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Call Me Crazy: A Memoir

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THE NATIONAL AND "NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLERAs an actress, she lives in the world of illusion made to seem real. As a survivor of abuse, she's learned how to live in her own skin -- and face the reality of a broken past on her own terms. Filled with unsparing candor and honesty, "Call Me Crazy" captures with poignancy and surprising humor Anne Heche's struggle to quiet her THE NATIONAL AND "NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLERAs an actress, she lives in the world of illusion made to seem real. As a survivor of abuse, she's learned how to live in her own skin -- and face the reality of a broken past on her own terms. Filled with unsparing candor and honesty, "Call Me Crazy" captures with poignancy and surprising humor Anne Heche's struggle to quiet her demons, both real and imagined. This galvanizing memoir reveals the woman behind the headlines, one who has conquered overwhelming odds and come to terms with her painful upbringing. Empowering and thought-provoking, warmhearted and wise, "Call Me Crazy" offers a crystalline snapshot of the heart and soul of a woman who has traveled a terrifying inner landscape in search of personal fulfillment -- and who has emerged happy, whole, and strong.


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THE NATIONAL AND "NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLERAs an actress, she lives in the world of illusion made to seem real. As a survivor of abuse, she's learned how to live in her own skin -- and face the reality of a broken past on her own terms. Filled with unsparing candor and honesty, "Call Me Crazy" captures with poignancy and surprising humor Anne Heche's struggle to quiet her THE NATIONAL AND "NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLERAs an actress, she lives in the world of illusion made to seem real. As a survivor of abuse, she's learned how to live in her own skin -- and face the reality of a broken past on her own terms. Filled with unsparing candor and honesty, "Call Me Crazy" captures with poignancy and surprising humor Anne Heche's struggle to quiet her demons, both real and imagined. This galvanizing memoir reveals the woman behind the headlines, one who has conquered overwhelming odds and come to terms with her painful upbringing. Empowering and thought-provoking, warmhearted and wise, "Call Me Crazy" offers a crystalline snapshot of the heart and soul of a woman who has traveled a terrifying inner landscape in search of personal fulfillment -- and who has emerged happy, whole, and strong.

30 review for Call Me Crazy: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    I have no idea who in our in person book club liked and then recommended this. It is really really bad.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I am a sucker for memoirs by actresses with troubled pasts. This book did not disappoint. It is written like a novel and is very addictive. Her life is stranger than fiction- a dad who lived a double life as a super Christian with his family and as a gay man in NYC who eventually died of AIDs, a brother who killed himself, relationships with Lindsey Buckingham, Steve Martin, AND ELLEN, and also her infamous mental breakdown when she wandered into a stranger's house and asked to take a shower be I am a sucker for memoirs by actresses with troubled pasts. This book did not disappoint. It is written like a novel and is very addictive. Her life is stranger than fiction- a dad who lived a double life as a super Christian with his family and as a gay man in NYC who eventually died of AIDs, a brother who killed himself, relationships with Lindsey Buckingham, Steve Martin, AND ELLEN, and also her infamous mental breakdown when she wandered into a stranger's house and asked to take a shower before her trip on a spaceship to Heaven. She writes with a sense of humor while also speaking out about her childhood of physical and sexual abuse.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Blow Pop

    Content warnings: abuse, childhood abuse, molestation, rape, childhood sexual assault, using religion to perpetuate abuse This book is completely NOT what I was expecting. I was initially interested and drawn into this book by the blurb on the back which is part of the book. Because it looked interesting. I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. Even though I was triggered by the mentions of the abuse especially in context of relationships it wasn't bad enough that I had to stop reading it. Content warnings: abuse, childhood abuse, molestation, rape, childhood sexual assault, using religion to perpetuate abuse This book is completely NOT what I was expecting. I was initially interested and drawn into this book by the blurb on the back which is part of the book. Because it looked interesting. I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into. Even though I was triggered by the mentions of the abuse especially in context of relationships it wasn't bad enough that I had to stop reading it. On the contrary it drove me more into the book. It was slow reading (I mean it took me 4 hours to read 200 pages so really slow reading for me) but it was good reading. Hard topics to read about. But presented really well. Unlike some other memoirs I've read it's not preachy. Especially about the therapy. She explicitly states "this is what works/ed for me and won't work for everyone" and I REALLY like that. Because she's acknowledging that not all therapy is the same and will automatically work for everyone. It's a relief to see that in a published book. It was a good read (and a short one) and I'd recommend it to others as long as they're in a good mental state to read it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This book kinda got to me... I was a little sick her repeating herself with "an abused child" this "abused child" that. And abused child does this or that, says this or acts like that... I could not get past that.. But the story was a good memoir on her life... She is a funny, "Crazy", insightful woman who has struggled, and survived so much I have to give her some credit... But I was a little unhappy with how short it was (240+ pages) and only like 6 pages to talk about her mental breakdown.... I This book kinda got to me... I was a little sick her repeating herself with "an abused child" this "abused child" that. And abused child does this or that, says this or acts like that... I could not get past that.. But the story was a good memoir on her life... She is a funny, "Crazy", insightful woman who has struggled, and survived so much I have to give her some credit... But I was a little unhappy with how short it was (240+ pages) and only like 6 pages to talk about her mental breakdown.... I was happy with it other then that.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nyree

