Crazy Enough: A Memoir

( 19 )

Overview

Yes, Storm Large is her real name, though she’s been called many things. As a performer, the majority of descriptions have led with “Amazon,” “powerhouse,” “a six-foot Vargas pinup come to life.” Playboy called her a “punk goddess.” You’d never know she used to be called “Little S”—the mini-me to her beautiful and troubled mother, Suzi.

Little S spent most of her childhood visiting her mother in mental institutions and psych wards. Suzi’s diagnosis changed with almost every ...

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Crazy Enough: A Memoir

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Overview

Yes, Storm Large is her real name, though she’s been called many things. As a performer, the majority of descriptions have led with “Amazon,” “powerhouse,” “a six-foot Vargas pinup come to life.” Playboy called her a “punk goddess.” You’d never know she used to be called “Little S”—the mini-me to her beautiful and troubled mother, Suzi.

Little S spent most of her childhood visiting her mother in mental institutions and psych wards. Suzi’s diagnosis changed with almost every doctor’s visit, ranging from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder to multiple personality disorder to depression. One day, nine-year-old Little S jokingly asked one of her mother’s doctors, “I’m not going to be crazy like that, right?” To which he replied, “Well, yes. It’s hereditary. You absolutely will end up like your mother. But not until your twenties.”

Storm’s story of growing up with a mental time bomb hanging over her veers from frightening to inspiring, sometimes all in one sentence. But her strength, charisma, and raw musical talent gave her the will to overcome it all. Crazy Enough is a love song to the twisted, flawed parts in all of us.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With a name like Storm Large, a larger-than-life destiny seemed natural for the rock singer and winning contestant on the TV reality show Rock Star: Supernova. Yet growing up in the ’70s in Southborough, Mass., where her father was a teacher and coach at Mt. Mark’s prep school, Large was plagued by her mother’s mental illness, as she recounts in this frank, funny, and caustically un-self-pitying memoir. Her mother’s manic depression and undiagnosed personality disorder required frequent hospitalizations, wreaking havoc on the whole family, and for love, Large found sex (“hypersexuality”) a suitable replacement, at a very young age, as well as drug abuse. An inconsistent student who excelled at such sports as crew in order to please her sports-fan dad, Large nonetheless failed at everything except singing, eventually graduating from New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, convinced she couldn’t act. Gravitating toward San Francisco, heroin, and rock groups, she found some success with the band Dirty Mouth in the 1990s, then in Portland with the Balls. Yet the gritty druggie anecdotes and one-night stands aside, her memoir boils down to the tension inherent in her relationship with her mother, who used her sickness as emotional manipulation. In her gutsy, shrill way, Large exhibits an engaging insouciance in delving into very real, scary, emotionally weighty issues. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"In Crazy Enough, Large tells if not all then a whole lot about her loves, her heroin addiction, her eating disorder, and in her voice, it sounds like crazy fun... Crazy Enough is a good time of a survivor's story, full of funny stories and candid talk from a sex thug who really is, deep inside, a little girl waiting for her mother. " —The Oregonian

"A most moving and entertaining memoir...The story is edgy, gritty, and fearless, and leaves little to the imagination as large presents a no-holds barred journey through her formative years and into adulthood." —The Portland Observer

"A helluva compelling story" —Elle magazine

"Heartbreaking, hilarious and affecting...Crazy Enough is a starkly honest memoir, a tale of sexual triggering, drug dabbling, and trying to fit in and rebel at the same time." —Willamette Week

Kirkus Reviews
Indie singer and reality-TV star Large unloads stories about her volatile life. Best recognized as a contender on Rock Star: Supernova, Large has the heart of a true exhibitionist. She wrote and starred in a short-lived one-woman show off-Broadway, but this project marks her first literary foray, and her memoir pulls no punches. The book opens with the author's girlhood revelation about her hypersexuality, and goes on to describe her emotional, messy relationship with her mentally ill mother. Now in her early 40s, Large writes with brutal honesty about visiting her mother in mental hospitals, as well as being told by doctors that she would grow up to be just like her. That prediction had an enormous effect on her psyche, and she came out swinging against every part of herself she identified as being similar to her mother. Defensive to the point of violence, she was picked on at school, and she perpetuated mean gossip by acting out in ways that included profligate drug use and having sex with strangers from a very early age. "When I was high I felt like a rock star," Large writes--although after she began to develop her singing talent, it became acting like a rock star that led her to feel like one. She eventually fled New York and now lives in Portland, and she regularly tours with full-time musicians. The author's prose is casual and vernacular, rife with descriptions that are not for the faint of heart. Though not necessarily likable, she comes across as authentic and unapologetic. A no-holds-barred coming-of-age story replete with mental illness, drugs and sex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439192412
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 11/13/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 286,122
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Storm Large is a singer-songwriter best known as a contestant on the reality television show Rock Star: Supernova. Her acclaimed one-woman show, Crazy Enough, has appeared in the UK and Australia and is heading to off-Broadway in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

