Unbecoming Travolta: A Memoir of Mania and Multiple Personalities

Unbecoming Travolta: A Memoir of Mania and Multiple Personalities

4.5 146
by Rikki Lee Travolta
     
 

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Imagine waking up one day and being told that everything you believe to be true is a lie - your name, your family, your world. Known throughout the world as John Travolta's talented nephew, in 2008 Rikki Lee Travolta suffered a nervous breakdown. While hospitalized he learned that he wasn't a member of the famous Travolta entertainment family, but was rather a broken

Overview

Imagine waking up one day and being told that everything you believe to be true is a lie - your name, your family, your world. Known throughout the world as John Travolta's talented nephew, in 2008 Rikki Lee Travolta suffered a nervous breakdown. While hospitalized he learned that he wasn't a member of the famous Travolta entertainment family, but was rather a broken man who through years of psychological and physical trauma had developed alternate personalities - one of them being "Rikki Lee Travolta." Unbecoming Travolta bravely chronicles Rikki Lee Travolta’s heartbreaking battle with Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder), Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression), Borderline Personality Disorder, Paranoid Schizophrenia, and severe Anxiety.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781300733584
Publisher:
Lulu.com
Publication date:
03/10/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
652,429
File size:
596 KB

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Unbecoming Travolta: A Memoir of Mania and Multiple Personalities 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 146 reviews.
DonWilke More than 1 year ago
Waking up in the hospital after a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt must be awful. You hated life so much you wanted to die. Then you find out you failed and you are still alive. That's a tough pill to swallow. Now add into it that you are told you aren't who you think you are. You're told your whole life is a lie. That's the world that Rikki Lee Travolta paints in this sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and always entertaining memoir. The abandonment by his father is heartbreaking and probably a chief cause of his identity crisis that eventually manifested itself as multiple personality disorder. The failed relationships are also heartbreaking in terms of how he handled them. Obviously this is a man who has suffered major emotional traumas and to his credit he is very open and honest about what he's been able to piece together of his broken life. You may not come away in love with Rikki Lee Travolta but you do come away rooting for him as he struggles to rebuild his life.
David_Bremmerton More than 1 year ago
I love memoirs and this one is very well written. It is a sad story dealing with emotional abuse, sexual molestation, and parental abandonment and the ultimate cost of those things to the mind of a young man. Highly recommended.
ErinGrayEG1 More than 1 year ago
The reviewer who said this is the best book of the year might be exaggerating a bit. That said, Unbecoming Travolta is indeed a fascinating book. Rikki Lee Travolta writes with a conversational ease, somewhat like sitting next to a guy at a bar and having him spill his life story to you. And what a story it is. I won't give away the details, but Unbecoming Travolta surely paints a detailed picture of a well-traveled life distorted by the unknown of mental illness. At times I wanted to crawl inside Travolta's world and help him. His quest to find the truth is admirable. The unknowns are frustrating for Travolta and thus for the reader as well. All in all, it is a well written and very intriguing book. I would be interested in finding out more about the unknowns as Travolta continues on his path to recovery. I hope there is a follow up book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing story...told with honesty, intelligence and craziness! A rare chance to look mental illness in the eye through a tale that's at the same time heartbreaking and inspiring...funny and laced with wit yet also dismal and depressing...strap yourself in and take a ride through Rikki's mind-you won't be disappointed. How incredibly brave to share this story.
GlenThorsen More than 1 year ago
Unbecoming Travolta is a stellar book. It provides a detailed look inside the mind of the mentally ill set against the backdrop of failed Hollywood dreams. It is a sad story and a fairly quick read. I found it very hard to put down, especially the details about therapists and doctors. It is written with an inherent honesty about the struggles to understand the difference between mental illness fantasy and a reality that doesn’t feel real. Five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Rikki Lee Travolta book Unbecoming Travolta: a memoir of mania and multiple personalities is all that it is billed. The story is a wild one, but served up in an honest (yet crazy) narrative. What I liked most about the book is that the author writes in a way that makes bipolar make sense. Sometimes the author writes in a depressive tone. Sometimes the author writes in pure mania. At all times he defines what role he is in at the moment. In the story about Days of Our Lives, Rikki Lee Travolta describes a totally manic frame of mind, then turns around and admits it. He can’t help from being depressed or being manic, but he makes it work in the narrative. The stories of the different personalities are very well done and tug at the heartstrings. I found it very interesting how people in his life couldn’t keep up with the personality shifts, leaving the author hung out to dry at times. I would love to see this as a stage play in the tradition of Six Degrees of Separation, although I think this could be a better story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Picked up this little gem without really knowning who Rikki Lee Travolta was. What an eye opening book about a very troubled young man, who finally learned the truth about who he is and saw his world come crumbling down around him. I give Rikki Lee Travolta applause for facing an unattractive reality in the face and comitting himself to rebuilding his life the right way. The way he has risen from the ashes and now shares his unconventional story with the world is worth cheering for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fascinating book about one man's struggle with mental illness. The author takes us on a trip down memory lane as he recounts a troubled childhood that includes sexual molestation by a stranger and also being disowned by his father. The results are catastrophic as the author falls deeper and deeper into mental illness. The author credits his mental illness to equal parts genetics and trauma. It is a truly fascinating adventure wherein the author takes us from his troubled youth to an even more troubled young adulthood and finally to an adulthood by which time he is fully gone into a fantasy world. The story is heartbreaking and the writing is addictive. I finished this book in three days. I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unbecoming Travolta is a very well done book about mental illness the likes of which most of us will never otherwise be exposed to. What I liked most is that every time the author sounds like he might be off his rocker he stops himself and says - well maybe that's just the mania talking. The writing is good, the subject matter is interesting, the storytelling voice is addictive...I really enjoyed this book. ALSO RECOMMENDED: Running with Scissors
