Mania. It’s a word not often spoken. Nor, is the associated state of mind. Maybe it’s just my perception, but the word can even evoke a sense of discomfort in the ears that hear it.
Yet this word, along with others like ‘manic depression’, roll off the pen of Sam Twyford-Moore in the much-needed conversation-starter The Rapids: Ways of looking at mania. Since it’s such a complex topic, you may expect 273 pages explaining mania to be filled with long words that you need a PhD to unpack. Think again. It was a relief to find the only complex thing about this book was writing a review that explained the effect of it as well as Sam explained mania itself.
In The Rapids, Sam effortlessly weaves his own experience with those that he’s observed. We’re reminded about the public display of mania experienced by Jason Russell (creator of the 2012 Kony campaign) and introduced to a more private one, in which Sam describes why he listened to Sorry by Justin Bieber on repeat.
His storytelling is raw, effortless and conversational, bringing the topic of mania, in its many rapid forms, to the everyday person. I admire how he does it without condescension, and rather like an older brother who’s offering his own honest insight.
Sam Twyford-Moore is the former director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival. He graduated from UTS with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Writing and Contemporary Cultures) in 2008.