Sharp by David Fitzpatrick

Sharp by David Fitzpatrick
Publisher: William Morrow/Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 2012
Categories: Personal Memoir, Self Harm
Source: William Morrow/Harper Collins

Sharp is the story of a young man who began his life with a loving family and great promise for the future. But in his early twenties, David Fitzpatrick became so consumed by mental illness it sent him into a frenzy of cutting himself with razor blades. In this shocking and often moving book, he vividly describes the rush this act gave him, the fleeting euphoric high that seemed to fill the spaces in the rest of his life. It started a difficult battle from which he would later emerge triumphant and spiritually renewed.

Fitzpatrick’s youth seemed ideal. He was athletic, handsome, and intelligent. However, he lived in fear of an older brother who taunted and belittled him; and in college, his roommates teased and humiliated him, further damaging what sense of self-esteem he still carried with him. As he shares these experiences, Fitzpatrick also recounts the lessons learned from the broken people he encountered during his journey—knowledge that led to his own emotional resurrection.

My Thoughts:
 Sharp is far from an easy breezy read. It is full of self-harm and self-hate with an unhealthy dose of self-pity thrown into the mix. David Fitzpatrick gives us a horrifying account of his spiral into mental illness and cutting that took over his life for more than 15 years. 

Even though David’s story was heartbreaking I had too many issues with the book to fully enjoy it. I didn’t sense a lot of honest story telling. The dialogue rang false. His brother seemed like the mildest sort of bully. His college roommates sounded like assholes but not dangerous ones. After over 15 years of being in and out (mostly in) of group homes and hospitals David is almost miraculously cured? I didn’t buy it. 

As with every book I read, I wanted to like this. I wanted to feel empathy for the author. I wanted to come away from this with a better understanding of mental illness. Those things didn’t happen. 

5 thoughts on “Sharp by David Fitzpatrick

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