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How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the…
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How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind (utgåvan 2023)

av Clancy Martin (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1127246,132 (3.1)1
"From the acclaimed author of How to Sell-and based on his viral Huffington Post article-comes a deeply intimate, insightful, and at times even funny portrait of the suicidal mind, combining the author's personal experience with a philosophical, literary, and journalistic inquiry into the subject "If you're going to write a book about suicide, you have to be willing to say the true things, the scary things, the humiliating things. Because everybody who is being honest with themselves knows at least a little bit about the subject. If you lie or if you fudge, the reader will know." The last time Clancy Martin tried to kill himself was in his basement with a dog leash. It was one of over ten attempts throughout the course of his life. But he didn't die, and like many who consider taking their own lives, he hid the attempt from his wife, family, coworkers, and students, slipping back into his daily life with a hoarse voice, a raw neck, and series of vague explanations. In How Not to Kill Yourself, Martin chronicles his multiple suicide attempts in an intimate depiction of the mindset of someone obsessed with self-destruction. He argues that, for the vast majority of suicides, an attempt does not just come out of the blue, nor is it merely a violent reaction to a particular crisis or failure, but is the culmination of a host of long-standing issues. He also looks at the thinking of a number of great writers who have attempted suicide and detailed their experiences (such as David Foster Wallace, Yiyun Li, Akutagawa, Nelly Arcan, and others), at what the history of philosophy has to say both for and against suicide, and at the experiences of people who have reached out to him across the years. The result is a work that powerfully gives voice to what to many has long been incomprehensible, while showing those presently struggling with suicidal thoughts that they are not alone, and that the desire to kill oneself-like other self-destructive desires-is almost always temporary and avoidable"--… (mer)
Medlem:hdeanfreemanjr
Titel:How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind
Författare:Clancy Martin (Författare)
Info:Vintage (2023), 590 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:***
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind av Clancy Martin

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Visa 1-5 av 7 (nästa | visa alla)
The topic of depression and suicide is something I’m always interested in, not only as someone who has suffered from and loved many people who also suffered from the feelings Martin describes in the book, but also because grappling with these topic seems to touch on many of the central questions of being alive. Thinking about depression makes you question what it means to be happy, what exactly is a fulfilling life, and the intersection between body and mind. Suicide is the ultimate confrontation between man and reality - to kil yourself is not just to end your own life, in a kind of way it’s also to switch off the universe, the ultimate act of control.
Deeply aware of the depth that his topic begs for, Martin’s book sprawls in many different directions. It’s in the main part a memoir, then a kind of intellectual history of suicide, and finally a kind of self-help/how-to guide which the title wryly nod to.
Despite struggling with depression for most of my life, I can say that I’ve never been genuinely suicidal. I’ve done my best to support loved ones through ideation and actual attempts. I don’t think I would recommend this book to someone who is ok the emotional brink that Martin describes himself as being on for most of his life. This isn’t necessarily a criticism, as I don’t think it’s a reflection of the quality of the book, but so much of the book’s time is spent detailing the squalor Martin found himself in through his struggles with alcohol and depression, culminating in a number of attempts. I usually hate it when someone describes a work of art as “depressing” but this book at times, literally is - Martin is terrifyingly honest about certain heartbreaking and downright shameful chapters of his life, I almost started to understand why offing himself might feel preferable to carrying on. I could imagine this being (at the risk of using a loaded word) triggering for anyone who is already struggling with thoughts of suicide.
That being said, towards the end of the book I think there are some very neat insights in the mechanisms of the depressed brain, some from Martin himself and some quotes from others. Modern pharmaceuticals have saved many lives, but the medication solution can sometimes obscure the central hallucinations of the depressive mind. Self-imposed inertia, perfectionism, delusions/impossible aspirations to grandeur all contribute to the depressed state as any chemical imbalance. Unlike a chemical imbalance, they aren’t as neatly solved, and an essential part of Martina’s book is the long journey towards realizing maybe they can’t be fixed, and that an essential part of coming to terms with depression is making peace with the fact that we are imperfect, unperfectable beings. To deny this is to trap yourself in a spiral of deflations and disappointments. ( )
  hdeanfreemanjr | Apr 22, 2024 |
Trigger warning: In case the book's title isn't it's own warning. This book is a raw and explicit account of the authors failed suicide attempts.