People think I’m nuts. They think that I am a killer, a badass, and a dangerous woman. They think that I am a boot-stomping, man-chomping rock ’n’ roll sex thug with heavy leather straps on my well-notched bedposts and a line around the block of challengers vying for a ride between my crushing thighs, many of whom won’t survive the encounter.

That’s what I like people to think, anyway. Some actually buy it. My manufactured mythology had begun on stage in San Francisco, and was full-on folklore here in Portland. My band, The Balls, had become a wild success over the past three years, and we packed a downtown club called Dante’s once a week, as well as clubs throughout the west coast from Seattle to San Diego. My sex thuggery is reserved for only one man, however. And though we fuck like we just got out of prison, home life is domestic. I help with the care and feeding of my boyfriend’s young son, cutting off crusts, giving back tickles. I even own an apron.

Despite my disenchanting normality, however, I get to sing for a living, drink free most places, and I get laid regularly. Life is good.

And now it’s Christmas time, so I’m all extra everything with good cheer. December in Portland can be a dreary spectacle. Right around Halloween, a big chilly sog plops its fat ass over the Pacific Northwest and stays parked there until Independence Day. Even in the gray, spitting rain, however, I’m all atwinkle, heading to Hawthorne Boulevard to skip through herds of wet hippies to Christmas shop. And even though I find those pube farmers highly irritating, I am humming “In Excelsis Deo” and in love with the world, so fuck ’em.

Hawthorne is a main thoroughfare in southeast Portland where, on one block, you can buy a latte, Indonesian end tables, pants for your cat, a vinyl corset, or a two-hundred-dollar T-shirt. It’s a great place to find perfect gifts for the loved ones in your life, and I am going to buy the greatest Christmas gift ever.

“The Greatest Gift of All”: I hear my little fourth-grade voice trilling in my memory bank. It was in a school Christmas play and was the first solo I ever took on stage. It was also one of the few times my mom saw me sing in front of a real audience.

“The greatest giiift of aaall . . . it can come from aaany wheeere!” I sang the heck out of it, if memory serves.

My mom had started beading and was taking it very seriously. She was selling pieces on eBay—seriously—so I’m headed to a store called Beads Forever to get her some killer imported beads, maybe some semiprecious stones. I have a vision of getting her a badass assortment and putting them in a cool, funky box. It’s the first Christmas gift I will buy for her in maybe ten years, and it will be perfect.

“Per-fect!” I sing in a fake opera voice.

I see the store ahead through my swishing windshield wipers and, “Fuckyouuu!!” I sing in triumph, to no one, as there is a perfect parking space directly in front of the store. “ Rock-star fucking parking!” I pull up, swoosh my wet car into the spot, throw it into park and my phone rings. The little lit-up window reads “BDLarge.”

“Dad? Hey, Dad.”

“Hi, sweetie.” His voice sounds heavy.

“What’s wrong?”

He sighed. Someone must’ve died. My grandmother. Neeny. God, at Christmas we lose Neeny Cat?

“Dad?”

“Your mom died last night.”

What?

“Who?” His mom. Neeny. Ninety-four, lost her mind when her husband of sixty-odd years passed.

“Your ma.”

“Who?” More sighing. Why the fuck is he sighing so much? Should I get out of the car?

“Your ma. Your mom died last night. They don’t know what happened yet sweetie, but . . .”

I’m literally looking into the store where I’m going to get her Christmas gift. Should I still? My hand is on the door, my car is parked . . . rock-star parking and the best gift ever. No. I say no to this. My dad says something about having to call my brothers and will I be okay? He’ll call me back right away. Love you. Bye.

Love you. Bye.

It’s dark and raining but people can still see into the car, and I must look crazy. I grab the steering wheel with both hands and suddenly I’m sobbing, screaming at the gauges. What the fuck to do? Where do I go, home? I can’t see. I can’t drive. I call my boyfriend at work.

