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The House on Crash Corner Paperback – April 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Greenpoint Press (April 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975976095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975976098
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,571,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

This is a well written, captivating story.
Peter Curti
A real triumph for the author and her lucky readers.
John Leubsdorf
Thank you for helping us face the inevitable.
grace Mazur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By K Gossett on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Life is full of unavoidable calamities; what defines a person is how they cope.

Fittingly for the Jewish daughter of "greeneh, the name for Eastern European refugees and immigrants," Part One of Mindy Greenstein's first autobiographical book opens with a Yiddish proverb:

You can't control the wind,
But you can adjust your sails.

Greenstein starts with her double life as the daughter of two Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors in Brooklyn, where she ate knish while the other kids ate Big Macs, and she learned to speak English by watching television. The book that follows is filled with stories that chronicle her life, and her future career as a psycho-oncologist, in which at once, she was "a member of a team fighting to save people's lives, and a bystander watching their pain."

As her personal past and future intertwine with her professional life, the reader finds Greenstein's prose a mix of Jewish theories and psychological ones. In anecdotes she defines Yiddish terms, like niftar ("`Not Dead. Just passed into a new reality'"), a passive verb in Hebrew that's often used instead of mett (to die). Later she examines the clinical term denial.

In life, Greenstein admits to using humor to ease her recurring trepidation. Similarly, in her book, reader will find laughter surrounding the most awful of life's unavoidable calamities. She struggles with her relationship with her parents and her unconventional upbringing, her father's illness, motherhood, her patients' cancer stories, and her own cancer diagnosis. Psychoanalysis could conclude that humor is being used as a coping device, or it could go back to the old Yiddish saying:

When you're hungry, sing; when you're hurt, laugh.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Georgann Joseph on April 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This collection of essays has a lot to say. The author's experiences as a psychologist for the prison system, and then for cancer patients, gives her a unique point of view. She shares with her readers the insights she gained from those experiences, as well as from her rather fraught early family life, in a way that gently and humorously teaches important life lessons. She approaches the irony of having counseled cancer patients and then dealing with her own cancer with humor, and uses her experience on both sides of that fence to enlighten. This book is well worth the time spent reading it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's hard to love a family that seems to be more concerned with gambling and showing their behind than being a family. "The House on Crash Corner" is a unique and fun memoir from Mindy Greenstein as she recalls her own abnormal, or perhaps normal home life in a house that resided on a corner that invited auto accidents. Riveting and entertaining reading on what produces a Ph. D, "The House on Crash Corner" is a memoir that should prove quite difficult to put down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DBG on April 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
What starts as a hilarious take on a quite possibly traumatic childhood evolves into a truly remarkable and moving commentary on a world wider than a gifted child's active imagination and an adult's journey of strength. Although a memoir of an actual person with actual parents, Greenstein as a literary character could be the love child of David Sedaris and Jonathan Safran Foer, raised by Robert Jay Lifton as Fran Drescher, the Nanny. Nevertheless, firmly grounded in reality, "The House on Crash Corner" instantly rises to the top of the genre of medical narrative. Few, if any, authors match Greenstein's wit and insight into familial, psychological, & biological dysfunction. As in gripping fiction, narrative threads weave together the dramas and traumas of major world events, interpersonal relationships, and intra-psychic musings through chapter-length vignettes. I often had to stop reading either to laugh or just absorb & metabolize Greenstein's world. More power to, and many more essays and books from, Mindy Greenstein.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharyn Wolf on April 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful and wonderfully written memoir that will teach you about the "oy" in "joy." It is a heartfelt story about a Ph.D, Mindy, who grew up in a home with parents who survived the holocaust and became serious gamblers when they settled here. The essays in the book are filled with one gem after another, from her work in prison to her work with cancer patients to her own battle with cancer. I don't want to give anything away because you should quickly order and read it for yourself. The book is uplifting and immensely readable. It will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Fu on January 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book had me laughing out loud but also reaching for my box of tissues. If you like stories about families and their dysfunction and deep love and appreciation for one another, you will love this book. The author tells the really hilarious missteps of a kid growing up and learning to navigate the world, pursuing a career as a woman in a traditional family, becoming a mother herself. It's touching and, again, so funny!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Betsy on May 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It is a funny, insightful memoir. Mindy writes in a breezy style and with humor about about her holocaust-survivor parents and the chaotic household that they created; her experiences as a psycho-oncologist who gets cancer herself; about life with small children with its exasperations and joys; and about the many connections we make in life that affect us in profound ways ... especially if you are someone as sharp and observant as Mindy.
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