The book reveals the author's life long preoccupation with thoughts of dying. He explains how a person doesn't need to be poor or uneducated to suffer from life long depression with suicidal tendencies and a predisposition to addictions. He is a philosophy teacher at the University of Missouri. He shares his experience with the incompatibility of his thoughts. Although he has attempted suicide many times and failed there was also an acknowledgement that he really did not want to die. He struggled for many years to accept that reality and the fear he inflicted on his wife and parents who never knew what to expect. His problems became so dire that he turned to drugs and alcohol as a form of escapism which ultimately led to rehab and 12-step programs. He admits to his many relapses and the long road to recovery each time.

This book serves as a memoir of a man fighting every day to keep his head above water and fall into the deep waters which have almost drowned him many times in the past. I would argue that the title is misleading in that it isn't a "how to" do as it might appear on first look.

Thank you NetGalley and Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage and Anchor for providing access to this digital book for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ( )
  marquis784 | Mar 28, 2024 |
I’d hoped for more philosophy, Martin being a philosophy professor and translator of Kierkegaard. But as the subtitle suggests, its more memoir and related anecdotes, organized in a not exactly rigid way. Good in parts. ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Mr. Martin is a man trying to save himself from his self. He shares how until very recently he has been chasing death but also trying to outrun it. The reader hears how he took steps to help himself throughout the years and you can feel in the urgency of the text that the writing of the book (and I think our reading it) is a large part of the outrunning he's doing. The level of honesty also speaks to urgency of his quest for a normal life (normal as in not spending time in psych wards/jails). Not necessarily a easy read but very much worth reading for just about anybody who's been touched by suicide, depression or addiction and that seems to be just about everybody. ( )
  jemmatcf | Feb 3, 2024 |
Thank you to #NetGalley and publisher for an advance copy of this book to review. I found it to be one of the most raw and honest memoirs I’ve ever read. I also learned a great deal about the suicidal mindset, including the breadth of material about the subject. I recognize that Martin isn’t generalizing from n=1 or encouraging readers to do so. Nevertheless, I agree with his central argument that suicide is rarely, if ever, spontaneous. I can’t say everyone should read it, but if you’re interested in the subject and not at risk, I do recommend.

I may add to this review in the next few days, as I continue to think about it; I’m trying to review #NetGalley books promptly so that I don’t forget to review.

As much as I appreciated reading this, I agree with GoodReads reviewer Kristi Lamont that this book would benefit from more careful editing and a shorter length.
  LizzK | Dec 8, 2023 |
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"From the acclaimed author of How to Sell-and based on his viral Huffington Post article-comes a deeply intimate, insightful, and at times even funny portrait of the suicidal mind, combining the author's personal experience with a philosophical, literary, and journalistic inquiry into the subject "If you're going to write a book about suicide, you have to be willing to say the true things, the scary things, the humiliating things. Because everybody who is being honest with themselves knows at least a little bit about the subject. If you lie or if you fudge, the reader will know." The last time Clancy Martin tried to kill himself was in his basement with a dog leash. It was one of over ten attempts throughout the course of his life. But he didn't die, and like many who consider taking their own lives, he hid the attempt from his wife, family, coworkers, and students, slipping back into his daily life with a hoarse voice, a raw neck, and series of vague explanations. In How Not to Kill Yourself, Martin chronicles his multiple suicide attempts in an intimate depiction of the mindset of someone obsessed with self-destruction. He argues that, for the vast majority of suicides, an attempt does not just come out of the blue, nor is it merely a violent reaction to a particular crisis or failure, but is the culmination of a host of long-standing issues. He also looks at the thinking of a number of great writers who have attempted suicide and detailed their experiences (such as David Foster Wallace, Yiyun Li, Akutagawa, Nelly Arcan, and others), at what the history of philosophy has to say both for and against suicide, and at the experiences of people who have reached out to him across the years. The result is a work that powerfully gives voice to what to many has long been incomprehensible, while showing those presently struggling with suicidal thoughts that they are not alone, and that the desire to kill oneself-like other self-destructive desires-is almost always temporary and avoidable"--

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