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Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway

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On the daring road to happiness out of mental hospital, passing through the NYC drug scene and the London escort life, this low-life odyssey is an elegant picaresque romp through the slums of the human soul. Bizarre encounters with colourful characters make for tragi-comic strange tales of rockers, dreamers and comedians. Readers said: "It just got better and better". On the daring road to happiness out of mental hospital, passing through the NYC drug scene and the London escort life, this low-life odyssey is an elegant picaresque romp through the slums of the human soul. Bizarre encounters with colourful characters make for tragi-comic strange tales of rockers, dreamers and comedians. Readers said: "It just got better and better".


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On the daring road to happiness out of mental hospital, passing through the NYC drug scene and the London escort life, this low-life odyssey is an elegant picaresque romp through the slums of the human soul. Bizarre encounters with colourful characters make for tragi-comic strange tales of rockers, dreamers and comedians. Readers said: "It just got better and better". On the daring road to happiness out of mental hospital, passing through the NYC drug scene and the London escort life, this low-life odyssey is an elegant picaresque romp through the slums of the human soul. Bizarre encounters with colourful characters make for tragi-comic strange tales of rockers, dreamers and comedians. Readers said: "It just got better and better".

34 review for Cured Meat: Memoirs of a Psychiatric Runaway

  1. 4 out of 5

    Olga Miret

    'On the Road' to madness and back. Cured Meat: Memoirs of a pyschiatric runaway I am a psychiatrist and therefore you’ll understand I would be interested in a book with such a title.  I didn’t expect what I got, though. This is an extraordinary book. Extraordinary both, in the sense of not your normal type of book (whatever that might be) and also because it is one of a kind and exceptional. I’ve read some of the reviews comparing it to Sylvia Plath, Derek Jarman…I understand. This is a book that 'On the Road' to madness and back. Cured Meat: Memoirs of a pyschiatric runaway I am a psychiatrist and therefore you’ll understand I would be interested in a book with such a title.  I didn’t expect what I got, though. This is an extraordinary book. Extraordinary both, in the sense of not your normal type of book (whatever that might be) and also because it is one of a kind and exceptional. I’ve read some of the reviews comparing it to Sylvia Plath, Derek Jarman…I understand. This is a book that is told as a memoir, narrated in stream-of-consciousness, with poetic interludes and fragments that come slightly closer to a diary narrative, but vague, uninterested in places and times as such, and much more focused on sensations and feelings. The wandering nature of the narrative (we travel from Berlin, to London, New England, and back in and out again, and also travel inwards, into the inner bowels of the city, particularly London) reminded me of the Beat Generation, particularly On The Road. If Jack Kerouac’s book was so much more than a travel book, this is also a memoir of not only a person, but a place, a time, and extreme experiences. The problems with mental health (or with the mental health services, although I’m not particularly familiar, other than what I’ve read and watched, with how they function in the US) of the protagonist, her difficulties with drugs, her fall into a bottomless pit of prostitution and drugs aren’t told as a news item or a call to action. Sometimes in the middle of the most abject experience or ugliness, there is such beauty in the language that it’s difficult to reconcile the content and the tone. But it is, after all, art. Lyrical, full of brilliant lines, breath-taking description, but also harrowing passages, it is not a book for everybody, and it is not an easy read (both from the point of view of the language and of the emotional impact). But it is a very rewarding one for those who dare. Here a brief example… So here I am sitting before the pyre of an awful past, a king in purple gown, a crown weighs me into my throne, with golden fork and golden knife, and on the table before me a high piled heap, the rusty pieces that on my battles with the sea, when I was wielding my powers —my  magic sword, yeah— those rusty pieces I saw along the side, never knew what they were, the arms of dead dolls, perhaps the tusks of a mammoth? This is not a book for everybody, but if you like  a challenging read, that will make you think and will transport to places and experiences outside your comfort-zone, I recommend it to you. Be brave!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Freund

