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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting way to learn about Bi-polar and how impacts on the creative life.
Loved the style of the graphic novel, after reading this I feel I have a much greater understanding of the issue thru this interesting and informative book. I didn't realise so many of the great artists were impact by this disease. Her story is well worth a read
Published 11 months ago by Norfolk Chance

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually accessible and honest
Maybe this was inspired by Alison Bechdel - but increasingly the graphic novel is a vehicle for award-winning cartoon confessionals - this one about the artist's diagnosis with bipolar disorder and her life getting her life back under control.

I can see this book joining the shelves of community self-help libraries - right next to Bryan Talbot's `The Tale of...
Published 7 months ago by Emily - London


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting way to learn about Bi-polar and how impacts on the creative life., 22 Aug 2013
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Loved the style of the graphic novel, after reading this I feel I have a much greater understanding of the issue thru this interesting and informative book. I didn't realise so many of the great artists were impact by this disease. Her story is well worth a read
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars devoured in one sitting!, 1 Sep 2013
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An original, quirky, funny, illuminating look at one woman's journey through her bi-polar diagnosis, stunningly drawn, and clearly written. I was so drawn in I just sat and read it all at once. So clever.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-buy, 19 Aug 2013
By 
beccalikesbooks (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
I read Marbles in two sittings, unable to put it down. This outstanding graphic novel by Ellen Forney chronicles her diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and her journey to both manage it and also understand it - what does it mean for her life, and her art? Is there a reason that so many famous artists and writers such as Michelangelo, Van Gogh and Sylvia Plath also suffered from bipolar or depression? Will taking medication take away her inspiration?

It's a wonderful, insightful, moving book, at times funny (Forney has an infectious zest for life and wicked sense of humour - I defy you not to fall in love with her a little bit) and at others gut-wrenching. Forney is a brilliant artist and the medium of the graphic novel is used well to depict the whirling, zany highs of mania and the crushing lows of depression. Definitely one to buy, read, and then tell all your friends about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ride the Rollercoaster!, 12 Sep 2013
This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
Ellen Forney sweeps you along with her on an amazing journey. The adventure will be challenging. Her self-awareness and ability to capture both the dark and the light with humour and poignancy is remarkable. However, this book also provides a chilling insight into the massive costs of effective treatment and support for bi-polar conditions in USA. Thanks goodness for the National Health Service here in UK!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Visually accessible and honest, 14 Dec 2013
By 
Emily - London (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
Maybe this was inspired by Alison Bechdel - but increasingly the graphic novel is a vehicle for award-winning cartoon confessionals - this one about the artist's diagnosis with bipolar disorder and her life getting her life back under control.

I can see this book joining the shelves of community self-help libraries - right next to Bryan Talbot's `The Tale of One Bad Rat' and its account of recovery from child abuse.

It is introspective. It repeats the text book, but her life is text book. It does not explore the furthest reaches - there is nothing for instance like my friend's account of her bipolar experiences where something terrible was lurking in the cupboard that had only to get out and would make her kill herself.

But it does say from direct experience what her life is like from the inside. It does speak honestly. It does have some good drawings - and when she is high she is very high so the drawings are very high too. And it does acknowledge that cannabis and meds for bipolar disorder perhaps do not mix very well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting comic about depression, 17 Oct 2013
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
Ellen Forney is crazy - literally! A comic book artist diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a mental condition that sends her moods shooting from one end of the spectrum - soaring higher than high with happiness and manic energy - to the other - skull-crushing depression and immobility - with unerring suddenness, Forney has created an honest and engaging comic book of her experience living with the illness in Marbles.

The book follows her diagnosis and its impact on how she views herself and her family and friends' reactions, to her concerns about how the treatment of her moods with a kaleidoscopic cocktail of drugs will affect her creativity and work. There are a lot of scenes set in Forney's therapist's office as they spend months and months figuring out the best combination of drugs for her, and work through her various concerns but unlike another book that followed this route - Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel - the theory and science side of her illness doesn't overwhelm the book.

Forney finds comfort in reading about other artists who were allegedly bipolar like Van Gogh, Hemingway, and Sylvia Plath, all of whom troublingly committed suicide, but also produced some of the greatest art in the world. This is also another aspect of why it's great this book exists - for other people like Forney who've been diagnosed and are looking for a book to tell them it's not the end of the world.

It's a very stark look at the author's condition, including photo-static images from her sketchbook detailing visually how she felt while deeply depressed, and the drawings are nightmarish, like something out of Lovecraft or Bosch! Forney also captures what it's like to be manic through some really energised page layouts, words and images cascading together, sentences toppling over the side, linked in with looping arrows - these sequences are really imaginatively presented and give the reader a look into both sides of bipolarity.

I found Marbles to be a thoughtful and interesting look at a difficult condition. It shows those of us who don't have the illness a glimpse of what it's like for someone who does in a way that's informative and entertaining to read. Forney's art is excellent and her writing nicely balances factual scenes with memoir in a tone that's humane and humourous, keeping her story moving at a nice steady pace throughout - I really enjoyed it. Plus anyone with a tattoo designed by Kaz is alright by me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillantly drawn picture of Bipolar Disorder, 1 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
Good understanding of Bipolar Disorder that is very easy to read and to absorb the information in the pictures. Has read all the standard works on the subject and included their wisdom too with Ellen's very own comic strip twist a delight to view.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of a Kind, 19 April 2014
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This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
Wonderfully relatable! It was nice to read about the subject without the dry technical stuff you get in all of the other books. I have read enough of those! This book made me feel like I wasn't alone more than anything else after 8 years of struggling. Thank you so much for sharing your story Ellen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great overview of depression in, 16 Mar 2014
By 
Y. Hsu - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
I really loved this book. One of the best books I've read about mental health. Portrayed with so much personal insight and honesty it made me laugh and cry. Having been a sufferer of depression it really helped me to see the illness with a new insight and there is a way to get people to understand the experience. Thank you so much for laying it bare. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers from the illness is ok to scatter our marbles. Also a standout graphic novel in its own right you don't have to be bipolar to enjoy it!! Great story telling and drawing style. Thank you thank you thank you for getting it out there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A picture paints a thousand words, 12 Jan 2014
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (Paperback)
The saying goes; "A picture paints a thousand words", and this book is the perfect example of that saying, but the words alongside the cartoons that Forney has drawn to describe her battle with bi-polar add another dimension to the pictures. Alone, the cartoons are brilliant, they express her innermost feelings perfectly, but add her words and you are taken to the very extremes of her illness.

Ellen Forney started to write Marbles in 2008, ten years after the events that she tells about actually took place. She has been able to look back, with honesty, and with a little humour on what was an extremely difficult, challenging time in her life. Her pain and distress are captured in the cartoon images of herself. Her usually bright face with the Betty Boop eyes changes as the illness grips her, and at times she depicts herself so vividly that it is almost painful to see how she imagined herself, and her life.

Her battle against the medication regime, worrying that pills would kill her creativity. Her research into other artists through the years who have suffered, and her comparisons to their lives. Her discovery of yoga, her conversations with her psychiatrist, with herself, with her family and friends. All of these are here, in full detail and the pain shines through.

Marbles is a wickedly funny, yet painfully truthful look at how bi-polar affects a person, and those around them. Ellen Forney has not hidden anything, and faced her challenges head-on. The book is frank, honest and funny. The illustrations are hard-hitting and at times, desperately sad.

A book that pulls the reader in from the very first page, it is an illuminating read that looks honestly at bi-polar and how one extraordinary woman coped.
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Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney (Paperback - 15 Aug 2013)
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