You *may* have heard of this guy. and you *may* have heard of a little book of his that is hitting bookstores very, very soon (in 26 days). and somehow I got lucky enough to score myself an advance review copy. or maybe I begged him to send me a copy. I’ll never tell. But regardless of how that book showed up, I got a chance to read it. and lately, I’ve read a lot of shit books (see: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult) and a lot of good books (see: I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak). and this? THIS is one of the good ones.
I read it in one sitting, which for a working mom with three kids is saying a lot (I can usually get in a good four-page run before someone interrupts me in the bathroom). I laughed. I cried (especially when he talked about Nellie Olsen. oh, that Nellie). I could NOT put it down. and Danny was more than eager to sit down for a little Q&A session. Or he caved just to get me to stop harassing him. I’ll never tell.
Ali: I have read the book, so obviously, I know it’s going to be a HUGE success…when they make the movie adaptation of Rage…who will play you?
DGM: This is a valid question, Al,Â because we all know how horny Hollywood is to make movies about depressed Jewish pottymouths who lose full working order of their junk because of anti-depressant meds. I’ve been told for the past decade or so that I look a lot like Bob Saget, but I have doubts about Bob’s ability to handle the sensitive parts of the script. I like that guy from The Office who was in Away We Go, but when push comes to shove I think we’d have to go with Denzel. Or Pee Wee Herman.
Ali: You know how people would do xxxxx for a Klondike bar? What would YOU do to get on Oprah’s book club? (or whatever book club is all the rage these days? I might be out of the loop…)
DGM: I would shave my body, douse myself in rubbing alcohol, light myself on fire, and run through Times Square screaming “STEADMANNNNNN!”
Short of that, I wrote a letter to Oprah
Ali: What (or who?) inspired and pushed you to actually sit down and write your story?
DGM: I’d wanted to write a book since my college days, and I always told myself I’d get to it when the time was right–but the time is NEVER right. When I was diagnosed with depression, I went looking in bookstores and online booksellers for a book that might be able to help me understand what the hell was happening to me. But all I could find were clinical textbooks and celebrity memoirs about post-partum depression; nothing by a guy about guys with the disease. The convergence of my desire to write a book and my desire to fill that void in the marketplace for other men is what led me to write RAGE.
Ali: What was the most difficult part of your story to tell?
DGM: The first was describing exactly how depression feels without it sounding too ridiculous or overdramatic. It’s hard to adequately articulate just how subhuman it feels to be unable to get out of bed some days. I’m a 6-foot-3 man who played basketball a couple of times a week and considered myself a pretty fit dude, and finding the words to describe the weakness and lethargy depression forced upon me was one of the toughest writing chores I’ve ever taken on.
The other difficulty came when I tried to explain the heroic role my wife played. I’m not certain I’d be back to normal (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) without her willingness to stand by me, even when doing so was miserable and thankless. I say in the book that my wife saved my life, and I will stand by that forever.
Ali: Anything you want to share with us that didn’t make it into the book?
DGM: There’s a sex scene in the book, so I think I’ve embarrassed myself enough.
Ali: What do you hope readers will take away from this?
DGM: I think it’s time we (meaning men) stop hiding behind machismo and start talking about emotion. We’re not the robots we think we are. As my wife once said, “There’s no glory in sufferring.” Men know when something’s not right, and so do the women in their lives, so its time to stop being intimidated by the ridiculous stigma and attack depression the same way we would attack any other disease.
I hope the men who read the book see that there is hope, and a reason to fight.
Ali: Any regrets? (other than drinking Bud Light…dude!) anything you wish you hadn’t included?
DGM: None. I’ve exposed a lot about myself in the book, but everything in there is relevant and real. I decided at the beginning that if I was going to write this book, it had to be genuine. Readers can smell bullshit and half-truths, and it’s important that there’s both humor and brutal honesty.
Also, I’m so sick of you Canadian primma donnas talking shit about American beer. Seriously, how can you expect us to take your criticism seriously when YOU’RE the dillholes who add a silent U to every damn word in the English vocabulary. It’s not COLOUR; it’s COLOR. It’s not FAVOURITE; it’s FAVORITE. So take your BEEUR and stick it up your ASSU.
Ali: What’s next for you? Have you started on book #2? What can we expect from this one?
DGM: I’m mulling over the second book, but first I’m going to call my congressman about that whole U thing. I’m seriously pissed off.
Ali: Just for the record, I wasn’t putting down American beer, per se, just shitty American beer. heh. No, seriously, I’m only half-Canadian…a half-Canadian who drinks good beer and spells color and favorite without the extra U.
No comment from Dad Gone Mad. This round goes to Ali.