    started out interesting then seemed like she just wanted to finish writing the darn thing. made it feel rushed and not quite developed as she moved from each story etc and so forth, the flow just wasn't there for the 2nd half. started out interesting then seemed like she just wanted to finish writing the darn thing. made it feel rushed and not quite developed as she moved from each story etc and so forth, the flow just wasn't there for the 2nd half.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    One star for writing/reality, five stars for camp value, so there you go: three.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alice Rachel

    Really interesting. So many issues raised in this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pam Sweigert

    Well before I read this memoir I basically thought wow that woman in looney tunes! After reading about all that she endured throughout her first three decades, I think it's amazing she didn't suffer a mental break sooner! This in an interesting look into what childhood abuse can do to you throughout your life, into your adult years, your relationships, your career choices and most importantly your self worth. Anne is excruciatingly honest about her experiences, her therapy choices (including a c Well before I read this memoir I basically thought wow that woman in looney tunes! After reading about all that she endured throughout her first three decades, I think it's amazing she didn't suffer a mental break sooner! This in an interesting look into what childhood abuse can do to you throughout your life, into your adult years, your relationships, your career choices and most importantly your self worth. Anne is excruciatingly honest about her experiences, her therapy choices (including a controversial LSD therapy), her relationship with her other siblings and with her mother, who, in my opinion, NEVER should have been a mother. She is forthright about her breakdown, what was happening during it and draws smart connections as to why she was willing to believe that God was speaking to her and that she was the second coming. I also found that this book did not fall into the same trap you see with a lot of memoirs of famous people where publishing companies somehow believe that because someone is famous, the can write. This is certainly not the case. However, Anne has written several plays and movies, taught how by Steve Martin no less, and had a competent editor (and possibly a co/ghost writer). The flow is easy, sprinkled sometimes by future happenings, but not to the point that it is distracting and mostly is kept in chronological order that builds up to her breakdown. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys autobiographies and anyone who has survived sexual or physical abuse and managed to come out the other side.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Esse

    Anyone who has been abused can really relate and gain from this book. Its inspiring to know that there is light at the end of a dark tunnel. Anne tells the story in a way that is not to disturbing but still has you understand what she went through. I like how she talks about what really happens in life. No sugar, no cream just the hard facts of life that is often to dark to want to understand. Thanks for keeping it real Anne.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    After reading this book I can see reasons why Anne may be a little crazy. I really do like her. To me Anne is a super strong person who I have to applaud for even writing this book. It was a crazy *life that she had.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I don't know why i am even admitting that i read this book... it wasn't very good at all! I don't know why i am even admitting that i read this book... it wasn't very good at all!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Yes, she is.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Kester

