Lucky Man

A Memoir
Narrated by: Michael J. Fox
Length: 5 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (598 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease: a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis, and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. With the same passion, humor, and energy that Fox has invested in his dozens of performances, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson's.

Combining his trademark ironic sensibility and keen sense of the absurd, he recounts his life, from his childhood in a small town in western Canada to his meteoric rise in film and television, which made him a worldwide celebrity. Most importantly, however, he writes of the last 10 years, during which, with the unswerving support of his wife, family, and friends, he has dealt with his illness. He talks about what Parkinson's has given him: the chance to appreciate a wonderful life and career, and the opportunity to help search for a cure and spread public awareness of the disease. He is a very lucky man, indeed.

©2002 Michael J. Fox. All rights reserved (P)2002 Simon and Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"[Fox's] narrative and sentiment are heartfelt." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The True Story of Onset Parkinson's - Life Goes On

I should state that I have 2 disabling neurological diseases; Post-Polio and Guillain-Barré. So I am looking through the lens of someone who has gone through many of the same experiences, physically and mentally, as Michael J. Fox. In fact, that is the reason I chose to listen to this book.

Only someone who has a progressive disabling condition can tell the story, and Mr. Fox does an excellent job. As a narrator he is natural, relaxed, as if speaking a to close friend. He describes the challenges of dealing with the inevitable, in a matter of fact style that draws the listener into his world. It is an almost impossible task to explain the mental and physical effects to someone who has not experienced a disabling condition. Yet, as author and narrator he tells the story of the onset of Parkinson's as it happens. Being told by doctors that he is too young, hiding the symptoms from his employer, knowing that something is seriously wrong. (Disclaimer, my own experience parallels his so closely, that I can attest to his honesty)

For someone who has a disability his story resonates without a sense of pity. It is comforting, in astrange way, to relive the experiences, knowing that you are not alone. For those who do not have a disability his book is educational, and on its own merit a well told tale. I wish everyone would listen to Michael J. Fox tell his own story in his own words. I wish that people could understand what a person with a disability goes through, the world would be a kinder place.

The fact the he is a celebrity reaching the peak of his career when Parkinson's begins, adds an element of interest apart from his disease. The book is not depressing, it is even humorous at times. It is the story of a very likeable person, a husband, loving father and a hard working actor. Lucky Man is the first of Michael J. Fox's trilogy. Having thoroughly enjoyed this book, I bought the other two. I can't wait to listen to those books as well.

7 people found this helpful

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Michael J. Box is a verbal gymnast

I couldn't even get through the first chapter without consulting my dictionary at least 20 times. I love an author who can expand my vocabulary. This memoir has helped me to a deeper understanding of my mothers struggle with Parkinson's. God bless Michael J. Fox.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Bad for a Celebrity Story

I really do loathe celebrity books but I do occasioanlly get sucked up by curiosity to see what they say. There was not the typical dissappointment with this purchase.

As a nurse, I appreciate not only the simple explanation of MJF's experience of acknowledging his symptoms but also his explanations of diagnosis and treatment. No chronic illness is easy, especially for someone in the spotlight. It is sad that there is the "need" to try to hide an illness.

MJF is definitely an inspiration as a human being struggling with a devastating disease such as Parkinson's. I hope many benefit from not only the manner with which he handled his disease but also from his significant efforts to help the common man who find themselves in the same situation.

I encourage others to support the cause and read this book. Well done, Michael.

5 people found this helpful

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Fantastic

I have loved MJF most of my life. To hear him tell is story made my heart happy.

1 person found this helpful

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I wish I'd listened to the unabridged version

I completely missed that this was abridged version. I'm not sure if there even is unabridged version as an audio book, but if there is, listen to that instead. It can only be better.

That was pretty much the only downside worth mentioning about the listening experience. Michael reads the book him self, which really makes it so much better. The story is heartwarming yet honest and humble. He admits his problems, talks about'em openly and tells what are the most important things for him. He does not preach or try to be condescending.

If there has to be some other downside it is that only so much trivia and stories can fit into a book, especially abridged version. I really hoped there would be even more stories on back scenes of the movie sets and such. Michael seems to be pretty protective on his personal life what comes to his family, so that part is kept relatively shallow.

I thought I liked Michael J. Fox before, but now I like him even more. If you think you do, too, it's certainly worth listening.

3 people found this helpful

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Great story of his inspirational journey.

Any additional comments?

I listened to the abridged audio book as it was read by Michael himself and it was lovely listening to him telling his own story. I didn't find it as emotional or as touching as i was expecting and moments that i was expecting to be teary just weren't. Not sure if this was it due to it being an abridged version and parts had been left out, as i found the story to jump around a bit and the poignant moment at the end with the walnut tree just seemed a bit lost.

Still a great story about an inspirational man.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is must read!

Michael J. Fox presents himself and his illness with unusual honesty for an A-List actor. From his youthful days as a wandering and at times misguided teenager, to his stint as an in demand Hollywood star, Mr. Fox reveals his fortunes and fears with unabashed candor. This is a must read for fans!

