Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Lobotomy


I just finished reading this disturbing memoir by Howard Dully. He was given a lobotomy at age 12, and this book chronicles his search to determine why he was given a lobotomy, and it details how this devastating procedure shaped his entire life.

I must say that I found the writing style to be rather clunky for the first 60 pages or so, and it took a while for me to adjust to it. But the story is shocking and I have never read anything like it.





I have always been fascinated by books about mental illness. If you share the same fascination, you might also like these books:

Angelhead: My Brother's Descent into Madness

The Bell Jar

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Sybil

When Rabbit Howls

29 comments:

Felicia said...

I almost read this!!! It's on my reading list, as I am also obsessed with books about mental illness. I just read Hurry Down Sunshine, which was a very interesting father's perspective on his daughter's bipolar disorder. I also read Look Me In the Eye, a memior by Augusten Burroughs' brother who has Asperger's.

Grammatically Delicious Designs said...

Loved Sybil, but was horrified by One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. I don't know why. I just was really, really upset about Jack Nickelson's character's ending. It still bothers me. The Boy Called It is a big favorite of my students. I would love to do a case study on that kid's mother. I mean, what causes that craziness. It is also best that I don't spend too much time reading or watching shows about any kind of illness, as I have a tendency to give myself anything I read about!!

Danielle

Char said...

multiple personalities always fascinate me for some reason but lobtomies and shock therapies always horrify me.

I still watch Sybil each time it comes on tv.

Diane said...

this sounds like a really good book. i'm fore sure gonna check it out. thanks for sharing it with us.

It's Just Me said...

Who gives a 12 yr old a lobotomy?

K.Line said...

Lord, what a concept. I totally need to learn more about this guy (and this case)...

ASSHOLE BOYFRIEND said...

Up until the 50's it was common for homosexuals in mental institutions to be lobotomized, given electro shock, and castration as a means of curing their homosexuality. Lobotomies of homosexuals in western Germany continued up until 1979. It's scary to think if I was born in a different time, I might have been victim to this.

Diane said...

I remember seeing this book a while ago in a used bookstore and forgot to write down the title. I'm glad you brought it up to remind me! It sounds like a super interesting read.

I also want to read Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison (Augusten Burroughs' brother).

Diane said...

Thanks for telling me about KXLU and Demolisten! I'll have to listen in from time to time now.

I'm not in Los Angeles but it's always cool to find out about college stations. When I do listen to the radio, it's either NPR or a local college station. I used to DJ for the UC Davis station (KDVS) during my first year there in 2006. I've always had a special place in my heart for college radio and I'm hoping to DJ at a school here soon!

Big Red said...

Think I am going to have to check that out. Been looking for a new and interesting read, other than comments left on my posts on my blog. hahaha

one little simitopian said...

Jeezuss. It sounds pretty horriffic! I'm, pretty shocked that there could possibly be any reason on earth to give a child a lobotomy.
ASSHOLE BOYFRIEND- I didn't know they used to do that.And up until 1979?!!!! Fucking hell. Human beings are sick.

Hmmmm...I do have a morbid fascination with things shocking....even though they often make me depressed.I can't believe some of the atrocious things human beings can do to each other. *shudder*

Girl Japan said...

My father was huge fan of One flies over the coo-coo nest, thank goodness nowadays we have our shrinks on speed dial.... I had no idea they were doing Laotomy still in the 70's-- I thought they learned by now?

I would love to read Sybil-- having two wonderful parents I was still sexually abused as a child which lead to some not-so-great decisions I made in my young early 20's, each persons survival story is so unique and different, I don't read the much-- only because my book list as of recent has only been manuals.. how sad is that..

Diana said...

I had no idea this was written. I know of disturbing stories in court cases from law students doing research and i this vaguely came up once. i think he sued, or something, right?

books like this are devastating, but i have to admit, i sort of related to sylvia plath.

thereddeer said...

Wow - at the age of 12, that is incredibly sad.

insomniaclolita said...

Lobotomy on a 12 years old? That's incredibly sad :( I should read the book :(

Eeli said...

You! Call me a forest fairy? haha I think I like you even more because of that now lol.

THAT is a seriously saddening thought. For a young boy to be subjected to such pain from that procedure, both the physical and mental aspects is just aweful. After this I will read a description of that book.

diane said...

Well of course the writing style was a little clunky, the guy had a lobotomy. I'm surprised he could write at all.
I loved reading OFOTCN, so much better than the movie.
Could never read Sybil or watch the movie, knowing what her mother did to her was too much for me to deal with.

Gem said...

woah, this sounds fascinating! MUST... FIND...

Staci said...

i feel sick just hearing about it. I have a VERY soft spot in my heart for children....anything having to do with them being abused or wrongfully treated i get overwhelmed. I know my limits....and there is no way i could read it. But im glad you were able too!! hope you have a great week!!

tanya said...

I'm going to check this out...I've been itching for an interesting read, and this might just be it!

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Holy crap, no way. I am officially ordering this right away.

Thanks for the recommendation.

Kellie said...

Everytime I walk into a bookstore I eye that book and get so close to buying it but for some reason I haven't yet. This may just be the post to make me take that step and get it finally!

Zoƫ said...

cool! i've read 2 of the books u mentioned (one flew over the cuckoo's nest and when rabbits howls)
and now i'm thinking to add lobotomy to my heading list, thanks :)

gangsta bride said...

I totally just read that! I know what you mean about the clunkiness. His step mom is such a bitch. And for some reason, I've read most of the books on your list. Maybe I have kind of an insane person fascination, or a problem with authority or something... weird.

Kitten said...

I saw this book at Borders last weekend. I almost bought it. Almost. I'm not sure if I can handle material that heavy right now. As a person who has mental illness in her family, it hit too close to home.

Dan W Johnson said...

Check out "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden" by Joanne Greenburg...

b is for brown said...

this is on my "to read list" and now i have got to get it.

jorg wobblington lopez said...

One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest is my favorite novel.

carina said...

i definitely share the same literary fascination. i've read all, but 'Angelhead', which i'll be looking for stat.