Fifteen-year-old Jason has fallen upon bad times: his mother has died and his father has succumbed to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s deteriorating condition. Both heartbreaking and funny, CRAZY lives up to the intense and compelling characters Han Nolan is praised for. As Jason himself teeters on the edge of insanity, Nolan uncovers the clever coping system he develops for himself and throws him a lifeline in the guise of friendship.

One thought on “Crazy

  1. T. Gail Pritchard says:

    Like Right Behind You by Gail Giles, the triggering incident in Crazy is the death of a parent, but this time with very different results. Jason’s mother is the glue that holds the family together. His father has long suffered from mental illness and in a delusional state, tried to bury Jason alive when he was six years old. The story begins nine years later as we are introduced to fifteen year old Jason whose mother passed away eight months earlier. He is beginning to unravel under the stress of taking care of his father, managing the household, and maintaining the secret of his father’s deteriorating mental state. Jason has an imaginary cast of characters who help him negotiate his way through the days, but their existence also makes him question his own sanity. Jason’s teachers refer him to the school psychologist, and there he meets other students who are struggling with their own secrets and pressures of school. As Jason desperately tries to control his secret, he loses sight of who he is–a teenage boy–rather than an adult caretaker. The teenagers in Jason’s group therapy develop a tenuous bond that grows strong as they lean on each other to develop their own family dynamic. When Jason completely loses any hope of control, they step in and help him, calling on the aid of their therapist. Jason ultimately ends up in a foster home, while his dad falls through the system and is left to fend for himself.

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