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Cheer Up Love

Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate
Narrated by: Susan Calman
Length: 6 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,242 ratings)

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Summary

Susan Calman is a well-known comedian and writer who has appeared on countless radio and television programmes. Her solo stand up show, Susan Calman Is Convicted, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and dealt with subjects like the death penalty, appearance and depression.

The reaction to the show she wrote about mental health was so positive that she wanted to expand on the show and write a more detailed account of surviving when you're the world's most negative person.

The Crab of Hate is the personification of Calman's depression and her version of the notorious Black Dog. A constant companion in her life, the Crab has provided her with the best and very worst of times.

This is a very personal memoir of how, after many years and with a lot of help and talking, she has embraced her dark side and realised that she can be the most joyous sad person you'll ever meet.

Cheer Up Love is funny, poignant and (hopefully) informative. It's always good to talk.

©2016 Susan Calman (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton

Critic reviews

"Heartbreaking and heart-warming: unmissable." (Damian Barr, Metro)

What members say

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Open, honest, told with humour and humility

I was so impressed by the honesty in Susan Calman's book. There was a real and genuine emotion in her voice as she told how she copes with her depression "the crab of gate". It spoke of what so many feel and yet she's telling her story with humour which makes one smile (not laugh). I cannot recommend this book highly enough to others whether they have or had depression. I'd recommend because it's an honest, fascinating account of one person's struggle but with no self pity.

20 people found this helpful

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Thank god for Susan Calman and this book!! Just excellent!

Calman is clever, cunning and devious - she's snuck so much sage advice and comfort into every cranny of this book that while I was chuckling away listening to this very funny book about her life, with every chapter I was also reassured beyond measure about what goes on mine and my family's and loved ones' heads.

Her narration is brilliant too, warm and confiding.

Thank god for this audiobook! Don't hesitate to download and listen!

19 people found this helpful

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Superb book!

About a serious subject but also funny. I absolutely loved it! Also the fact that it is Susan herself as a narrator made it even better. Highly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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Really Enlightening

I was looking forward to getting this book and couldn't initially decide whether to get it in print or in audio format. I am really pleased I got it as an audio book as I enjoyed listening to Susan herself read, what must have been quite a difficult book to write, at least on an emotional level. I work for a Mental Health NHS Trust and felt a real admiration for her as she talked about the difficult times in her history and made me appreciate more what those who suffer with mental health issues go through.

Thought provoking, at times sad then amusing, always honest and one of the best audible books I have heard.

A well deserved #susanisawesome !

11 people found this helpful

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A great listen

Susan's knowledge and experience with depression, coupled with her warmth and humour makes this a great book. I have people in my life with depression and this book has really helped me understand them. However if you don't suffer yourself or know anyone with depression it's still a great book. Thoroughly recommended

9 people found this helpful

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Fabulous, honest and from the heart

Brilliant book that makes you realise that you are not alone in dealing with depression. Susan makes you realise that all the funny and illogical thoughts in your head are actually all normal when you have depression. Susan is honest in telling the reader about her battle with depression and in doing so inspires you to feel that you can deal with depression and life can be better. The one thing to take away from this book is to talk to somebody and to keep talking.

7 people found this helpful

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It will do

A wonderful and frankly very open look at mental illness and living with it day to day a great book and made the walks with the dog a joy. Highly recommended

5 people found this helpful

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wonderfully honest

I have absolutely loved listening to this book.
it's honest, funny and very helpful. #Susanisawsome

4 people found this helpful

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#Susanisawesome

Honest and engaging. We all need to talk more about mental health and this book is a great springboard. I'm going to listening to it again with my wife, it's that good, you want to share it with people.

4 people found this helpful

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Honest and funny

This is a serious and honest account of Susan Calman's experience of depression which manages to also be funny. It is thought-provoking and helpful and not at all what you'd expect from a book about depression. The audio book is, it appears, slightly different to the book, in as much as phrases such as "as you are listening to this audiobook" I assume in the printed version says "as you are reading this book". Combined with it being read by Susan Calman herself, makes it one of the best audio books I've listened to.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Gabrielle Chartley
  • 08-06-16

Honest, Courageous, Warm and Funny!

This is one of the very best books I’ve ever read about depression— and I have read *many.*

Susan bravely opens her life and shares her experience with us, the good, the bad, and the ugly. With her trademark wit (usually heard on the BBC), she gives us a very real, very grounded, very passionate insight into what it’s like to live inside her head.

As someone who has lived with clinical depression for decades, I found myself nodding time and again, and saying ‘exactly!’ out loud. This is a great book for someone who lives with depression — it will make you feel understood, and less alone— but it’s perhaps even better as a gift to help someone understand what it’s like to experience depression.

