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Double Take: A Memoir Hardcover – October 13, 2009


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Read the first chapter of Double Take by Kevin Connolly [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1ST edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061791539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061791536
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Photographer, champion skier and skateboarder Connolly has been stared at his entire 23-year life. Not because he's handsome, talented and athletic (all true), but because he has no legs. He was born without them, but born into a family that he describes as loving, loyal and matter-of-fact. Connolly writes that his father and grandfather—inspired by several seasons of MacGyver—engineered numerous devices to help the growing boy manage everyday tasks, from using light switches to pitching in on chores, and he was well prepared for his first day of school because his mother led countless What would you do if...? conversations. Connolly appears to be an intelligent, fairly unflappable adult with a healthy sense of humility and humor. He's a good storyteller, too, whether describing his first high school wrestling match, the path from novice to champion skier or what it's like to travel around the world on a skateboard. Connolly also shares his memories of an important, defining moment: when he decided to use photography to gaze back at the people who stared at him. Each photo was a miniature catharsis, he writes, adding, Finally, I was able to find my own use for that stare, and it felt good. His photos, 19 of which serve as chapter dividers, became part of The Rolling Exhibition, which was shown worldwide, including at the Smithsonian. The images are beautiful, revealing and stimulating—just like his narrative. (Nov.)
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Review

“Kevin Connolly has used an unusual physical circumstance to create a gripping work of art. This deeply affecting memoir will place him in the company of Jeanette Walls and Augusten Burroughs.” (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants)

“[A] charming memoir… Connolly recounts growing up a scrappy Montana kid—one who happened to be born without legs...[Double Take] makes for an empowering read.” (People)

“A courageous, immensely rewarding chronicle expressed in arresting words and pictures.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“Life’s most successful survivors meet adversity head on, with an unflinching eye, candor and with humor. Kevin Connolly has such an eye and weaves a rich memoir from the gut about his amazing journey through life.” (Lee Woodruff, author of In an Instant)

“Beautiful, revealing, and stimulating...[Connolly] is a good storyteller...whether describing his first high school wrestling match, the path from novice to champion skier or what it’s like to travel around the world on a skateboard.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Touching and comedic, inspiring and telling...[Double Take] is a remarkable portrait of the human spirit.” (The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co)

“[Double Take] reminds the reader that perspective is everything. It’s an inspiring read about a human being who doesn’t concern himself with what he has lost or never had. [Kevin Connolly] is a lucky man, sharing his bounty with us.” (Sacramento Book Review)

More About the Author

Kevin Michael Connolly was born in Helena, Montana, in 1985. Born without legs, Kevin was an otherwise healthy baby and grew up like any other Montana kid: getting dirty, running in the woods, and getting dirty some more. Funded by a second-place finish at the 2006 Winter X Games, Kevin took a skateboard and backpack on a tour around the world to more than seventeen countries including Malaysia, Japan, Ukraine, and China. Along the way he captured over 33,000 photographs of people staring at him. These images evolved into a photo collection entitled The Rolling Exhibition, which has garnered international media attention and been featured at museums and galleries around the world.

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Customer Reviews

The scene is just like the one he read in the book.
Bull Frog
I really like this guy- he doesn't feel sorry for himself, he doesn't make excuses, he doesn't apologize for his feelings of frustration or even anger at times.
booksmart
Connolly is an amazing human being with the spirit of any 10 of the most spirited men I've ever met!
Mark A. Webster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Anfinson on October 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Double Take is a captivating book, chronicling the life and travels of one of the most extraordinary people alive today. Kevin Connolly, although only 23 years old, chronicles events that most people will not experience in their entire life. His literary prowess keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, slogging them through the whole range of human emotion. You end one chapter in tears, only to read a few more pages, mouth agape in horror as he plummets and tumbles down from the top of Lone Peak. Kevin also has his lighter side, depicting images of ramshackle floats build by high school students, who mainly wanted a day out of class, for the annual Helena Vigilante Parade. Through it all, the reader gets a sliver of insight into the life of someone unlike anyone they have ever met, but also much akin to themselves.
The intimacy and reality with which Kevin writes pulls the reader in close to him. Although he has lived a different life due to physical circumstances, he still shares many experiences with the rest of us, growing up playing in mud and dirt, wanting to be part of a team, and most importantly, the value of family. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It is a quick read that chronicles not only the incredible experiences of young adult but also the realities of anyone who has ever had to grow up.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Yetter on November 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read the book straight through, only stopping to sleep and snack. Kevin Connolly's book "Double Take" gave me the feeling of sitting by a campfire with intimate friends just back from distant parts unknown, listening to thier adventure tales that you know are true but hard to believe none the less. I seemed to go back and forth between laugh out loud moments to "oh my gosh...I can't believe he had the guts to do that...go there....expose himself in that way. Kevin has a gift of storytelling that makes you feel as if you were there with him....being stared at....wrestling with the angst, humor, curiosity, adventure, love lost. This book also made me ponder people and events that I have only explored at a surface level before. It was really thought provoking to rethink what it means to be "disabled". How, why, and who decides. His willingness to share and articulate experiences that so many people struggle with on some level who don't fit the norm may be cathartic not only for him but for many who don't have his ability to give voice to the good, the bad and the ugly of being physically different than the masses. Kevin Connolly may not be able to dance with feet but he can sure dance with words and proves that in his book "Double Take". This is a great read!!!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sally Uhlmann on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kevin's book is a reality check for anyone who feels like whining and complaining about their life. It is wonderfully written with each sentence and chapter jumping from the pages. Kevin is a very handsome, articulate, intelligent young man who was born without legs. His entire life has been spent dealing with the ramifications of being legless in a culture that highly values "fitting in" and physical attributes. He is funny, insightful, open, honest, and the best antidote for ever feeling sorry for yourself. Read this book and your views of what it means to be disabled, along with your behavior toward the disabled, will be altered in a positive manner forever. Thank you Kevin for sharing your life with us.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marjorie Teske on November 17, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with all that Celeste wrote in her review of the book, so that there isn't another way to say it! It truly is very good. I've been searching for more of her work, but perhaps Jenness Walker is just beginning. I hope it doesn't take too long to get another written!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Defonde on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From start to finish this book had me wanting more. It truly is a gripping life story about somebody you can relate to. There is just the right ammount of humor, drama, and human spirit that anybody can enjoy this tale. I cannot reccommend this book enough. I have already told countless friends to give it a shot and the ones who have read it agree, this is worth a read. Kevin Michael Connolly takes you on a journey and lets you feel what it's like to be in his "boot", to see, and feel things from his perspective. This book also contains photos from his project which just adds to the reasons you should buy this book. I could not put this down, I read it in a day because of how gripping it was. I'm no skilled writer so I cannot fully do this fine literary work enough justice, so go on read it, you know you want to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Celeste J. Li on November 15, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I could not put this book down! The suspense of the thriller, and the genuineness of the characters, grabbed my attention and kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning. Very creative story-within-a-story, whose twists and turns keeps your mind puzzling right until the very end. Jenness has an engaging way with words that will really hold your attention.
Yet the best part of this book is the way the characters grow and change, and discover a God who forgives and accepts them unconditionally. The message of God's love is woven so delicately into the story, pervading every aspect without being overbearing. The spirituality adds tremendous depth to the characters, and enables the reader to relate to them on a deep level.
Celeste Li
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