everything: insomnia, ideas spiraling out of control, bizarre behavior, manic episodes, drugs, judgem...

Rebecca rated it ★★★★☆

September 01, 2017

As a public defender in New York City, Zack McDermott worked with seemingly crazy people every day at Legal Aid, little knowing that he was on his way to a psychotic break himself. Soon he’d covered the walls of his apartment with marker scrawl and fully taken on his stand-up comedian persona, My...

Tania rated it ★★★☆☆

January 20, 2018

Regaining sanity in a mental hospital is like treating a migraine at a rave. 3.5 stars. An intimate and often humorous look at the author's experience with bipolar disorder. Although I have close family and friends suffering from this disease, I learned so much about what it feels like experiencin...

Sonja rated it ★★★★☆

January 10, 2018

The story opens mid-psychotic breakdown. Zack is convinced, and I was almost convinced right along with him, that he is in the middle of some huge reality TV cast walking the streets of New York. Being in the head of someone mid psychotic breakdown was eye-opening and done very well. But its not ju...

Toni rated it ★★★★★

February 06, 2018

If you know someone with a mental illness and have tried to understand their dilemma, this memoir is the perfect explanation. Zack grew up with a great mother, who he nicknamed, "the Bird" but father figures were another story. His grandparents, especially his grandmother, were a solid foundation...

Ericka rated it ★★★★★

December 20, 2017

In the text: The memoir is very well written. McDermott has a clear talent for language and is exceptionally smart. His personal story about mental illness is very interesting. He conveys his personal experiences in a very raw and emotional manner. It's riveting throughout. During the period of th...

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