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One phone call. That's all it took to change Stephanie Wittels Wachs's life forever.... Her younger brother Harris, a star in the comedy world known for his work on shows like Parks and Recreation, had died of a heroin overdose. How do you make sense of such a tragic end to a life of so much hilarious brilliance?
In beautiful, unsentimental, and surprisingly funny prose, Stephanie Wittels Wachs alternates between her brother's struggle with addiction, which she learned about three days before her wedding, and the first year after his death, in all its emotional devastation. This compelling portrait of a comedic genius and a profound exploration of the love between siblings is The Year of Magical Thinking for a new generation of listeners.
A heartbreaking but hopeful memoir of addiction, grief, and family, Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful will make you laugh, cry, and wonder if that possum on the fence is really your brother's spirit animal.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By A. S. on 03-31-18
Wow. This is the truest story I’ve read of the baffling heartbreak that is addiction robbing a close family of a genius...
This book was for me so goosebump-inducing in its raw truth that I had to consume it in fits-and-starts. And the format of the book is brilliant as well and really left me inspired and hopeful for the author’s future creative/professional endeavors.
I was a big fan of Harris’s and his graduating class of comics such as Joe Mande, etc. But also having my own personal experience with opiate addiction and recovery from, as well as being the brother/son of same, I hesitated to check this book out. I worried it would be too hard/too real. That it would stir up sorrow and guilt and sadness. And while there was some of that, this book should be required reading for any family member (the addict included) who is in the midst of the chaos of addiction. This book does a perfect job communicating the helplessness on both sides of a serious drug addiction. And it also does what few other books on this topic do, which is reveal how opiate addiction in particular has spread insidiously into ever strata and facet of US society. Never before have we had the number of highly educated/seemingly-successful members of society with bright futures who simultaneously fight an internal struggle that can be fatal.
I normally don’t write reviews, especially with the difficulty of typing on my listening device (phone). But this book left me wanting to write the author, which i imagine would only be a burden.
Stephanie, you wrote a masterpiece, and I want to thank you for the perspective this lent me.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By M. Aymond on 02-28-18
Stephanie Wittels Wachs has broken herself wide open and shared her would with those of us lucky enough to be exposed to her writing. I am in awe of her bravery and talent. My thanks to her for taking her tragedy and sharing it with the world. I feel forever changed by this book.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By LBlanco on 05-27-18
Lovely, honest and emotional.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to listen to this audiobook. It is a beautiful way to remember how beautiful life is in spite of misfortunes.
Smile in sadness is possible. Lighting the darkness is also possible but it takes faith, patience and strength. It is very important not to give up in the process and ask for help.
Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and emotions. It will help others who are grieving or struggling with addiction and their families.