Charles Monroe-Kane is a natural raconteur, and boy, does he have stories to tell. Born into an eccentric Ohio clan of modern hunter-gatherers, he grew up hearing voices in his head. Over a dizzying two decades, he was many things - teenage faith healer, world traveler, smuggler, liberation theologian, ladder-maker, squatter, halibut hanger, grifter, environmental warrior, and circus manager - all the while wrestling with schizophrenia and self-medication.
From Baby Doc's Haiti to the Czech Velvet Revolution, and from sex, drugs, and a stabbing to public humiliation by the leader of the free world, Monroe-Kane burns through his 20s and several bridges of youthful idealism before finally saying: enough. In a memoir that blends engaging charm with unflinching frankness, Monroe-Kane gives his testimony of mental illness, drug abuse, faith, and love. By the end of Lithium Jesus there may be a voice in your head, too, saying "Do more, be more, live more. And fear less."
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As a listener of To The Best Of Our Knowledge I was interested to hear the backstory of one of its producers, teased in one of the episodes.
I really enjoyed this fascinating life-story and had only one negative thing to say that kept irritating me: Quite a few times a phrase or sentence was repeated where it should've been edited out-perhaps once or twice this may have been purposeful but most of the time it appeared to have been a mistake!
Fix this please Audible!!
This audiobook! I couldn't stop until the end. Whew.
Kane's a genius storyteller and performs this memoir with glee at life's folly, and sympathy for the pain. Shocking moments nestle up against the ridiculous.
When at Jesus camp, he hears that the chorus of Pentecostals speaking in tongues match the the voices that have been frightening him in his head, he dives in deep. He travels the world as pint sized charismatic preacher and faith healer, his own belief at odds with other's belief in him.
When his doubt overtakes his faith, he turns to activism with equal zeal, until he discovers that those voices he'd been hearing can be quieted with lithium. It's a wild ride.
"A trip worth taking!"
Charles Monroe Kane's "Lithium Jesus" is an unadulterated autobiographical journey into the highs and lows of mania, self righteous religious fervor, Radical (with a a capital R) environmental activism, virtue, sin, counter culture, passion, and love. It's a welcome message in the pill bottle, a time capsule into the post Cold War 90s, THE decade of decade blending and "cultural referentialism" all while ushering in the dawn of the internet. It will make you wince, laugh, feel warm and fuzzy inside, may give you an existential crisis and most certainly will provide fuel for conversation.
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