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Publisher's Summary

"I'm not crazy. I don't see what the big deal is about what happened. But apparently someone does think it's a big deal because here I am. I bet it was my mother. She always overreacts."

Fifteen-year-old Jeff wakes up on New Year's Day to find himself in the hospital. Make that the psychiatric ward. With the nut jobs. Clearly, this is all a huge mistake. Forget about the bandages on his wrists and the notes on his chart. Forget about his problems with his best friend, Allie, and her boyfriend, Burke. Jeff's perfectly fine, perfectly normal, not like the other kids in the hospital with him. Now they've got problems. But a funny thing happens as his 45-day sentence drags on: the crazies start to seem less crazy.

Compelling, witty, and refreshingly real, Suicide Notes is a darkly humorous novel from award-winning author Michael Thomas Ford that examines that fuzzy line between "normal" and the rest of us.

©2008 Michael Thomas Ford (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie H. Nicoll
  • 21-03-2010

Entertaining narrative for a serious subject

This story is written as a diary, with each chapter being one day in fifteen year old Jeff's 45 day hospitalization after a failed suicide attempt. The subject is serious, but Jeff is a great narrator: funny, sarcastic, and insightful. Youth suicide is an important problem in the US (third leading cause of death among people ages 15-19) and this book provides useful information while at the same time telling a good story. Resources for depression and suicide are included in an afterword. This book works well in audio format because the chapters are very short (5-10 minutes each) and can be listened to easily in short bursts. Recommended.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
  • 12-05-2015

Astonishingly good

After an attempted suicide, Jeff wakes up in a psychiatric ward where he is forced to spend the next 45 days. He doesn’t want to and he’s determined not to cooperate, but his stay isn’t optional and his parents refuse to take him home. Finding their son almost bloodless in a bathtub isn’t something they particularly want to relive, and if the psych ward is what it takes to keep him alive, that’s where he’ll stay for as long as it takes.

Jeff handles his situation with lots of denial wrapped in good humor. He absolutely refuses to acknowledge that he has a problem and he is determined not to talk about his reasons for cutting his wrists open. According to him, his parents and the doctor made a mistake and he shouldn’t be locked up with the crazies.

Jeff’s story is heartwarming and poignant, but it’s also simple and laugh-out-loud funny. This diary-like narrative is one of the most honest things I’ve ever read. There are no heroes, no villains, no Big Drama whatsoever. It’s just a story about a boy that could easily be your next door neighbor or your second cousin. It’s not unusual at all and that’s what makes it so special.

Jeff’s character was truly done brilliantly. He is easily relatable, even (or especially) when he’s being obnoxious to his doctors and his fellow patience. Avoidance is his way to handle everything, but every now and again, a real feeling shines trough, be it anger at his parents for daring to save his life, resentment towards his doctors and nurses and the complete and utter hopelessness he feels about his situation.

I want to make this very clear: Suicide Notes is a book that deals with serious issues, but it’s rarely a sad read and it’s never angsty. Jeff’s sarcastic voice determines the overall tone, which is more funny than anything else. Yet Ford still manages to bring his point across by making every one of Jeff’s jokes louder and more touching than any sorrowful moment could possibly be.

I’ve tried this in both formats and while I generally prefer audio, in this case I’d strongly recommend the printed word. Although he’s a good narrator, Joe Caron didn’t succeed in capturing Jeff’s unique voice and most of Jeff’s sarcastic remarks somehow fell flat in the narrator’s interpretation.

If I had my way (but really, I never do), every thirteen-year-old on the planet would have to read three books: Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff, Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz and Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford. These three books promote understanding and tolerance in such a quiet, unobtrusive way, and even though we’re seeing more and more diversity, these are the three that always stay with me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • shasta
  • 18-01-2016

The first book I have listened too...

Would you consider the audio edition of Suicide Notes to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version, but I would have probably enjoyed reading it more.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favourite character would be Jeff, the main character of course. I just love how incredibly sarcastic he is.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

I would say the narration more or less matched the pace of the story; if anything it was a tad slow. The emotion it did not do justice for.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I think I could have listened to this entire book in one sitting; I did find myself listening to it outside my commute in which it was intended for.

