Then, in 1999, a chance encounter brought startling news: a revolutionary stem-cell transplant surgery could restore May's vision. The procedure was filled with risks, some of them deadly, others beyond May's wildest dreams. There were countless reasons for May to pass on vision. He could think of only a single reason to go forward. Whatever his decision, he knew it would change his life.
Beautifully written and thrillingly told, Crashing Through is a journey of suspense, daring, romance, and insight into the mysteries of vision and the brain. Robert Kurson gives us a fascinating account of one man's choice to explore what it means to see - and to truly live.
©2007 Robert Kurson; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"A remarkable story of courage and endurance." (Publishers Weekly)
An amazing account of an exceptionally rare occurrence – a totally blind man who is made to see after nearly 40 years. Wonderful? You’d think so, but when your brain hasn’t learned to understand what your eyes see, the resulting chaos can drive a man to suicide.
Kurson tells Mike May’s story brilliantly. He has a rare ability that transported me into the adventure and held my attention throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed his skilful capacity to impart technical information with intense clarity, without every becoming tedious or sounding patronising.
This is a book that will fascinate, stimulate, educate and inspire you. Once you have listened to it, you’ll be bursting to tell others about this truly incredible story. One of the best books I’ve downloaded in 10 years of membership.
The title "Crashing Through" implies a momentous breakthrough that never quite appears in the book. Granted, the story is about a man, Michael May, who gains sight after more than 43 years of blindness, and his struggle to make sense of visual information after so many years of dormancy. But I kept waiting for a breakthorough to normalcy that never happens.
As it turns out, sight is more complex than any of us might have suspected, requiring far more than simple sensory input. Yet May is a remarkable man and his willingness to let us share in the intimate details of this struggle makes this a singular read. Without May's insights this would just be another story of science falling short of the mark. With it, we are treated to a far deeper awareness of the complexities of vision, an appreciation for its gifts, and understanding of what it must be like to see, even just a little, after so many years of blindness.
This book has done what I expect of all great books, it has left me pondering the significance of many of its values and ideas and has been the source of many conversations with my friends and family.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (true) - Mike May is one of only ten documented cases of sight restoration after a lifetime of blindness. This book is about his life and his journey from darkness into light. I'm not sure I would like Mike as a person. He reminds me of my ex-husband -- a cocky adrenaline junkie who looks too much at women other than his wife -- but I digress. Those aspects of his personality definitely contributed to his success story.
The parts of the book about Mike's life...meh. He is successful and happy, blah, blah. blah. The parts about his surgery and the battle he fought for vision...awesome! Much of the "seeing part" of his brain was never developed and had to be trained or worked around. As only one example, he had to be taught how to distinguish between male and female faces and the difference between a smile and a frown. When shown drawings of faces with eyes or mouths upside down, he didn't notice. He even had trouble distinguishing between his own children using sight alone. Things we learn through our lifetimes of sight are things Mike had to be taught. Fascinating.
PERFORMANCE - No particular comment about the performance. It got the job done without distraction.
OVERALL - The book reads pretty much like a story, going chronologically through Mike's experiences. There is no violence or cursing, and there's only one sexual situation. Recommended for any adult who might be interested in Mike's journey.
The audio book "Crashing through" is a really interesting and I thought about it daily until I finished lisening. I have recommened this audio book to all my friends that are interested in nonfiction books about medical/social type issues. It makes you think about your own vision and how we take it for granted and how different we would be if we had never had a memory of seeing faces, colors, highways and more.
Good story. Amazing mother who allowed him to literally fall on his face to find his limits (or lack there of.) It's also facsinating to see how the brain works.
If you think you have even an "idea" of what it would mean for a blind person to regain sight, this book will "open your eyes". I couldn't stop listening... Kurson does an incredible job of blending the emotional, the technical, and the theoretical aspects of Mike May's story.
I was skeptical but thoroughly enjoyed it. the man in the story became one. it was very well done.
because it is q true story as well as local, made it that much more interesting. As well as I have a blind daughter.
No, his writing style is not for me.
He was monotone virtually the entire time. No emphasis on anything, no arcs in the storytelling, speaking patterns--almost put me to sleep multiple times.
Hmm. This book is very mixed for me. It really is an incredible story, but it felt very stretched in order to make it into a book. I was not surprised to find out that this story initially began as an article for Esquire--for which it won a National Magazine Award--because I'm sure it was must more interesting and engaging in a (much) more condensed form.
Because it won such a prestigious award, I hope that the article was more well written than the book. The sentences were choppy and basic, the descriptions were uninspired and ordinary (very disappointing considering this is a book about sight)--I felt like it was written at a 6th grade reading level.
The book focuses on Mike May's childhood, his successful skiing career, his entrepreneurial endeavors, and the fact that he is a straight male. By this I mean that at least half of the book focuses on girls/women he finds attractive, dates he goes on, weekends we spends with women, sex he has or wants to have with women, his want to see breasts, the low cut tops he gets to see when he gains vision... You get the picture.
The parts of the story that focus on him gaining sight is interesting if you can get past the writing and the overall pompous and self-centered personality of Mike May. But I would highly suggest reading it instead, the audiobook reader is awful. So monotone. So boring. No feeling in his voice whatsoever. I felt like he just wanted to get it over with--I guess I can't blame him.
Mom, married, website designer, portfolio manager in self-imposed exile (yeah Greg Smith!!), former California native, Episcopalian.
It's been awhile since I've listened to a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend to all my book-loving friends. Kurson's descriptions regarding the perceptions of the newly sighted are mind-bending. Mike May is an incredible inspiration, especially to our young people. I plan to encourage our school to use all or part (for the elementary kids) of this book for our next community reading program. (Last book was Three Cups of Tea - another BRAVO book!)
When I recommend this book to a friend who has already ready it, we both say, "Wasn't it marvelous?". Use your credit, dig in and enjoy. Oh, and the narrator is quite good too.
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