Why I Chase Comedians

And Other Bipolar Tales

by Frankie Owens


Price: £9.95

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Why I Chase Comedians deals with the extremities of the bipolar condition — highs, lows, in-betweens — allowing readers to understand its overwhelming nature.

Written in the style of his acclaimed Little Book of Prison, this new work follows a relapse when the author (founder of the Read and Grow Society and by now a respected, law-abiding exponent of Criminology and Literacy) found himself back in prison following a manic episode.

Through often self-deprecating insights Frankie Owens takes the reader inside the mind of someone afflicted by hypermania. The book shows how he struggled with booming ideas, breathtaking feats of imagination, coming down to Earth and dealing with the wreckage. It contrasts the out-and-out ability of this well-respected expert in criminology and literacy with bizarre behaviour as he serves time a second time around and rebuilds his life once more.

A rare journey into the bipolar mind which ‘opens-up’ on mental health. A raw, challenging, humorous account.


‘This great, accessible book takes us on a journey revealing the reality of being bipolar, and its interfaces with incarceration’– Dr Paul Norman, University of Portsmouth.


‘Being bipolar and manic is like living on the edge. Your adrenaline increases, your endorphins are released faster (and in bigger quantities), your muscles feel stronger, your cardio is better and best of all your brain is higher functioning. It is as if you are naturally high because of your condition. You start to access more information from your brain’s memory banks and your state is semi-hypnotic. Your senses of smell and touch are heightened, you can hear from greater distances and music and literature become joyful experiences as if they’d been written just for you. Who wouldn’t want to feel like that?’

‘I had an epiphany last night. It came to me in a dream. That with every moment of adversity there is an opportunity. So, I have come to a huge life decision today, something I’ve run away from for years, more like decades, but finally I will do it. It will take dedication and focus but I’m going to get over this and finally I’m going to learn Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. Prison’s the perfect environment with its slippery floors and prison socks and I have the raw ability.’

About the author

Frankie Owens III is a prison/mental health/bipolar survivor. After becoming an advisor/lecturer to criminologists and reform groups, in 2020 he hit the headlines due to a hyper-manic episode (described in the book). He is the author of The Little Book of Prison (2012) (a finalist for the People’s Book Prize) and has written for the Guardian and Huffington Post. He is the founder of the Read and Grow Society that teaches disadvantaged people to read and develop their literacy skills.

Additional information

Weight460 g
Dimensions234 × 156 × 17 mm


Waterside Press




Publication date




Place of origin

United Kingdom

Year of publication

Ebook (EPUB)


Ebook (PDF)



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