As soon as it became clear the story would be anecdotal, I hoped for a more engaging story (a la Terri Cheney's "Manic"). I am a junkie for brain-gone-haywire books, and this rates average.
Informative, compelling, easy to follow. Many books on the topic - one of the best.
I love John Irving. I have not read a bad John Irving book.
I wish I had read this rather than listened to it for a very persnickety reason. The narration is basically good (good thing -- very long book). But good grief that squeaky nasally voice the narrator manages for Owen Meany. It kills me. It is just a little too authentic. It stays with you. I listened to this book a few years ago and I can still recall the squeaky voice.
If you can manage that, it's a great listen.
Saw the blurb about this book in an alumni mag and was drawn in.
Most noteworthy in other reviews is commentary that the dad seemed too enraged at the medical community for not being able to save his son--that the dad (Doron) basically went on a tirade about how everyone who touched his son screwed it up. Reviewers (some) seem angry at the father for being so angry at the medical establishment.
Externally focused anger might be tagging along with his extreme sense of loss, powerlessness, love, and a not-altogether misguided rage with the medical establishment. Although there are many individual care providers who are talented, competent, etc., they at some level have to separate themselves from the emotional aspects of their patients or they will not deliver the type of care that is needed. That's why doctors aren't supposed to treat their families.
Although the broken healthcare system has within it many a disgruntled and self-considered disenfranchised provider, I don't think the father was unreasonable. He would have been really irresponsible, given his education, means, etc. NOT to do everything he could to further his son's treatment, including what sounds like (but is not necessarily) bullying doctors into doing their jobs.
The idea of having a child specifically to be an organ and tissue factory for another child is compelling if not new, but there was great (missed) opportunity here to explore more about what it means to be human in an age during which we can prolong life by very recently unimagined means. There are hints at this premise, and the book would not have been better with To Kill a Mockingbird style brain-clubbing metaphor, but something along the Hunger Games or Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs subtext would have worked well.
This book was a little difficult to get the full benefit of from the audio. Many good points, but more easily followed in other format.
The performance and story were good. The book just has an irritating premise, which is clear from the title.
Not sure why all the rave reviews. This is yet another alcoholism-recovery-being depressed memoir. This book makes Eat, Pray, Love (aka Eat, Pray, Puke) seem self-effacing by comparison.
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