1 person found this helpful

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Personal and Educational

This book has just the right mix of deep dive insight into the writer, fun stories and life milestoned, and education on Parkinson's disease. I'm so glad Michael read this book to us. I'm not sure how much it was cut, but at the end we were told it was a bridged for audio.

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Abridged!

I didn't realize I bought the abridged version. Back when this book first came out, I read it and enjoyed it very much. This abridged version is a hollow shell of that book that loses the depth and details necessary to truly connect and engage the listener with the story. It is too choppy and detached. Hence, my rating slides from a 5 to a 3.

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highly recommended read!

I loved Michael's book! I learned a lot about his early career and when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Hope he copped. He has an amazing mlmwife who impressed me so much because she let him take the time to make the adjustments he needed to do to accept and live with this incredibly debilitating disease. listening to him tell the story added the realization of the struggle he deals with daily. I highly recommend this book. it was an eye opener for me.

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Profile Image for Lee m
  • Lee m
  • 12-30-18

Brilliant

Always been a fan of michael j fox eversince back to the future movies, was genuinely upset when it came out about mj having parkinsons, I myself have now been diagnosed with with parkinson's in March 2018 at the age of 42 this book has given me hope and want to thank Michael from bringing me back from a dark place making me realise I do have a future thank you for all you have done and continue to do for parkinson's research you are an amazing man.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MyLifer
  • 03-31-16

Abridged version didn't do justice to his story

Not well abridged, he seemed a little arrogant without much of the intriguing background. A shame.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tj
  • 02-23-20

Legend

Loved this! Heartfelt and inspiring, thank you for sharing with us such a private part of your life

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-18-20

Thank you Mr Michael J Fox

Such an honest and inspiring account by a man whose emotional journey takes him from a young Canadian actor to Hollywood superstardom in his mid twenties, before the initially devastating but ultimately life affirming diagnosis of Early Parkinson’s Disease around the age of 30.

Fox is warm, funny in a refreshing self deprecating way and full of gratitude for the people he knows both professionally and personally. One can only feel empathy for him during the difficult period from when he contracts Parkinson’s to announcing it publicly years later, during which time he has to conceal the symptoms in order to maintain an already curtailed acting career.

The period after his condition became publicly known has, aside from making him the representative for those suffering from the early onset of the disease, clearly been the most rewarding of his life. The love for his wife and family is beautiful and is a large part of his raison d’être.

I did find some anecdotes a little bit sentimental which being for an English person can occasionally be a turn off. Other than that though it is well worth a listen and you might be reevaluating what is truly important.

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  • R.M
  • 06-15-19

Inspiring

A really inspiring account from Michael J Fox, from his rise to fame to his battle and acceptance with Parkinson's.

Definitely worth the listen!

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  • Dadrondot
  • 05-01-19

Great book and wonderful insight

MJF write and delivers a powerful view of a crippling disease and how he coped with it. Very impressed.

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  • Rembrandt
  • 03-16-19

Rewarding

A very rewarding read, honest and life enhancing. Truly a gifted man! Funny, brave and honourable...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will read again.

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  • Ricky D
  • 03-13-19

Beautiful and interesting

A beautiful and interesting insight into the life of Michael J Fox and his battle again Parkinson’s Disease which he was struck with early in his life. Great listening to the author himself tell the story.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-08-19

Loved it! Such an insight!

Great book! Well written and read. Such an insight into the disease and the nan himself. What an eye-opener!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-28-18

openingly honest version of events by Michael j ..

openingly honest version of events in the life of Micheal j fox.. heartbreaking compelling informative a must read

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  • Denis Tamplin
  • 04-10-16

Excellent, truly excellent

I wish I had not waited so long to experience this story. Thank you Michael and thank you Nanna

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-27-20

Michael J Fox is humbled & transformed by PD

loved it, Michael J Fox is humbled & transformed by PD. His story of transformation from being a spoiled movie star, to an advocate to Parkinson's Disease is truly humbling... cant help but fall in love with Michael J Fox all over again.

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  • Bake.
  • 03-19-19

Brilliant

Michael J. Fox's memoir is an extremely well written and well read book. I was so engrossed in every part of his story that I wished the book were twice as long. Perhaps it is, since this is an abridged version.
I give this 5 stars, and this will not be the last time I listen to this audiobook, it brought a lot of clarity to my own outlook on life as a whole.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-06-19

Brilliant

It was so good. Thankyou Michael for sharing your story. It was thoughtful, entertaining and powerful!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-20-18

Absolutely loved this book. Amazing story.

What a story. Love love loved this book. What an amazing man. Michael is a wonderful narrator.

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  • Kimberley Connery
  • 12-01-17

Loved it.

Highly Recommended. An open, honest retelling of his journey from pre-diagnosis through to public advocate for PD. He covers the balancing of disease, coping, working and family. I just wish it wasn't an abridged version!

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  • J Lymer
  • 08-29-17

Wonderfully Insightful

Being Canadian isn't a prerequisite for loving MJF or having an interest in his story. Lucky Man is a great read about living large, taking risks and taking stock. Also a nice reminder to live with gratitude.
Mike Fox lays bare his journey from denial to PD advocate with many funny stories in between.