Strange Places, by Will Elliott

I’ve been to places that no one else on this planet will ever go. Me, I’ve lived for a short time as a werewolf. As a vampire. As a revolutionary. As a psychic. As a magician. As someone who cannot be hurt by physical force. As someone who can speak to the dead…I have lived as Jesus Christ. I have been he who knows all. You see, all this is true, because, for a while, it was all real.

Will Elliott is a young writer with a big future, having won five literary awards for his debut novel, The Pilo Family Circus . Yet Elliott’s road to publication was even more difficult than that for other debut writers – because at the same time as he developed his writing skills, he was also waging a war with mental illness. In Strange Places Elliott bares all, sharing his very personal tale of struggle with drug dependency, paranoia and psychotic episodes which lead to him ultimately being diagnosed as schizophrenic.

Strange Places is not a light read – the reader is taken inside the author’s mind and life in intimate detail, experiencing his struggles and lows with him – but Elliott’s honesty, humour and chatty first person style make the tale both absorbing and accessible. He does not make excuses for the wrong choices he has made, nor seek either pity or absolution – he simply tells what happened and how it affected him, his family and friends – and where it has left him.

An honest, very readable, book.

Strange Places: A Memoir of Mental Illness

Strange Places: A Memoir of Mental Illness, by Will Elliott
ABC Books, 2009

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