    I found this book at the library and read it on an impulse, not having much of an opinion on Anne Heche either way. The only thing I knew about her was she dated Steve Martin and Ellen Degeneres, went crazy and thought she was someone named Celestia and everybody pretty much hates her. The book deals mostly with her relationship with her father who she claims molested her and who ended up dying of AIDS. It's not very well-written and you're left with the feeling that Anne still has quite a few I found this book at the library and read it on an impulse, not having much of an opinion on Anne Heche either way. The only thing I knew about her was she dated Steve Martin and Ellen Degeneres, went crazy and thought she was someone named Celestia and everybody pretty much hates her. The book deals mostly with her relationship with her father who she claims molested her and who ended up dying of AIDS. It's not very well-written and you're left with the feeling that Anne still has quite a few things to work through and it's curious why she would publish a book at this point. I don't doubt that her father molested her and she has mental problems as a result, but there's no resolution to her problems. It's not a story of triumph. I guess it's good that she was able to survive everything, but I guess it seems that a crazy person who's still crazy writing a book about being crazy serves no purpose.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    I rarely read about actors/famous people but "Call Me Crazy" looked interesting. The story is about Heche's childhood of abuse by her father, which was ignored by her mother. In her adult life she continued to suffer from the effects of that childhood. At one point she was seriously crazy. She had a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, as most people know, but that also did not last due to the demons she had living in her head, as well as the public's refusal to accept gay relationships & DeGeneres' I rarely read about actors/famous people but "Call Me Crazy" looked interesting. The story is about Heche's childhood of abuse by her father, which was ignored by her mother. In her adult life she continued to suffer from the effects of that childhood. At one point she was seriously crazy. She had a relationship with Ellen DeGeneres, as most people know, but that also did not last due to the demons she had living in her head, as well as the public's refusal to accept gay relationships & DeGeneres' depression after her TV show was cancelled as a result of her "coming out". Today Heche says she's in a good relationship with a man named Coleman.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julene

    I never want to be the kind of person that reads someone else's memoir and judges them based upon it. Anne did a fantastic job of telling her story in a way that was heartfelt; serious but still cracking jokes about the abuse she experienced growing up. This read more like a lengthy letter to long-lost friend than a book, and the disconnect between her talking about her childhood and her attempts to cope with those experiences once she reached adulthood didn't jive as well for me as say, Linda L I never want to be the kind of person that reads someone else's memoir and judges them based upon it. Anne did a fantastic job of telling her story in a way that was heartfelt; serious but still cracking jokes about the abuse she experienced growing up. This read more like a lengthy letter to long-lost friend than a book, and the disconnect between her talking about her childhood and her attempts to cope with those experiences once she reached adulthood didn't jive as well for me as say, Linda Lovelace's memoir. I'd say it wasn't to my taste but it was still a good book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marcy

    Interesting read. I was a little young to be terribly into celebrity culture when this book came out, and when these events were going on in her life, but I actually do remember a few of these things being in the news. It was interesting to revisit some of it with a more mature eye and better understanding of the significance of events. Bits I liked: Sometimes life is so hard and we judge people rather than realizing that it's an accomplishment to simply get up in the morning. So … thumbs up! You Interesting read. I was a little young to be terribly into celebrity culture when this book came out, and when these events were going on in her life, but I actually do remember a few of these things being in the news. It was interesting to revisit some of it with a more mature eye and better understanding of the significance of events. Bits I liked: Sometimes life is so hard and we judge people rather than realizing that it's an accomplishment to simply get up in the morning. So … thumbs up! You're awake.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cathyannebaron Baron

    I am and was, before her meltdown, a fan of Anne Heche. Reading about the horrific things she went through as a child, it doesn't surprise me she went crazy. In her memoir, she revisits her entire life story and describes exactly what happened leading up to her incident in Fresno that everyone heard about on the news.... I read this book in 4 hours...couldn't put it down... I am and was, before her meltdown, a fan of Anne Heche. Reading about the horrific things she went through as a child, it doesn't surprise me she went crazy. In her memoir, she revisits her entire life story and describes exactly what happened leading up to her incident in Fresno that everyone heard about on the news.... I read this book in 4 hours...couldn't put it down...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Fox

    She is not the greatest writer and she has that frustrating tendency (that many of these types of books do) to dwell on the feelings around some events and simply recount others with no explanation, when those latter events are rather pivotal. But her journey of realizing how she had become who she was was compelling.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amkd69

    Although I nearly gave up on this after a few chapters I am glad I didn't. I thought it would be another misery memoir but it's not.She is surprisingly honest & frank especially about her breakdown & her relationship with Ellen De Generes which I thought she might gloss over. Although I nearly gave up on this after a few chapters I am glad I didn't. I thought it would be another misery memoir but it's not.She is surprisingly honest & frank especially about her breakdown & her relationship with Ellen De Generes which I thought she might gloss over.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sphinx Feathers

    Weird, weird, weird, but insightful as heck. Sometimes what she wrote could have come from a professional therapist and sometimes it just seems like the musings of someone just talking to get their thoughts out. It was definitely something I enjoyed but it was out there.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christine Noel

    another one i bought just because it was really cheap, but it ended up being one of the best memoirs i've ever read. tragic, heart-wrenching and affecting without being sentimental. another one i bought just because it was really cheap, but it ended up being one of the best memoirs i've ever read. tragic, heart-wrenching and affecting without being sentimental.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kayelea Robinson

