Book Review for TRAGEDY + TIME by Adam Cayton-Holland
TRAGEDY PLUS TIME: A Tragi-comic Memoir by Adam Cayton-Holland
☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A candid, affecting, and impeccably written memoir.
TRAGEDY PLUS TIME is not the typical memoir you would expect form a comedian or at least not one I would anticipate. His story, though beautifully written, brought me to tears at times. The reality of death, depression, and finding a place in this world fill the pages of this book.
What was go impactful about his story was the way Cayton-Holland walks the line of sadness and humor. There were moments when I was reading when I could see how something funny can also be tragic. Every interaction, thought, and reflection in this book is dealt with such an honest and reverential way.
In reality, I believe this book is a testament to how much the author loved his sister. Confronting and revisiting death in this manner is not easy and would not be something everyone is comfortable with. Putting one's life and all the good as well as the bad out there for people to consume is nothing short of brave.
Cayton-Holland's words are honest and heartfelt. He wrote a book which makes you cherish the ones you love and honor the ones you have lost.
Rest in piece, little doodle.
Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Meet the Magnificent Cayton-Hollands, a trio of brilliant, acerbic teenagers from Denver, Colorado, who were going to change the world. Anna, Adam, and Lydia were taught by their father, a civil rights lawyer, and mother, an investigative journalist, to recognize injustice and have their hearts open to the universe—the good, the bad, the heartbreaking (and, inadvertently, the anxiety-inducing and the obsessive-compulsive disorder-fueling).
Adam chose to meet life’s tough breaks and cruel realities with stand-up comedy; his older sister, Anna, chose law; while their youngest sister, Lydia, struggled to find her place in the world. Beautiful and whip-smart, Lydia was witty, extremely sensitive, fiercely stubborn, and always somewhat haunted. She and Adam bonded over comedy from a young age, running skits in their basement and obsessing over episodes of The Simpsons.
When Adam sunk into a deep depression in college, it was Lydia who was able to reach him and pull him out. But years later as Adam’s career takes off, Lydia’s own depression overtakes her, and, though he tries, Adam can’t return the favor. When she takes her own life, the family is devastated, and Adam throws himself into his stand-up, drinking, and rage. He struggles with disturbing memories of Lydia’s death and turns to EMDR therapy to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder when he realizes there’s a difference between losing and losing it.
Adam Cayton-Holland is a tremendously talented writer and comedian, uniquely poised to take readers to the edges of comedy and tragedy, brilliance and madness. Tragedy Plus Time is a revelatory, darkly funny, and poignant tribute to a lost sibling that will have you reaching for the phone to call your brother or sister by the last page.
About the Author: Adam Cayton-Holland is a national touring comic who has appeared on Conan, @midnight, The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, Happy Endings, Deadbeat, Flophouse, Hidden America with Jonah Ray, and was named one of Esquire’s “25 Comics to Watch” and Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch.” Adam co-created, writes, and stars in truTV’s Those Who Can’t along with his fellow members of the comedy troupe, The Grawlix. His albums I Don’t Know If I Happy and Backyards are available on iTunes, and his writing has appeared in Village Voice, Spin, The A.V. Club, and The Atlantic. Adam has been described as “genial” and “with pretty decent teeth.” He is the author of Tragedy Plus Time.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (August 21, 2018)
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