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The Ghost in My Brain Audiobook

The Ghost in My Brain: How a Concussion Stole My Life and How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Helped Me Get It Back

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Publisher's Summary

The dramatic story of one man's recovery offers new hope to those suffering from concussions and other brain traumas.

In 1999, Clark Elliott suffered a concussion when his car was rear-ended. Overnight his life changed from that of a rising professor with a research career in artificial intelligence to a humbled man struggling to get through a single day. At times he couldn't walk across a room, or even name his five children. Doctors told him he would never fully recover. After eight years, the cognitive demands of his job, and of being a single parent, finally became more than he could manage. As a result of one final effort to recover, he crossed paths with two brilliant Chicago-area research-clinicians - one a specialized optometrist, the other a cognitive psychologist - working on the leading edge of brain plasticity. He was substantially improved within weeks.

Remarkably, Elliott kept detailed notes throughout his experience, from the moment of impact to the final stages of his recovery, astounding documentation that is the basis of this fascinating audiobook. The Ghost in My Brain gives hope to the millions who suffer from head injuries each year, and provides a unique and informative window into the world's most complex computational device: the human brain.

©2015 Clark Elliott (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Viking, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (243 )
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  •  
    Brent 01-17-16
    Brent 01-17-16
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    "Mostly Tedious With Moments of Insight"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The core of this book is interesting and insightful. The author conveys some aspects of living with brain injury that are rarely talked about and difficult to describe. However, these glimpses are buried in a seemingly endless tedium of repetition, recital of dates and facts, and other mundane details that are truly irrelevant.<br/><br/>My advice: Read/listen to the first half of the book. Then, just be aware that author claims to have been successfully treated using a series of custom prescription glasses. Very little new is revealed in the second half aside from this fact, which almost reads as a footnote to the author's almost daily journal of every minute observation (each one being very similar to dozens of previous observations).<br/><br/>Aside from these criticisms, the book is still important for the way it describes living with brain injury. It is just not a story told in a skillful way, but more as an unedited journal.


    Would you recommend The Ghost in My Brain to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the first half of the book, as it offers some glimpse into what it is like living with a brain injury. The recommendation would come with the caveat to go ahead and put the book down as soon as it started to become tedious, because it would not recover.


    Do you think The Ghost in My Brain needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    A follow-up is definitely unnecessary. It is difficult to imagine the author left out the slightest detail. A sequel would, possibly, go into slightly more detail about what he had for lunch each day.


    59 of 62 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-10-17
    05-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "really helped me relate"

    narrator was boring but the story was really eye opening. it really hit home and helped me understand my own struggles with a car accident based concusion and TBI.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LaLa SC, United States 06-11-17
    LaLa SC, United States 06-11-17 Member Since 2010
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    "Every TBI survivor/parent of Sufferer should read"
    Would you listen to The Ghost in My Brain again? Why?

    Already have, I'm following the same protocol currently. What I have seen so far has shown me that recovery is possible. My experience throughout my concussion has been horrible and it's been hard to find doctors that weren't just shoving medications down my throat. I've found a doctor trained by Dr. Zelinsky in the Sotheast and I've seen for myself that this program can work for me . I listen now to understand the processes of what my optometrist is doing and to know what to expect next.


    Which character – as performed by Arthur Morey – was your favorite?

    I related most to Clark's experience, but it was Dr. Zelinsky story that started me on the right path for recovery.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It gave me hope, and showed me that my symptoms are normal. But they aren't in my head. It made me understand what is going on and give me away to seek out the right professional stuff with me .


    Any additional comments?

    Please recommend this book to anyone suffering from TBI or to the parents of children suffering with TBI.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serine 02-10-16
    serine 02-10-16 Member Since 2011
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    "Mildly interesting"

    I am extremely interested in cognitive neuroscience. Indeed there is some interesting information in here about the strangeness of the human brain. The book details an AI professor's search for help in curing his TBI, acquired in an auto accident in 1999. He attempts to detail as much of his journey as possible in the hopes of helping people understand what it is like to live with TBI.

    I agree that more awareness is needed, and I often like when scientists give a first hand account of something they have experienced. The personal narrative was at times very interesting and at times really not for me. There might be many readers who have TBI and will relate better to this author than I did. The whole time I was reading, I was wishing I could be reading an Oliver Sacks book about the subject.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy McGary 10-15-15
    Amy McGary 10-15-15
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    "Enlightening and Informative"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was very relatable to since I have been experiencing many of the symptoms he describes, though on a much lesser scale and without a concussion. His descriptions have given me a way to explain what I've had to deal with to many people who have not been able to understand before.

    This is the type of book that I think everyone should read as it sheds light on why someone who might appear healthy is acting different or inexplicably. Maybe it could lead to more kindness and understanding for those who suffer from hidden illnesses.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
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    Nathan 01-16-17
    Nathan 01-16-17 Member Since 2017
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    "A must read/listen to"

    I am recovering from a concussion and this book gave me hope, helped me find the right questions to ask at Doctor visits and over all taught me more than I ever expected about the recovery process. The way it is written makes it so easy to follow even with a concussion.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Watz 01-25-16
    Jean Watz 01-25-16 Member Since 2016

    Graphics nut

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    "A Revelation About Healing"

    As a teacher who is always looking for brain information to pass along to my students Iwas looking forward to new knowledge, which I did receive, however there was little I can use. The author is an amazingly brilliant , detailed man who wrote in great detail. I learned, but got bogged down in many descriptions. Overall I am in awe of the methods used in his healing and in his memories. This book should be required reading for any health care workers dealing with brain injury.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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    papa k 05-12-17
    papa k 05-12-17 Member Since 2009
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    "A Courageous Story for the Walking Wounded"

    This book has and will continue to change my life. Fourteen years with similar life-stories, challenges, and roadblocks -- I now have hope. I am one of the "walking wounded" that Elliot describes in the front of the book. We are the ones who are told again and again "You just have to live with your brain damage." I now have a path toward a more full brain recovery and life. Thank you Dr Elliot.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
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    Steve 08-06-16
    Steve 08-06-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Fascinating and Detailed Account of PCS"

    Fascinating, detailed description of severe PCS. I can relate to many of the symptoms from my own medication induced brain injury (post renal transplant immunosuppression)...and of my own concussion patients.

    Dr. Steve Waddell

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Louisville, KY, United States 06-20-15
    Dan Louisville, KY, United States 06-20-15 Member Since 2012

    I am an eye doctor who loves to read about the brain and brain research. I enjoy a good novel or series from time to time also!

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    "One of the most important books I've read!"

    As a Neuro rehab optometrist, I found the story Dr Eliot tells riveting. Must Read!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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