This is the story of Mike May who undergoes surgery to renew the sight he lost at age three. The book opens by detailing May's decision to undergo the surgery and the initial results of this experiment. The latter portions consider the problems he encounterd after the surgery along with the neurological studies he endured.
The book is a curious combination of biography, science, and story telling. The listener will come away with a new appreciation for sight and a fuller understanding of what it means to perceive the world around us through sight.
The reading is very good, the writing - okay, and the information well worth the time.
This is the best book I have read in many years. I am legally blind and lost my ability to read only a few years ago, so I am relatively new to the audiobook experience. Is Michael may states in the epilogue, the first important aspect of an audiobook is its content. I believe this book is the best source of information on the subject of blindness and low vision.The insights and perspectives of what it is like to be blind and what it is like to have vision are impeccably described. For the blind or low vision reader, there is so much here to relate with. For those who are fully cited, this book offers the best description I ever have read of what it is like to be visually impaired. The story is exciting, emotional, and inspiring. The narration is the best I have experienced. As one who continually is losing vision, Michael Mays words of encouragement to continue being curious, and his story and example, are the most unique and powerful words of encouragement I have heard. I am extremely grateful to Michael May, author Robert Cursin, and this gifted narrator. This review has been dictated, so please excuse any miss spellings or other errors.
There are a few parts where I wanted to look back at and it's hard to do with audio.
When he realizes that his brain has to learn what he's looking at. Tactile exploration was the connection to his new world.
When his sons treated him the same whether he could see or not.
yes but really intense and needed a break to think about what had happened
Robert Kurson has done it again! Intense details and the real life tragedy turned scientific miracle! Truly a fascinating account of a brave strong fearless man and his beautiful family.
Mike you and your family are treasures and for me and I dont often feel this way but I am just blown away with respect and admiation for you all.
I work in disability and will never be able to engage another vision impaired person without wondering how they would accept the gift you were given and if they could and or would show your and your families beautiful intelect in dealing with your set backs. Good luck to you Jen and the boys. And yes I do believe Robert captured your knowing smile and cheeky outlook on all that life has to offer.
The story is amazing. The narration is on point. Overall I really enjoyed listening to this audio book. My only negative to point out would be some slow points where the author felt the need to re-emphasize points he had already made. Perhaps in an attempt to make the story more dramatic. I felt it was often just wasted time and would almost make me lose interest. However I would push through these points only to be left feeling happy I did because the next turn in the adventure of Mike May always seemed awesome.
The book provides a very palatable insight into what it is like to be blind. It provides an understanding of vision itself in a hard-to-put-down cadence. I recently had a health event that has left me partially blind. I couldn't have read Mike May's story but being able to listen to it as I have been healing has truly been balm to my spirit. Mike' sense of adventure and attitude towards obstacles is contagious and I found myself excited to not just hear the next chapter of the book but to face the next chapters of my life.
Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.
I chose this book because I was interested in hearing about the experience of suddenly having vision (especially when I had heard it tended to be a big disaster) but it didn’t start off very exciting. It’s almost annoying how Mike keeps insisting how ok he is with being blind. I suppose it is true enough that the way he was thrown into the sighted world to make it on his own as a child would probably be the thing most likely to make him able to feel that way but I got tired of hearing it.
I was so happy when he finally got his sight back - mainly because we were finally getting into the business of vision. There were some interesting case histories discussed of the rare instances of sight restoration after long term blindness. I thought the happy blind guy who became totally depressed when he saw how shabby the world actually looked was pretty interesting. And it is interesting to hear about what works and what doesn’t work in May's restored vision. I think the book first came to my attention when I was reading a book about the brain. I find it interesting how the eyes and brain (visual cortex I suppose) go about working together to create vision. May has (among other issues) problem seeing depth - like stairs or shadows looking like stripes on the ground. I was somewhat surprised by this problem for him. I would expect it if someone had never seen - ie that brain function never had the ability to develop but May was 3 when he became blind. Three year olds see stairs and shadows just fine. Apparently the brain "reuses" the parts when vision ceases. May's eyes (eye I should say, he only has one) looks like it should see fine and yet he has these issues.
So anyway, like I said the book was off to a slow start but I did enjoy it (except for the scene where May first takes time out to check out his wife’s naked body – talk about TMI!) The audiobook had an interview with May himself at the end as well.
This was a very interesting book that I learned a lot from. The true story grabs you from the beginning and keeps you wanting to listen more and more. I learned about blindness, human brain development, and psychology, all while enjoying the story the whole time.
One thing that stands out from other audiobooks is that the narrator is exceptional. Many narrators I find distracting in one way or another. After listening to this book I now consider Doug Ordunio, the best narrator I have listened to so far.