Comedian Zach Anner opens his frank and devilishly funny book, If at Birth You Don't Succeed, with an admission: He botched his own birth. Two months early, underweight and underprepared for life, he entered the world with cerebral palsy and an uncertain future. So how did this hairless mole rat of a boy blossom into a viral Internet sensation who's hosted two travel shows, impressed Oprah, driven the Mars Rover, and inspired a John Mayer song? (It wasn't "Your Body is a Wonderland".)
Zach lives by the mantra: When life gives you a wheelchair, make lemonade. Whether recounting a valiant childhood attempt to woo Cindy Crawford, encounters with zealous faith healers, or the time he crapped his pants mere feet from Dr. Phil, Zach shares his fumbles with unflinching honesty and characteristic charm. By his 30th birthday, Zach had grown into an adult with a career in entertainment, millions of fans, a loving family, and friends who would literally carry him up mountains.
If at Birth You Don't Succeed is a hilariously irreverent and heartfelt memoir about finding your passion and your path even when it's paved with epic misadventure. This is the unlikely but not unlucky story of a man who couldn't safely open a bag of Skittles but still became a fitness guru with fans around the world. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll fall in love with the Olive Garden all over again and learn why cerebral palsy is, definitively, "the sexiest of the palsies".
©2016 Zachary Dean Anner (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
Not often can an author of a book be their own narrator. In this case though, no one could have read this book the way Zach does. His comedic timing is excellent. His tone in the serious parts held me close to the story. In general, I found it well done in all aspects. As one who does narration for a living all I can say is, Great Job!
Funny, Poignant, Eye Opening, and over all well done. Highly recommended.
I listened to this book as fast as I could. It's funny (OK, hilarious), irreverent in places, poignant in others. Zach neither lets himself be defined by his physical limitations nor glosses over them and pretends his life is easy. As a woman with a disability (admittedly different from Zach's), I found myself agreeing with him on many fine points of disability etiquette, nuance, and finding your way.
A piece of advice, though: do NOT listen to this book on the bus; you'll be laughing so hard that people will look at you funny...
Awesome book. very inspiring. Great work Zach Anner. Loved every minute of the journey. Some spots hit real close to home, and others were nice to get a fresh perspective on. Thanks.
Outstanding memoir. Thoughtful, introspective, laugh-out-loud funny. Like hanging out with a good friend, shooting the sh@# and reminiscing. Great, great narration. Loved the music at chapter breaks. Thanks for a great read Zach.
loved the book...real life doesnt always have to be depressing. i myself have struggle with a mild form of CP for going on 43 years, but aside from all the taunts, ridicule and misguided questions as to why i walk or run the way i do, i have surpassed all that the doctors expected of me. Thanks for being you and for sharing yourself with us 💜
I was late to the Zach Anner fan club, so by the time I knew anything of his body of work, his book was already slated for release the next month. I found that he was just as hilarious as he was endearing. As the pretty much negative person as I am, I found his optimism and positivity void of the preachy nature I find most folk with such enthusiasm; which made me love him even more.
I had no idea what to expect from his book, just that I was sure I would laugh along with him and his particular brand of humor. What I found in listening to him speak about his life, was that his honest heartfelt nature nearly brought me to tears many times, not because of anything to do with his disability, but because of his overcoming a very real problem we all face at junctures in our lives; despair.
I needed this book. I've spent most of my life waiting for something so profoundly positive to happen to fill the chasm of negativity I had dug for myself, never even stopping to think that I could simply make the conscious choice to be more positive. As cliché as it seems, there is truth in that sometimes the easiest solutions are the hardest ones to see.
Though I may never get to thank him in person, and he'll more than likely never read this, I would like to thank him. So thanks Zach, a million times over, you are an amazing human being.
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