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Tragedy Plus Time  By  cover art

Tragedy Plus Time

By: Adam Cayton-Holland
Narrated by: Adam Cayton-Holland
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Publisher's summary

“Inspiring, tragic, and at times heart-rendingly funny.” (People)

Unsentimental, unexpectedly funny, and incredibly honest, Tragedy Plus Time is a love letter to every family that has ever felt messy, complicated, or (even momentarily) magnificent.

Meet the Magnificent Cayton-Hollands, a trio of brilliant, acerbic teenagers from Denver, Colorado, who were going to change the world. Anna, Adam, and Lydia were taught by their father, a civil rights lawyer, and mother, an investigative journalist, to recognize injustice and have their hearts open to the universe — the good, the bad, the heartbreaking (and, inadvertently, the anxiety-inducing and the obsessive-compulsive disorder-fueling).

Adam chose to meet life’s tough breaks and cruel realities with stand-up comedy; his older sister, Anna, chose law; while their youngest sister, Lydia, struggled to find her place in the world. Beautiful and whip-smart, Lydia was witty, extremely sensitive, fiercely stubborn, and always somewhat haunted. She and Adam bonded over comedy from a young age, running skits in their basement and obsessing over episodes of The Simpsons.

When Adam sunk into a deep depression in college, it was Lydia who was able to reach him and pull him out. But years later as Adam’s career takes off, Lydia’s own depression overtakes her, and, though he tries, Adam can’t return the favor. When she takes her own life, the family is devastated, and Adam throws himself into his stand-up, drinking, and rage. He struggles with disturbing memories of Lydia’s death and turns to EMDR therapy to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder when he realizes there’s a difference between losing and losing it.

Adam Cayton-Holland is a tremendously talented writer and comedian, uniquely poised to take listeners to the edges of comedy and tragedy, brilliance and madness. Tragedy Plus Time is a revelatory, darkly funny, and poignant tribute to a lost sibling that will have you reaching for the phone to call your brother or sister by the end.

©2018 Adam Cayton-Holland (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

Editorial Review

A much needed memoir about a family’s love and mental health

It may be taboo to talk about how nice it was to read a book that spoke to my "struggle" growing up as a privileged, suburban white male. But I am who I am and my family, like Adam’s, has dealt with issues of mental health and the heartbreak that comes with it. I laughed and cried often during this listen, and Tragedy + Time does something I have not seen in a while: it turns the severity of discussing mental illness on its head in a beautifully comedic way while still honoring the grief of horrible loss. This is a great listen for anyone who has had to unfortunately watch someone they love suffer, or who has suffered themselves, and it serves as a reminder that family is one of the greatest gifts we all have to overcome tragedy. It is at the very, very top of a short list for my best book of 2018. —Kyle S., Audible Editor

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