Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends
"As an atheist in southern Virginia... I do not believe in gods above and devils below, [but] I do honor the instinct inside that tells you the right thing to do. That's why I decided to buy a house and move in my ill, unhinged mother." Dan Mathews, a senior v-p at PETA and the unattached "happy-go-lucky homosexual" in his family, felt it his duty to take in his 78-year-old mother, Perry. The "deviant son was stuck with the crazy mother," like Norman Bates in Psycho, and Perry's final years would test their limits and cement their bond.
Perry had always been different. Her children previously chalked up her paranoid or delusional conduct to the tormented childhood she rarely talked about. Living together, Mathews senses things are seriously amiss. Their hilarious but often fraught-with-danger existence shatters when Perry seems to break, and Mathews frantically tries to get her help in a system not known for its user-friendliness or navigational ease.
In Like Crazy, Mathews (Committed) memorializes his mother's life with the bawdy and raucous tale of their relationship and the merry band of misfits they attract. Side-splitting laughter turns deadly serious as things take a horrific turn, but Mathews is a force to be reckoned with and the final descent is endearingly lovely. Mathews is so funny (lamenting he can't set his mother adrift on an ice floe, "another tradition ruined by global warming") it's easy to overlook his storytelling talents until things get gritty and humor is stripped away. Like Crazy is an utter gem. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review