“Hi. Can you come get me? My mom is dead and I’m on Hawthorne.”

She’s gone.

My first thought. She is gone. Not my first thought. No. Fucking no.

I’m thrashing around inside my body. What the fuck do I do?

What am I thinking? No. I peel my mind away like a child turning its face from a tablespoon of cough syrup. No. My first thought. My first?

Thank God. Thank God she’s gone.

“Thank God she’s gone.”

© 2012 Storm Large

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2012

    Cheated by Sample

    This was in the "Books We Think You'll Love" section. So I checked it out, and yes, the subject is the same as others I have purchased on my Nook. I take issue with the free sample. Don't know who decides how long the samples are but in this case the sample ended on the second page of chapter headings. It provides no sample of the actual writing. This is really irritating. There are many other samples that may be too short (also frustrating) but at least the reader has a few pages to go on. I'd like to buy this book, but I may not out of spite.

    4 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This memoir is vulgar, honest and heartbreaking. Storm Large pul

    This memoir is vulgar, honest and heartbreaking. Storm Large pulls no punches as she tells her tale of sex, drugs, rock & roll and mental illness.

    I didn't know anything about Storm Large before I started this book. I didn't watch her on the reality show Rock Star Supernova, I hadn't heard her music. That absolutely didn't matter. She puts it all out there in Crazy Enough, from her hyper-sexed childhood and drug addiction to finding her place in the world of music and performance.

    Growing up in the shadow of her mother's many illnesses (real and imagined) Miss Large lived a life that I can only describe as broken. The term "dysfunctional family" doesn't begin to cover it.

    In Crazy Enough Storm Large tells her truth in a raw and candid way.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2012

    Book reads like the rollercoaster of her life!

    I couldn't put this book down - though I'm glad I couldn't read it in one sitting because it would have left my head spinning. Her story is heartbreaking at times and doesn't wrap up like a fairy tale - which makes it all the more powerful. Must admit, I had never heard of her before I read this book, but she is very talented - and she's really tall! I could have used a little less emphasis on crazy sex, but it's her memoir, not mine.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2012

    Fast-moving and entertaining read.

    I enjoyed this book very much. Sometimes the emphasis on drug use got a little too heavy for me, but the story as a whole moves forward at an exciting pace and is well worth the journey.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Loved it

    If you've ever known anyone who suffers from depression or being bipolar, this book will give you insight into their battle. Her candidness is very refreshing. I recommend this book to everyone who wants to walk on the wildside and make it back safely.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    10 Stars

    This book was amazing!!! I could not put it down! I laughed and cried. Storm Large is amazing!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Courageous book by an outrageous woman

    This memoir, written evidently by a medium-level rock star and narrative stage performer, is most enjoyable for its images and metaphors. She just rocks the language. Much profanity, if that bothers anyone. I thought it was appropriate to her anger and her situation. Her mother was, I would speculate, a borderline personality misdiagnosed by a number of psychiatrists as suffering from bipolar or multiple-personality disorder and treated with the wrong pharmaceuticals. Like most borderlines, her mother created constant strife that made everyone pay attention to her. Telling the story of her mother and how she affected everyone in the family, from husband to two sons to the author, is a courageous act that she seems to have to rip from her guts every performance. The book also is really funny, which is a great counterpoint to the mother issue. Both a great read and a psychological study.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2012

    This seem like its going to be a good read!

    This seem like its going to be a good read!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2012

    Not a fan of this book

    There was something about this book I really disliked. A waste of money in my opinion but others seem to love the book. I love a good memoir unfortunately for me this was not a good memoir.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    I loved this!

    Im about to off into the world on my own in a month and am terrified. Storm and her life story really affected me and reassures that I will be ok. It made appreciate my mom and her struggles even more. This book is just all around amazing. It was shocking, heart wrenching, inspirational, and hilarious. I would defintely recomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    To ty

    I do go to reslt 13

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012

    Not sure what to say....

    It was a great biography as a biography should go. It's not a read for the prudish. I would like to have read more about how she developed as a musician and more of the Rockstar Super Nova experience as opposed to the sexual issues. The story of her mother was one of great sadness. I did like the end meaning of her story, though, that you are never defined in life by anyone other than who you were born to be.....

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    Posted January 13, 2013

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    Posted May 28, 2014

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    Posted February 7, 2012

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    Posted May 16, 2012

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    Posted January 6, 2012

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    Posted March 16, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

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