Any additional comments?

The story to this book is amazing from beginning to end. The story had some twists that I only some coming very shortly before they happened. It had points where I felt the need to push plause for a moment to fully process what I had just heard, whether it be out of awkwardness, shock or deep emotion... Only to find myself pushing play once more only a few short minutes later. Unfortunately I don't think the narrator did Jeff's- or really any character- justice. Perhaps this is coming from a place of naivety, but the narrator was very obviously reading a book versus being a character. Perhaps someone who voice acts would be better suited for a first person book such as this. I wish when Jeff was yelling the narrator would really yell or when Jeff's world was crumbling around him that you could actually hear the emotion in his voice. I got used to the narrator, but I feel some of the more emotional scenes lost some of their intensity because the narrator didn't speak organically, or like a normal person would. Overall I would highly recommend the printed version and recommend the audible version as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 21-03-2010

Entertaining narrative for a serious subject

This story is written as a diary, with each chapter being one day in fifteen year old Jeff's 45 day hospitalization after a failed suicide attempt. The subject is serious, but Jeff is a great narrator: funny, sarcastic, and insightful. Youth suicide is an important problem in the US (third leading cause of death among people ages 15-19) and this book provides useful information while at the same time telling a good story. Resources for depression and suicide are included in an afterword. This book works well in audio format because the chapters are very short (5-10 minutes each) and can be listened to easily in short bursts. Recommended.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • 30-05-2018

My new favorite book

My new favorite book!
So funny. Amazing storyline and the plot twist at the end!! Was not expecting that
Loved it

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • G. Bozeman
  • 23-02-2018

This book is truly amazing mixed with the serious parts and the dark humor. We can all find a little bit of ourselves in this book and maybe even relate to it. It shows the tragedy of dark times but also the term it gets better does come true if you believe hard enough.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-04-2017

Suicide Notes

Very different and the humor was satisfying. It was an amazing book. Definitely would recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 04-01-2017

I love this book

this is one of the best books i have ever read and listened to. it has the best twist and turns, good for ever teen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nayellie
  • 24-02-2016

Finished it in one day!

I loved it and finished it in one day! It was nice getting to know the backgrounds of the different characters, is that weird to say?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Y
  • 23-06-2015

Melancholy

This book. Is my favorite book of this year so far. This book is sarcastic. Amazing. And heartbreaking. It kinda reminds me of the early 2000s show, "Daria." The plot twists are strong, and are very surprising. I loved every second of the 5 or so hour book. Nothing I disliked unless it was surprising. It will keep you on your edge of your seat.


Cheers

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-2018

This is one of my favourite books!

I have listened to this book at least twelve times, even when I haven’t read this book in a while I still think about it and laugh at the weird things that happen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Oscar
  • 04-10-2016

Fantastic

It made me think, feel, love and cry.
Honestly an awesome book! Thank you, Author

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon Rodgers
  • 09-07-2014

Enjoyable story on a serious subject

Where does Suicide Notes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Suicide notes is one of my favourite Audible books. It's another coming of age book but nevertheless has an appeal to all ages. It tackles the devastating effects of teenage suicide and in particularly the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness that drives this.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Suicide Notes?

The book is set out like a diary, where our young troubled teen logs each days activity in a care facility. As such it's relatively easy to create memories that stick with the reader. I have to say I think my favourite moment is right at the start where he's insistent that he's not crazy.

What does Joe Caron bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The narration of this story is very good. What I most enjoyed in the narration is how Joe Caron manages to convey excitement. Such moments are really enjoyable to listen to.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My feelings towards this book are indifferent. It tackles a very dark subject matter in a humorous and enjoyable way. In fact I can guarantee you will chuckle. It's certainly no tear jerker, (compared to The Fault In Our Stars anyway), but has delicate scenes that are wonderfully written.