    I got halfway through and couldn't finish. I didn't like the writing style and nothing she said made sense. Felt like I wasted my time. I got halfway through and couldn't finish. I didn't like the writing style and nothing she said made sense. Felt like I wasted my time.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Gallagher

    Very interesting story, not least of which for the salacious celebrity value of it. Anne Heche had been in a very public same-sex relationship and then had a notorious meltdown as the relationship came to an end in which she wound up at a stranger's home in Fresno, California, half-naked, high and asking to take a shower before her spaceship took her to a higher dimension. Nobody, then, knew the years of sexual abuse and shame that she had endured as a child. Heche lays it out very clearly in he Very interesting story, not least of which for the salacious celebrity value of it. Anne Heche had been in a very public same-sex relationship and then had a notorious meltdown as the relationship came to an end in which she wound up at a stranger's home in Fresno, California, half-naked, high and asking to take a shower before her spaceship took her to a higher dimension. Nobody, then, knew the years of sexual abuse and shame that she had endured as a child. Heche lays it out very clearly in her memoir. Her fundamentalist Christian parents who had little understanding of the world around them, her closeted gay father who molested her, her career first in soaps and then in film, meeting the relationships of her adult life: Lindsey Buckingham, Steve Martin and Ellen. There are some things that come across very clearly; that Heche was desperate for love after a lifetime of shame and abuse from those who brought her into this world and that she (perhaps unwittingly) became an opportunist in her pursuit for love and acceptance. What isn't so clear and needed much more elaboration, is the "Crazy" portion. One day Anne, prepping for a film role in New York, hears a voice. The voice tells her to go into a particular store, where she buys a specific leather-bound journal and suddenly retreats to her hotel where she fills the journal with a new language. She heals people, she believes that she is a divine being with the name Celestia. she's going to save the world. She lives a public life as an actress, in a very publicized relationship while also living a secret life as Celestia until, as her relationship is winding down, she has this unbelievable meltdown. And then, in the hospital immediately following the Fresno incident, she is told there is no spaceship and that she is not Celestia and she suddenly is cured. There needed to be several chapters at the end of the book to explain what had just happened. It makes sense how she went crazy. It even makes sense how she became sane. It doesn't make any sense at all how she would have reconciled that, and that would have been the most fascinating part of her story had she chosen to share it. Instead, we are left with the platitude that she fell in love with a man and love healed her. The same man that she would leave, a few years later, for a costar. Celebrity memoirs are a dime a dozen. Most celebrities do have some semblance of an interesting life and Anne Heche is no exception. This was a fascinating story, but I felt like it failed to deliver a proper ending. Clearly Celestia was not a divine being and therefore, Anne had to have been crazy. Clearly her background was prime breeding ground for mental health problems. But was she really healed of her crazy or is she just a good actress?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    Crazy? Maybe, maybe not. Good writer? Meh. I thought she kind of jumped through her life once she got to adulthood. It was interesting enough that I found myself not wanting to put it down but thought she could have explained things more. Basically, she laid out the facts of her life but didn't often tell WHY she made the decisions she did or what she felt at the time or thinks about it now, looking back. Like Ellen, for instance. She saw her and was immediately attracted to her. Anne says she h Crazy? Maybe, maybe not. Good writer? Meh. I thought she kind of jumped through her life once she got to adulthood. It was interesting enough that I found myself not wanting to put it down but thought she could have explained things more. Basically, she laid out the facts of her life but didn't often tell WHY she made the decisions she did or what she felt at the time or thinks about it now, looking back. Like Ellen, for instance. She saw her and was immediately attracted to her. Anne says she had never been with a woman before. But did she have any inkling whatsoever that she might be bi (and did she even consider herself bi at the time or did she think of herself as a full-fledged lesbian)? Even though she had never been with a woman before, had she been attracted to one? And in 30 or 40 years when she writes the next book, I'm sure Coley will be another person she was sure she was "IN LOVE WITH" at the time. But now that we are 9 years out from the writing of it and they are split, she has said some rather nasty things about him. I just have the feeling she falls for people waaaaaay too fast and was hoping that some of the therapy she had might have opened her eyes to that fact. I've read better, I've read worse. I'll go ahead and give it 3 stars since I can't give it 2.5.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I went into reading this book not really liking Anne Heche, and I came out of it not really liking her. I certainly pity her, and I hope this memoir can help other victims of abuse, but her writing style varies from good to annoying, and I am very curious, for example, how she can think she healed some girl's sprained ankle with her touch and yet still have come to the "sane" realization that she is not the Second Coming. I will no longer call her crazy when she admits that maybe it wasn't her h I went into reading this book not really liking Anne Heche, and I came out of it not really liking her. I certainly pity her, and I hope this memoir can help other victims of abuse, but her writing style varies from good to annoying, and I am very curious, for example, how she can think she healed some girl's sprained ankle with her touch and yet still have come to the "sane" realization that she is not the Second Coming. I will no longer call her crazy when she admits that maybe it wasn't her hands that healed the sprain-- that maybe the injury wasn't quite as bad as she remembers. Also, I get very dubious when people recount exact conversations, a lot of conversations-- in quotations, implying exact words-- in memoirs. Especially when those conversations are practically "Mamet speak." A perfect example of this is a conversation Heche had with her mother about heaven on pages 108-110 of the paperback edition, although that same style of dialogue appears throughout the book. I just have a very hard time believing that Heche remembers such conversations so exactly, and that she and the people she talks to speak in such perfect, carefully constructed, almost metered sentences. Considering this book was about truth, I have my doubts.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I am shocked I let myself finish this book on tape. I started this book liking Anne Heche, and ended this book still liking her but not liking this book at all. I feel horrible for what she went through as a child, horrible, I will stress that, but I think she is mentally insane and in no capacity to be writing a book and telling her family dirty laundry to the world. I felt sick to my stomach listening to her, I can't imagine how her siblings must have felt reading this stuff aired to the world I am shocked I let myself finish this book on tape. I started this book liking Anne Heche, and ended this book still liking her but not liking this book at all. I feel horrible for what she went through as a child, horrible, I will stress that, but I think she is mentally insane and in no capacity to be writing a book and telling her family dirty laundry to the world. I felt sick to my stomach listening to her, I can't imagine how her siblings must have felt reading this stuff aired to the world. I find it strange how she can remember every single word of conversations that happened between people. I wish her the best getting through her demons, I'll pray for her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    This was one of those books I actually listened to on audio. It was okay. Interesting, and yes, I would call her crazy. :) But it was good enough to keep my attention and make me think.... hmmm... maybe I don't want to be rich and famous after all. LOL!! Definitely, not a GREAT book, but certainly not one of the worst I've ever read / (heard). If I could I think I would give it 2-1/2 stars. Two is a little low, but I just couldn't give it 3 full stars. This was one of those books I actually listened to on audio. It was okay. Interesting, and yes, I would call her crazy. :) But it was good enough to keep my attention and make me think.... hmmm... maybe I don't want to be rich and famous after all. LOL!! Definitely, not a GREAT book, but certainly not one of the worst I've ever read / (heard). If I could I think I would give it 2-1/2 stars. Two is a little low, but I just couldn't give it 3 full stars.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Erinn

