Thirty Rooms To Hide In: Insanity, Addiction, And Rock ?n? Roll In The Shadow Of The Mayo Clinic by Luke Longstreet SullivanThirty Rooms To Hide In: Insanity, Addiction, And Rock ?n? Roll In The Shadow Of The Mayo Clinic by Luke Longstreet Sullivan

Thirty Rooms To Hide In: Insanity, Addiction, And Rock ?n? Roll In The Shadow Of The Mayo Clinic

byLuke Longstreet Sullivan

Paperback | March 1, 2014

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Author Luke Longstreet Sullivan has a simple way of describing his new memoir: “It’s like The Shining . . . only funnier.” Thirty Rooms to Hide In tells the astonishing story of Sullivan’s father and his descent from one of the world’s top orthopedic surgeons at the Mayo Clinic to a man who is increasingly abusive, alcoholic, and insane, ultimately dying alone on the floor of a Georgia motel room. For his wife and six sons, the years prior to his death were characterized by turmoil, anger, and family dysfunction; but somehow they were also a time of real happiness for Sullivan and his brothers, full of dark humor and much laughter.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, the six brothers had a wildly fun and thoroughly dysfunctional childhood living in a forbidding thirty-room mansion, known as the Millstone, on the outskirts of Rochester, Minnesota. The many rooms of the immense home, as well as their mother’s loving protection, allowed the Sullivan brothers to grow up as normal, mischievous boys. Against a backdrop of the times—the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, fallout shelters, JFK’s assassination, and the Beatles—the cracks in their home life and their father’s psyche continue to widen. When their mother decides to leave the Millstone and move the family across town, the Sullivan boys are able to find solace in each other and in rock ’n’ roll.

As Thirty Rooms to Hide In follows the story of the Sullivan family—at times grim, at others poignant—a wonderful, dark humor lifts the narrative. Tragic, funny, and powerfully evocative of the 1950s and 1960s, Thirty Rooms to Hide In is a tale of public success and private dysfunction, personal and familial resilience, and the strange power of humor to give refuge when it is needed most, even if it can’t always provide the answers.

Luke Longstreet Sullivan worked in the advertising business for thirty years and is now chair of the advertising department at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He is the author of the popular advertising book Hey Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads and writes the blog He lives in Savannah with hi...
Title:Thirty Rooms To Hide In: Insanity, Addiction, And Rock ?n? Roll In The Shadow Of The Mayo ClinicFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:March 1, 2014Publisher:University Of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816679711

ISBN - 13:9780816679713

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Table of Contents



The Millstone

Skeletons in the Closet

Bone Doctors

Grandma Rock Sentences Everyone to Hell

Little Christians, All in a Row

Little Monsters in Every Room

Memory: Throwing Up

A Library of Her Own

Forts, Death, and Bedtime

Cold War

Five O’clock Shadow

Head X-Ray: Roger in 1957

Shit Gathers in General Area of Fan

Cyclops and the Fallout Shelter

Memory: Dad Helps with Homework

Hidden Books, Hidden Letters

Eleven Twenty-two

Fun at the Foot of the Volcano

Rat Helicopters

Cause of Death: Unknown

The Pagans

“Spats with the Wife”

Memory: I Am “Suave Ghost”

The Alcoholic’s Guide to Ruining Evenings

Snowballs Somehow Made in Hell

Memory: I Am “Little Brother Man”

Leaving the Millstone

“We’ve Always Lived in This Castle”

Haunted House

Ceiling Tiles over a Psychiatrist’s Couch

Memory: I Am “Quiet Man”

Things That Were Scarier Than Dad

Baba Yaga

Memory: I Am the Fifth Beatle

Hiding in the Bathroom from Bullets

Hiding in the Tower Library

Memory: I Am the Incredible Hulk

Memory: I Am “Lonely Guy”

Pagan Rites

Eye of the Hurricane

No Help from God

Case #34233

Daydream: I Am “the Bullshit Police”

“Our Drummer Committed Suicide”

One Last Good Christmas

Tiny Details in Family Pictures

Daydream: I Save Dad

Goodnight, Irene


Meltdown in West Palm Beach

“Do I Owe You Any Money?”

The Famous Final Scene

Zee Tortured Arteest

Phone Calls from the Dead

The Mortal Coil

Room 50

The Irish Flu

Sunday, July 3, 1966

Pagans in the Temple

One Last Look

Sunlight Streams through a High Window

I Believe in God Briefly

The Big Bad World

Take a Sad Song and Make It Better

This Very Room

“And Every Winter Change to Spring”



Author’s Note

Editorial Reviews

If you’re looking for proof that the Great American Family Drama is alive and kicking, here it is. Luke Longstreet Sullivan’s heart wrenching, poignant, and often hilarious family history is laid bare like a shattered bottle of bourbon. I wish more memoirs took the chances this one does. And reached such heights. This is a bravura work.

—Peter Geye, author of Safe from the Sea