Soon to be a feature film, The Late Bloomer is the revealing, harrowing, and often funny memoir of a celebrity journalist and former hotshot hockey player who discovers that he has been biochemically infused with a female hormone.
On the surface, Ken Baker seemed a model man. He was a nationally ranked hockey goalie; a Hollywood correspondent for People; a guest-lister at celebrity parties; and girls came on to him. Inside, though, he didn't feel like the man he was supposed to be.
Although attracted to women, Ken had little sex drive and thus even less of a sex life. To his anguish, he repeatedly found himself unable to perform sexually. And, regardless of strenuous workouts, his body struggled to build muscle, earning him the nickname "Pear" from his macho teammates. Physically, matters turned bizarre when he discovered that he was lactating.
The testosterone-driven culture in which Ken grew up made it agonizingly difficult for him to seek help. But in time he discovered something that lifted years of pain, frustration, and confusion: a brain tumor was causing his body to be flooded with massive amounts of a female hormone, which was disabling his masculinity.
Five hours of surgery accomplished what years of therapy, rumination, and denial could not - and allowed Ken Baker to finally feel - and function - like a man.
Now Ken's story comes to the screen in the feature film, The Late Bloomer, starring Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and Jane Lynch.
©2016 Ken Baker (P)2016 Penguin Audio
Let me start by saying there are many parts of this book I liked and laughed at, it just isn't what really stood out to me when I finished.
I was pretty disappointed in this book for a few reasons.
First, Ken narrates like he is hosting a E! news segment. His timing can be over dramatic and just down right odd in the context of an audiobook.
Second, he over emphasizes the toll this tumor had on his masculinity. By the end of the second chapter, I've heard so many dramatic comments about the tumor that I stop listening whenever he makes them. Don't get me wrong, I understand what he went through was life changing and emotional, but it can be conveyed just as strongly without the constant remarks. It's over done and repetitive.
My biggest problem lies in the fact that he dragged out his entire life story, made numerous illusions and foreshadowed the big event of his diagnosis, which finally comes in the last two hours of the audio. All this build up and he glosses over it, while the rest of the book goes into great detail about his entire life to that point.
I feel like really important events weren't mentioned or weren't broken down, which is odd because he analyzes everything.
Anyway, would not recommend to a friend. The movie is pretty bad too. Look else where.
I first learned of Ken's story from a clip on The Adam Carolla Podcast then listening to Dr. Drew's Podcast featuring Ken. I was eager to listen to this audiobook. Wow, it did not disappoint! I feared I would just rehear about his story, the same story from the Podcast. I was very delighted to learn that this book is mostly about growing up, maturing from teenage, college to adult hood with zero sex drive and his loss of "manliness". What is cool is that he overcame all of this and ended up on top. This is also a funny book as he goes into detail about some "college" stories. Highly recommend it! Oh yea, very glad that Ken self narrated his book as his voice and tone properly expresses emotions he felt as he reread his story. Thanks!
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