    Ehhh, this book was okay, I kinda felt like Anne was writing the book as a way to cash in for the fact that people know who she is because she dated Ellen... don't get me wrong, she seems totally crazy, but I don't think she would have ever written a book about her mental status if she hadn't been in the light with Ellen, because honestly, I don't think it would have sold. Ehhh, this book was okay, I kinda felt like Anne was writing the book as a way to cash in for the fact that people know who she is because she dated Ellen... don't get me wrong, she seems totally crazy, but I don't think she would have ever written a book about her mental status if she hadn't been in the light with Ellen, because honestly, I don't think it would have sold.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    This is the most surprising good read that I have found in a while. I just picked it up yesterday from the book trade shelf at work and tore through the first half. It's such a fascinating look into the life of an abused child looking back from an adult perspective. It slowed down a bit for me in the second half. This is the most surprising good read that I have found in a while. I just picked it up yesterday from the book trade shelf at work and tore through the first half. It's such a fascinating look into the life of an abused child looking back from an adult perspective. It slowed down a bit for me in the second half.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    This book is far and away one of the strangest things I have ever read. I don't know how true it could possibly be without several of the parties in it being institutionalized, but worth reading if you have a fairly strong constitution. This book is far and away one of the strangest things I have ever read. I don't know how true it could possibly be without several of the parties in it being institutionalized, but worth reading if you have a fairly strong constitution.

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