Review: Cheer Up Love by Susan Calman

Title: Cheer Up Love – Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate

Author: Susan Calman

Pages: 262 Pages

Publisher: Two Roads

The Blurb

Susan Calman is a well known comedian and writer who appears on countless radio and television programmes including The News Quiz, Just a Minute and now Strictly Come Dancing 2017. 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 vision 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. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

In her autobiography, Cheer Up Love, Susan Calman introduces you to her Crab of Hate. The little creature in her mind that determines her mood and tries to convince her that the whole world is against her. Some of us have something similar, others – if they are lucky – don’t really have to deal with this sort of thing at all. If this is your first time dealing with  negative creature such as Calman’s Crab of Hate then you are in for a treat because if there is anyone in the world who can make you look at mental health in a different way then that person is Susan Calman.

It would be easy for people to say that mental health is en vogue right now. It is trendy to have anxiety and if you don’t have it then you are so behind the times or whatever. However, in Cheer Up Love, the hilariously funny and remarkably brave Calman discusses her very real and very difficult struggle with mental health and she does so with her trademark wit and style. She uses humour to present mental health as more palatable and maybe to encourage us to laugh with (not at) those who are struggling.

When I was reading Cheer Up Love, I giggled out loud so many times. It is so funny, extremely entertaining and at times really kind of sad. But overall, you come away with a sense of hope – for your own mental health because there are others out there going through the same thing and also for Susan Calman, you get the sense that she is going to be alright.

Cheer Up Love: Adventures in Depression with the Crab of Hate by Susan Calman is available now.

For more information regarding Susan Calman (@SusanCalman) please visit

For more information regarding Two Roads Books (@TwoRoadsBooks) please visit

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