Monday, July 11, 2016

BRAIN DAMAGE


I'll bet you are thinking I am finally admitting to the reason behind my style of writing but actually this is a book review and that is the title. 

Amazon location

I just finished Brain Damage by Freida McFadden and would like  to recommend this medical mystery.  Freida McFadden is a doctor and I trust her medical knowledge.

This is the second book of hers I have read that I have felt the urge to recommend. I previously enjoyed The Devil Wears Scrubs very much Dr. McFadden roped me in early with her wry sense of humor. I am just glad I read The Devil after I had been a patient in the hospital and not before. Somethings are best not to be aware of prior to a hospital stay.

Brain Damage is the fictional story of  Charly, a doctor who is shot in the head and wakes up in a hospital not knowing her name, is unable to move, a good chunk of her skull is missing and the left side of her body is effectively gone as she has no awareness of it. Charly has no idea who shot her or why. 

The author takes you into the Charly's life before the shooting and then into her extremely limited but I found facinating life after. She flip flops between the timelines with ease. 

The therapy and recovery I found quite informative. The patient's thought process during her recovery was surprisingly interesting and believable.  Dr. McFadden made the recovery seem so authentic that I actually felt like I was inside and understood Charly's damaged brain.

I couldn't help at times but wonder if Gabby Giffords might have gone through similar phases.

Sounds like a fun read doesn't it?  At first glance-- NO-- but oddly, the author's sense of humor balances out what could have been the bleakness of recovery by making the book attention grabbing, informative and at times very funny.   It was not a case of making fun of a dire situation but the simplicity and literalness of Charly's limited thinking often triggered a smile or chuckle. 

One sequence in particular had me ever so grateful I didn't have a mouth full of liquid at the time, especially since I read in bed. I totally lost it as this poor woman tries to justify in her damaged mind that having a rapist as a therapist possibly might be a good thing. You will just have to read it to find out why that is hilarious and not cruel or twisted. 

Did I feel guilty sometimes laughing at this poor woman's hapless struggles? Yes at first I did, but then I realized the author's humor was actually a perfect fit so I relaxed, learned and enjoyed. Just the right mix of humor and pathos.  I would like to say I couldn't put it down but I actually did--once. I finished it in two sittings. Rare for me as I normally only read for an hour or so each night.  

If you like medical mysteries with a delightful mix of wry humor thrown in, then I highly recommend this book and Dr. McFadden as an author. 

Enjoy--- I certainly did.


31 comments :

  1. I'm fascinated with books that have a medical twist. Having worked in the health care field for many years, I am still drawn to reading anything medical related. I could use a good escape book; I think I'll add that to my summer reading list! Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. Carole,
      Hope you like this one. I too enjoy medical books.

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  2. They don't have it at my library. I'll look at it on that Amazon link. Thanks, Patti! :-)

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    1. Djan,
      Sorry the library doesn't have it yet. If you get it for your Kindle, the price is right.

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  3. Sounds like a great read. I love reading about medical experiences, so this would be grand. I think I'll tell my mom about it too! She'll love it.

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    1. robin,
      I hope you can find it for you and your Mom. Does she have a Kindle?

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  4. I am definitely fan of wry humor so will look for this author.

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    1. Olga,
      I am a fan of wry also. Hope you enjoy.

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  5. Thanks Patti, I've already downloaded it. I was in bad need of a book to read.

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  6. Linda,
    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Pretty sure you will enjoy the humor.

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  7. Looks great; I just bought it!!

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  8. Sounds good! I'll download it for my upcoming trip to Canada.

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  9. Linda M.
    Great idea for a travel book. Have a wonderful trip.

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  10. Mrs. Chatterbox loves mysteries and anything medical so I'll mention this author to her.

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    1. Stephen,
      I hope she gets it and enjoys. Thanks.

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  11. It is important to make medical crises fun and funny when possible. Often fear leads us to laughter as protection from the potential outcome. I will look for the book. Great review.

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    1. Annie,
      Hope you enjoy it. I find laughter really takes the sting out of a lot of situations and has great healing qualities.

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  12. Sounds interesting. I have always been fascinated with how Gabby Gifford came back. It seemed almost miraculous and is a tribute to her medical group...so the book sounds like a winner. Thanks for the review.

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    1. Ginnie,
      I too was amazed at Gabby's amazing recovery and from what I learned in this book, it takes baby steps, lots of them.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Sounds fascinating. Perhaps even inspiring...:)

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  14. Sounds like a great read. I'll keep an eye out for it at the Chapters outlet. I have a Kobo but prefer to hold a real book in my hands.

    Thanks for sharing the review.

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    1. Eileen,
      I use to be like you but now if it isn't digital, I most likely won't read it. Hopefully you can find it in real book form.

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  15. The book sounds good. Let me get a chance to read it....

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    1. Weekend-Windup,
      Hope you find it. It really is worth it.

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  16. Sounds like a book I may enjoy.

    Always glad to see pollinators...summer squash, cucumbers and tomatoes are being enjoyed here.

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    1. Gail,
      We need those pollinators, otherwise we would have to pollinate our crops by hand. While that would end unemployment it is not a chore I would look forward to in the garden.

      Delete
  17. Humor in the immediate aftermath of my 2011 hemorrhagic stroke was life-affirming and continues to be a major avenue of coping. Not the same as your Charly, but still plenty to laugh about. Sounds like a good read. Putting it on my list.

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    1. LC,
      It was your amazing sense of humor in the face of what you went through that blew my mind. Your humerous stories of your struggles that would have beaten down most made you my hero. So glad to see you posting again.

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