From the moment I opened Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, I was hooked. I came upon the book for professional reasons. I was developing a mental health curriculum for my first year English composition course at Sierra College in northern California. Crazy is very teachable, and without a doubt it is one of the most successful books I’ve used in my curricula. The mixture of field journalism and memoir is ideal, and Earley’s subjective perspective in no way diminishes the integrity of his field work. He creates suspense through his son Mike’s story and through the several case studies he develops after encountering mentally ill persons in Miami. My students agree with me that the book gets so sobering at times that it’s hard to keep going. It’s an easy read, though, and at its bleakest it begins to offer hope that propels the reader forward. Crazy is essential reading for those who seek to gain literacy about our society’s current mental health crisis.
This review also appears in Goodreads.