Imagine if the most severe physical pain and sorrow in your life were inflicted by the people you trusted most. In the spring of 2007, Belo Cipriani was beaten and robbed of his sight at the hands of his childhood friends. Blind: A Memoir chronicles the two years immediately following the assault.
At the age of 26, Belo found himself learning to walk, cook, and date in the dark. Armed with visual memory and his newly developed senses, Belo shows listeners what the blind see. He narrates the recondite world of the blind, where microwaves, watches, and computers talk, and where guide dogs guard as well as lead.
This book is a short autobiography of one man's journey with vision loss. He describes in poignant, aching detail about the rehabilitation process. Belo neither over-emphasizes his feelings of hopelessness, anger, self-involvement - either before or after the beating that stole his sight. The fact that he's part of the LGBTQ community provides an extra layer of complexity to what some might argue is a relatively streamlined sight-loss memoir.
While Belo describes in accessible words what he went through, his feelings and actions and thoughts... this book does have some drawbacks. Particularly in the beginning, it jumps forward and backward in place and time, so much that I got confused without any indicator of the timeline. Fellow residents at the rehabilitation centre are not mentioned at all until they are in guide dog school with Belo, at which point he mentioned how thrilled he was to see them. The audiobook is narrated well by Sean Crisden, but the beginning of EVERY SINGLE ONE of the 40+ chapters has a musical interlude, which adds little but duration to this book (particularly considering there are only 3 or 4 interludes used).
It's well worth your time, money and credit to listen to this book if you want a good look at self-discovery and how the blind do things in daily life. It's by no means a perfect book, but it's a worthwhile addition to my library of books on vision loss.