Against Medical Advice by James Patterson and Hal Friedman

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316024759
ISBN-13: 978-0316024754

About the book:

Cory Friedman woke up one morning when he was five years old with the uncontrollable urge to twitch his neck. From that day forward his life became a hell of irrepressible tics and involuntary utterances, and Cory embarked on an excruciating journey from specialist to specialist to discover the cause of his disease. Soon it became unclear what tics were symptoms of his disease and what were side effects of the countless combinations of drugs. The only certainty is that it kept getting worse. Simply put: Cory Friedman's life was a living hell.

AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE is the true story of Cory and his family's decades-long battle for survival in the face of extraordinary difficulties and a maddening medical establishment. It is a heart-rending story of struggle and triumph with a climax as dramatic as any James Patterson thriller.

I must admit, the story itself is heart wrenching. I'm sure anyone who reads this book will feel a small sense of the desperation and despair that the Friedman's felt for the best part of 13 years.

And the courage shown by the entire family in general, and by Cory specifically, shows what special people they are. To even share the story at all took an enormous amount of courage, and for that they are to be commended.

With all that said though, I personally had a hard time reading this book. While I understand the need to explain the behaviors, "tics" as they are called, since they are central to the story itself, I felt it was over explained and made the book drag and become difficult to read.

Also, I didn't feel it was necessary to spend as much time as was devoted to medications. Again, while some of that information was certainly necessary, I felt it was discussed too much.

"Against Medical Advice" isn't a bad book. It surely is a triumph of the spirit and I applaud the Friedmans for having the courage to share this very intimate journey with us all. The writing, as always, is fantastic, and although the details bored me at times it is no fault of the authors. This book just wasn't for me.


Bookfool said...

This actually seems like a book I'd really enjoy. I'm not interested in any of Patterson's other books.