    Yes, five stars, despite (or perhaps because of) the typos, occasionally tangled or meandering narrative, and seeming lack of editing. As it should be, considering. It's a sensory experience, beautifully descriptive and often poetic, not over-the-top, and most of all, raw. And when you're reading a memoir of a multi-lingual ivy-league graduate level classicist, mental hospital escapee's drug-induced prostitution binge in London, it's going to be raw. By drugs, I mean both prescription and street Yes, five stars, despite (or perhaps because of) the typos, occasionally tangled or meandering narrative, and seeming lack of editing. As it should be, considering. It's a sensory experience, beautifully descriptive and often poetic, not over-the-top, and most of all, raw. And when you're reading a memoir of a multi-lingual ivy-league graduate level classicist, mental hospital escapee's drug-induced prostitution binge in London, it's going to be raw. By drugs, I mean both prescription and street, which seems to be Trope's biggest influence throughout this extended period of her life. There's a song from Oklahoma, "I'm just a girl who can't say no," and I found myself singing it page by page, as I read of Trope's adventuresome spirit and resourcefulness, for instance her willingness to go meet a distant nearly-broke Liberace-esque piano collector she'd befriended on ebay. By the way, this small scene was so sweet and poignant and loaded with hope, it will stick with me a long time. She trusts herself.. her intuition and her ability to wrangle out of any number of difficulties. No matter how low she brings herself or allows others to bring her, she finds her own rise. 'Cured Meat' is a remarkable story of fortitude, really, which is what every good memoir I've ever read ultimately is. But one key difference, again, this is raw. It's like reading the freewriting exercise of one of my prior students, one whose life is more interesting to discover than any other student's ever has been or will be again. It's not salacious, though a reader looking for that sort of narrative would find plenty to enjoy. It's not intellectually vigorous, though again, if that's your thing, you'll get your fill. It's a privilege to read it -- even as I did so, sometimes, with one eye closed. I know those streets in London well enough, but I sure didn't know what goes on behind closed doors. Trope's generosity of spirit to put her story down and make it public is as remarkable as the story itself. And do I believe it? Yes. Do I want my kids reading this memoir? Maybe not immediately. That's the first thing this memoir delivers -- immediacy. I met Polly Trope at an indie writer's conference, introduced by another author who said minutes after meeting me that I needed to meet Polly. She definitely had style, (bright blue faux fur jacket in a room full of creative folks who otherwise seemed pretty darn conservative) and an ease of mannerism and conversation that was incredibly refreshing. She wasn't there to sell stuff or to strategically meet people. There was nothing over-eager about her. It seemed like she was there exploring. I knew nothing of her writing at that point, nor really of her background, but I was intrigued enough to look further and ended up later buying her memoir. I won't be surprised if some bigger publisher picks it up and polishes it up (necessary, no doubt for a broader market, but also, such a shame) and sells it on for film rights. Someone like Winona Ryder or Natalie Portman will have to work on their many languages for a good long while. But I do the memoir a terrible disservice even throwing actresses' names into the mix, because what this book does NOW is what every memoir aims to do and certainly every novel hopes to do, which is to strip away all the masks and trappings of what makes a person's life look a certain way to reveal what's truly going on if the person in the center really lets things happen. I'm glad Polly Trope wrote it, and I'm glad I read it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Josefine

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jack

  5. 5 out of 5

    Guido Colacci

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fran

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kid Charlemagne

  8. 5 out of 5

    Max Lewy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bz Limbu

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hank Kirton

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helene Eskerod

  12. 4 out of 5

    Honeybee013

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nush

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cambria

  15. 5 out of 5

    FabulousRaye

  16. 5 out of 5

    Twilightwatchers

  17. 4 out of 5

    PJ

  18. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Snyder

  19. 4 out of 5

    Phil Patterson

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tod Wodicka

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bart

  22. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  23. 5 out of 5

    Martin Appleby

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Monica Militaru

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kate Southey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Janelle

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lamiaanbergmai.Com

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kayley Silvester

  31. 5 out of 5

    Zhi Cong

  32. 4 out of 5

    Miss

  33. 4 out of 5

    Eva Collé

  34. 4 out of 5

    Evie Crompton

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