Considering that her public image is her livelihood, I'm truly in awe of her willingness to reveal herself warts-and-all; the brutal candor with which she shares her faults, failures and struggles. As we share her journey to recovery, and to the great place where she is now, we can gain solace and support for our own journeys.

It’s a very inspiring book, and it will leave you with a solid foundation of hope and optimism. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Thank you, Susan, for everything you’ve put into this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Carrie Arnold
  • 27-12-17

Get this book! #SusanIsAwesome!

First of all, I had never heard of Susan Calman until I came across this book sometime last year.
It was on my wish list for quite a while and although I really wanted to listen to it I avoided purchasing it for quite some time.
Probably because I thought even after listening to the sample and reading the description that I might become more depressed by listening.
That is usually what has happened when I have tried self-help books about my depression and anxiety issues.
From the beginning I could relate to Susan in so many ways.
OK, there are several things in which we are quite different.
Number one, I am about the least organized person ever and although I think the lists are good and helpful things, I just never seem to get around to making them.
I am not a successful person in anyway which sometimes adds to my depression.
I am straight and she is gay but it sounds like we both have incredibly patient and supportive spouses.
Throughout many years of counseling, trying to read self-help books about depression and anxiety or even talking to other friends with depression, never have I felt like anyone has understood what I am going through quite like Susan.
I have asked my family to read or listen to this book because she does such an awesome job Of explaining what most of my days are like.
I feel that by reading this book they would actually be able to understand what it is like four me and the things that go through my head.
She brilliantly describes perfectly what it is like to live with depression.
I think that anyone could enjoy this boo but if you yourself suffer from depression or if you have a close friend or family member who does, you have got to read this book.
It is brilliantly written and she is an excellent narrator.
Although the subject is serious, This book is anything but depressing.
I have been in the middle of a particularly difficult time for quite a while now and this was the perfect time for me to listen to this book.
I definitely have picked up a few tips that I am going to try and apply to my own life and situation.
I like that she is so Open and honest about her own journey with depression.
When you are in the midst of a particularly tough time, it seems that sometimes all you can do is focus on the negative because that is all you can feel at that moment.
By holding herself accountable and taking responsibility for her own mental health, she forces the listener to do the same.
She causes you to think about the fact that you are not the only person in the world that suffers from depression or simply that you are not the only person in the world.
Although I think it is usually unintentional and it can be hard to admit, sometimes severely depressed people can be rather self-centered.

This is something that I know but of course I don't like to hear.
When you know that she has been on the same journey that you have, you can't accuse her of being preachy or get angry because she doesn't understand.
That's what I tend to do if I don't like what I'm hearing.
I will just stop listening and decide that they do not understand what it is like for me.
In a lot of cases, that is definitely true and people can give you some very bad advice so it is important that you are careful who and what you listen to.
Bottom line, if you have a friend or loved one that suffers from depression and want to know what helps and what doesn't help, this is a very good place to start.
If you are suffering from depression then you definitely need to get yourself motivated to get this book.
And then depressed person, once you get this book then you need to actually listen to it.
It will make you laugh even if you don't want to.
My cat Steve seemed to enjoy listening to parts of it with me as well.
I think that he could tell that she loves cats.
Cats being as they are, the other two didn't seem to care.
I really do think Steve enjoyed listening to her voice though.

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  • Catherine
  • 06-11-16

As poignant as it is humorous...

Amazing listen by a courageous woman determined to overcome obstacles-- both internal and external-- to live a full life, and eager to help others do the same. If you have ever felt "less than", depressed or anxious, or jyst plain stuck, this is for you. I can see that this will be a "go to" audiobook for me when I am feeling blue.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Whitney
  • 22-10-16

Inspiring

Loved her complete sincerity-- it was great to hear how she looked at depression from so manh different angles!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chelsea W.
  • 30-04-18

I think mine might be a wombat

Susan Calman has a wonderful way of looking at depression issues, naming them, and correcting them. I shall, from now on, be working on finding a lovely hat. For my wombat of sadness.

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  • Mad Martigan
  • 30-03-17

Fantastic.

I loved it. Eight thumbs up. Comedy and depression talk wraped up into a burrito.

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  • Alan Roberts
  • 03-09-16

Fantastic book

Thank you so much for this fabulous book. It has really helped me deal with very difficult mental health issues. Wonderful

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  • Clara R. Arechiga
  • 09-01-17

Too self indulgent, way too simplistic

Mrs Calman has some flaws that made this book a waste of time for me: she tries too hard to be funny; tries too hard to sound lovable, and her advice on depression is simplistic. Also, her singsong delivery reminded me of a stewardess showing the exits on the plane. Bad. Sorry.

pd And she dismisses medication as treatment and that is very irresponsible. Came across as a spoiled child.