Monday, October 7, 2013

Book Review: Crazy About You by Randy Attwood

Title:  Crazy About You 
Author: Randy Attwood 
Publication: July 2011
Rating: 4/5
Amazon| Goodreads 
SYNOPSIS: Service brats grow up on military bases. Asylum brats grow up on the grounds of mental hospitals where their parents work. Both juveniles and adults will be riveted by the story of high school asylum brat Brad's week in 1964 that tests his sanity and grows him up faster than he ever wished.

The potential for bizarre at the Larned State Hospital is coalesced into one week of Brad's life. He thinks he's in love with the schizophrenic teen, Suzanne, who has to be tied up to keep from picking her palms until they bleed. Only Brad believes her story that she is trying to cleanse her palms of her father's semen. And only Brad believes he has the plan to save her when her father wants her released back into his care.

But it is the brutal murder of a townswoman and the missing status of her daughter, a nurse at the mental hospital that rivets the town's attention. Brad becomes a hero when he leads campus police to the hiding place of an AWOL patient/suspect, who believes he's John F. Kennedy. Brad knows he's not the culprit and gets further enmeshed in the mystery when, while working in the mental hospital's cafeteria's dish washing room finds a finger stuck in the mashed potatoes.

A group of employees who run a theft ring believe Brad is ratting on them so they take him to see Alex Krout, mass murderer and the most dangerous of the criminally insane, and threaten to throw Brad to the caged madman. And it's prom week at school. The desire for normalcy finds Brad with a dream date who's crazy about him.

The lit fuses hit the dynamite on prom night when a group of patients in the building for the criminally insane hold guards hostage and Alex Krout, squealing in his cell, waits for his chance to run amok.

 'A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?' Albert Einstein 

Crazy about you, set in 1964, is a coming age story that mixes fact with fiction to reveal one brilliant book. 

Brad, a teenage asylum brat, lives and works on the grounds of Larned State Hospital. His father, the asylum's dentist, is the reason why Brad's family is given housing on the grounds of the hospital growing up alongside the other children of asylum workers. These children are referred to as the asylum brats. 

While living on the grounds and working in the hospital cafeteria, Brad befriends a female patient, Suzanne, who he believes he is in love with. As a typical teenage boy with hormones though, he begins to date a fellow student, while still confessing his love for Suzanne and promising to help her battle her demons and save her from her father's molestation.

While dealing with his raging hormones, Brad also has to contend with his sanity, brutal staff workers, and death.

In the span of a week Brad has to do a lot of growing up and the events that happen that week forever remain with him and impact his life. 

Atwood, has written yet another original and fascinating book with well defined characters and a great story line. Thoughtfully written, Crazy About You is touching and funny, while also opening up your mind to the truth behind mental hospitals in the 60's and earlier. 

I highly recommend all of Atwood's work. There really is a story for everyone. 

Note: Right now Randy is running a special promotion where he is offering to buy you one of his short stories. You can find out more about this special promotion here:

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