Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall to Pieces by Mary Forsberg Weiland

If you know me at all, or if you read this blog, you know that I have a thing for addiction memoirs and for music autobios.  You may not be aware of my similar predilection for mental illness memoirs - I guess I think of addiction memoirs as a subset of this anyway, and while I don't read the crazy stuff quite as often anymore, there was a time when it was about all I read (I've always said that crazy is drawn to crazy, and at the point in my life when I was reading this stuff all the time . . . let's just say things weren't quite normal in my corner of the world).  I digress.  Anyway, with all of that intro in place - did you see the subtitle of this book?  It says, "A Memoir of Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll and Mental Illness."  A trifecta!  Additionally, if you'll please note the author - yep, it's Scotty Weiland's ex-wife. 

This book was a grand slam from the day I found out it existed, so how psyched was I to read it and find out that it is also a pretty awesome book?  Psyched.  I'm not going to say that the writing was the best ever, but it was good.  What was so awesome were the stories that this woman has to tell, and the way that she tells them.  It's candid and honest, brutal and funny.  Mary and Scott both suffer with bipolar disorder, and pretty severe alcohol and drug addictions.  Not to mention some level of co-dependency that came to define their almost-twenty year relationship.  It's terribly sad, but at the same time, infused with a certain hope.  The book was just written last year, but after everything Mary and Scott have come through, you can't help but wonder where they stand now.

My only complaint is that sometimes the time lines feel wrong.  I honestly couldn't tell whether the book was skipping around chronologically or not, but sometimes it was difficult to tell what time frame things were taking place in.  All is forgiven, though, when you keep in mind that the author was either wasted or manic, or both, during much of the time that she's writing about.  She points this out at the beginning and again at the end of the book, so I really can't fault the story-telling.  What's been on my mind for the past couple of days, since I finished reading, is how a lot of the songs on STP's new album seem clearly to be about Mary.  There were a few points in the book where she mentions hearing Scott's songs about herself, and how she reacted, so I wonder about her reaction to this newest album.


  1. Thanks for pointing this out...I was going to buy a book tomorrow too...Now I know which one!

  2. Yay! I almost didn't post about this today - now I'm glad I did.
    Please come back and let me know what you thought of it!

  3. I should also warn that one increasingly annoying thing about reading this book is that the Velvet Revolver song for which it's named has now been stuck in my head for going on a week. I cannot stop listening to it, and I'm forever singing it even when it's not on. I LOVE this song, but this is getting to be a bit much. ;)

  4. I guess I will be checking out the song...Thanks for recommending this book on TN by the way =)