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book about the struggles of one mentally ill man - the shock of finding out he's not who he thought he was, the battles with mental illness just trying to stay sane (sometimes succeeding but often failing), the work with doctors to try to find some balance of therapy and medication, the struggles to reinvent oneself, etc. The writer has a very easy going writing style that makes it interesting to read and hard to put down. Five stars.
WhisperGant More than 1 year ago
Rikki Travolta tells his story with great passion and insight. Rikki shares his tales of mental illness in skillfully worded accounts. It is an up and down battle with mental illness that is very sad. Thankfully Rikki inserts humor into the overall story to make it flow with ease. You come away with the feeling that Rikki is a fighter and he will conquer his demons in the long run. Unbecoming Travolta is truly an inspirational story of survival of mental illness.
Flymaster More than 1 year ago
Rikki Travolta's Unbecoming Travolta is an exceptionally well done memoir about the high profile life of someone with mental illness. Rikki takes us through a stormy childhood where his mental illness first started to show itself and into young adulthood where the illness multiply and completely consume his life. He, in effect, unknowingly began living a lie and only true love could break through the walls and cause him to discover who he really is. Much of the story is fascinating. Some of it is even funny. A lot of it is crazy. And, a lot of it is heartbreaking. You never stop rooting for Rikki, though...that somehow he'll end up with the life and love all people are meant to have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is by far Rikki Lee Travolta's best book so far. Unbecoming Travolta is equal parts Running With Scissors and Postcards From the Edge with a hint of Permanent Midnight thrown in. It is a story of a very bizarre childhood and the mental illness that results from it. A very good book.
DrDWebb More than 1 year ago
Unbecoming Travolta is one of the best books I have ever read dealing with mental illness. The author does a great job of showing us the inside of the mind of a mentally ill man. The story is compelling because it isn’t just about mental illness, but includes fantastic details on treatment – both those that work and those that don’t. The other thing that sets this book apart from other mental illness texts is that the author manages to find humor in his story. That makes the book read much smoother and helps it from getting too depressing, despite the fact that there are descriptions of many depressing things (sexual molestation, parental abandonment, etc…).
AuntMay More than 1 year ago
A great book about bipolar, schizophrenia, and multiple personality disorder. The writing is refreshingly conversational and surprisingly easy to follow as the author takes us through a lifetime of mental illness. The author injects just the right amount of humor so it is not overly depressing despite a lot of trauma and abandonment issues.
HopeLife More than 1 year ago
Rikki Lee Travolta does a superb job letting us into his troubled mind. We follow him from a traumatic childhood into an adulthood littered with mental illness. The surprising thing is that Rikki manages to keep the book from getting too dark. He shares stories from his life and career including many that are very funny. Actor, singer, dancer, and now author, Rikki Lee Travolta is surly a man of many talents.
VladamirR More than 1 year ago
Unbecoming Travolta is an enjoyable and fascinating book. Author Rikki Lee Travolta shares with us a journey into and back from mental illness. At times funny, at other times heartbreaking, the story is an interesting one. The writing is crisp and clear and easy to follow. The stories are memorable. The over all book is highly rated and recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book would make a great movie. There are similarities to Sybil and A Beautiful Mind, both excellent stories about mental illness. I couldn't put it down until I was done reading it. The pace moves fast. The characters are richly drawn and interesting. I recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very interesting looking into the mind of a mentally ill man. It raises interesting questions of what causes mental illness: genetics, childhood influences, physical traumas, emotional traumas, failed parenting, or some combination of all of the? It is an interesting story, too wild to not be true. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rikki Travolta is a bit of a narcissist, but surprisingly not all that unlikeable. This book is an interesting read. His traumatic childhood is very sad. His development of mental illnesses is well described and quite heartbreaking. What I liked best about the book is it put a human face on mental illness. At times the writing is totally manic. Other times it is very depressed. The bipolar element of Rikki’s illness is well documented. With his rampant mental illness it is surprising how much Rikki accomplished both as a performer and in the marketing/pr world. I was surprised that Rikki was able to find humor in his stories, and it made the book more interesting that way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A total thrill ride. This is one of the best accounts of mental illness I've read so far. The details are well done. The writing weaves along conversationally making it interesting and easy to follow. I give this memoir my highest recommendation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mental Illness for the masses! Unbecoming Travolta is this year's Running With Scissors.
coreyblissford More than 1 year ago
Rikki Lee Travotla is the Hollywood legend that never happened. He was a star of stage if not screen. But his membership in the Travolta family was a delusion. Suffering from major mental illness, Travolta became known as John Travolta’s nephew. While his talents were undeniable, his life was a mess of mental illness. This story, told in his own words, is phenomenal. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
LasVegasMia More than 1 year ago
I figured for less than two bucks, this book was worth a shot. I am so glad I gave it a shot. The writing is superb. Beneath the pain and anguish is brilliance. How the author manages to weave in humor and wit is astounding. All hail Jr. T. I give this book my highest praise.
TreSpitson More than 1 year ago
Unbecoming Travolta is a stunning memoir. It provides a firsthand look into the horrors of mental illness. Every page is filled with emotion. I couldn’t put it down. The abandonment by Rikki’s father is devastating to read about. The decline into mental illness over time is well written. Somehow, though, the author manages to keep the book from being sad all the time. He manages to give just the right injection of humor and craziness to keep the book moving.