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Against Medical Advice: A True Story Hardcover – October 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


"A work of naked truth, as disturbing as it is important-Against Medical Advice turns Tourette's Syndrome inside out and shows us what it is like to be trapped inside a brain that has a nightmarish mind of its own. This true story of Hal Friedman's son, Cory, is a gift of honesty, huge courage, and hope, and a reminder that against all medical advice and odds, human beings can prevail." (Patricia Cornwell 2008-01-00)

"Against Medical Advice is a true story that reads like the most riveting of pageturners. Read it and feel at gut-level what it's like to be a child whose life is almost destroyed by a hellish array of nightmare medical symptoms. Best of all, watch what happens when an entire family stands together against all odds, armed with strength, perseverance, and love for one another." (Lisa Scottoline 2008-01-00)

"In the tradition of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Patterson and Friedman manage to get deep inside debilitating illness, and show us what life looks like from that perspective. Against Medical Advice is an amazing story of courage, fortitude and a family's love, simply told." (Terri Cheney 2008-01-00)

"Inspiring...a testament to the importance of family and the resilient nature of the human spirit." (George Pelecanos 2008-01-00)

"Against Medical Advice is both harrowing and heartbreaking, but is also a story of astonishing courage. This book stands as a testament to the amazing power of one family's unconditional love for each other." (Tess Gerritsen 2008-01-00)

"The frightening, frustrating life story of Mr. Friedman's son Cory, who for 13 years battled Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorder." (The Wall Street Journal Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg)

"Against Medical Advice touches on numerous harrowing experiences Cory rode out in school." (USA Today Mary Brophy Marcus)

"A disturbing story but ultimately an inspiring one that affirms the power of families to overcome adversity." (The Arizona Republic)

About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 240 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. Mr. Patterson also writes the bestselling Women's Murder Club novels, set in San Francisco, and the top-selling New York detective series of all time, featuring Detective Michael Bennett. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316024759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316024754
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By TSMom on October 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was a phenomenal retelling of the life of someone with Tourette Syndrome. As a mother of three boys who all have the same diagnosis as Cory, I feel like I can adequately say that I am more of an authority on the subject than most. As I read through his life struggles, weeping through a great many of the pages, I could identify with much of the grief and pain that he and his parents have gone through. I believe that everything in the book was very accurately portrayed, from the lack of understanding of the educational system to the medical roller coaster ride of trial and error, not to mention the misery inflicted by social situations. I feel like the book was tastefully written to not bash the people who do not understand this condition, (including medical/mental health professionals) but to portray the frustration and mental anguish caused by this lack of understanding.

I highly recommend this book to all, but especially to those who have the fortunate opportunity to touch the life of someone with Tourette Syndrome. As is obvious in Cory's case, these children are incredible. They have to overcome so much more than the rest of us would ever dream of imagining just to live, let alone succeed. Thank you Cory, for sharing your life with us.
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62 of 67 people found the following review helpful By BrianB VINE VOICE on October 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an fascinating, discouraging, and ultimately hopeful story of one child's struggle with Tourette's Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, alcoholism and misunderstanding. Although Corey, the one afflicted, did not write the book, the authors present it in the first person, giving the story a personal feel and immediacy. Corey develops a severe form of Tourette's at age five. He is given a variety of medicines over the years, and he suffers from a bewildering and distressing constellation of symptoms. Not surprisingly, he struggles at home and at school. Some of his teachers are understanding, and some are hostile, as he often disrupts the classroom with his unorthodox behaviors.

The book details how Corey receives ill treatment at the hands of the medical and educational establishments. Some of his doctors suffer from the messiah complex: the inability to admit that they might have prescribed the wrong medicine. Some of his teachers do not like him, because he can appear very difficult in class. He has a very hard time making friends. This prolongs and intensifies his misery.

I didn't always feel complete sympathy for Corey. At times, especially toward the end of the book, some of his complaining feels excessive. Corey maintains that his school aid entrapped him, reporting him for smoking on campus, an activity which was previously tolerated. He does admit that they "can't officially allow me to have a cigarette on the property." and he was supposed to walk far away from the school, but he was "a little lazy." He feels persecuted by the school board that recommends he repeat his junior year. After reading about the events of that year, It seemed that it was a reasonable decision, but the authors describe the board in highly unfavorable terms.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Anthony L. Marchigiano on October 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Some parts are intense. A few pages are among the realest, most moving pages you will ever read. Some parts were tough to experience through Cory's eyes, but the comfort and redemption of this book and the message it leaves you with is that we as Human beings are strong and can endure more than we can imagine if we refuse to be defined by our misfortune and embrace the love of those that love us. This book, better than any I have read, tells a true story in a real way.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matthew J. Haslett on October 20, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book about a strong young man with a similarly strong family. I personally do not know anyone with Tourette's syndrome and can only imagine how moving this book will be for them, given the effect it has had on me.

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to read this book about a truly remarkable young man named Cory Friedman and his wonderfully supportive family. It is a tale that has inspired me and humbled me. Reading about Cory's life makes me realize how incredibly strong some people REALLY are, how incredibly powerful their will to live is, and how incredibly powerful some families' bonds are.

If you want to read a book that will uplift your spirit and open your eyes to something beyond outstanding, then do not hesitate to read this book - you will hang on every page and probably finish it in several hours like I did!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Look Up on October 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As the mother of a son with TS, I found this to be the most emotional read of my life. Cory's family's frustrating experience with the medical process mirrored our own. And like Cory's parents, my husband and I often felt very alone in our fight for our son's health and well-being. Please don't be tempted to think that Cory's struggle has been over-dramatized. I don't know Cory but I do know what it's like to see someone fight TS and it is thoroughly horrifying. I found Cory's letter to be the most profound part of the book, for it was truly in his own words and marked the beginning of his healing. I admire him and his parents beyond words and pray that they are deeply blessed by their willingness to share their personal story. Not everyone has the strength to bless others with their struggles. Cory and his family have done that brilliantly.
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