It Takes a Worried Man and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

It Takes a Worried Man: A Memoir Paperback – March 11, 2003


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.90 $0.01

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (March 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812966872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812966879
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,840,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Halpin's memoir of his wife's struggle with breast cancer is a heartbreaking read. In the aftermath of tragedy, people will often say, "At least it happened quickly; at least there was no pain." Not so with cancer, even for survivors. Halpin, his wife, Kirsten, and their five-year-old daughter had just moved into their dream house and imagined a reprieve from life's difficulties. A biopsy forced them to face their worst fears: Kirsten's cancer was diagnosed as stage four. She was forced to confront her own death her survival chances hovered around 60% as well as the terrific pain and discomfort of treatment. Halpin, a high school English teacher in Boston, Ma., focuses mostly on his own struggles, his silence regarding his wife seems more respectful than self-involved. His eye is unflinching and honest as he observes the medical establishment's seeming indifference, satanic folksinging neighbors, family members too human to be totally selfless, supportive colleagues and, best of all, himself. Although cancer-survivor Kirsten is the true heroine of the book, Halpin is the loving "worried man" rallying behind her. By turns nauseatingly descriptive (the hose stuck through his wife's chest makes for especially queasy reading) and wickedly funny, this memoir of a husband's fight with his wife's cancer is an excellent though painful book for anyone facing similar situations. (Feb.)Forecast: If the statistics are any indicator (approximately one in eight women will get breast cancer), this book will find its way into the hands of many a husband.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Will people really want to read the rantings of a pouting, grouchy, grumbling, whiny 32-year-old? They will when they meet Halpin, a teacher in a Boston charter high school and the husband of a 32-year-old woman with Stage 4 breast cancer. Few books on breast cancer feature the husband's perspective (David Tillman's beautiful In the Failing Light, LJ 5/15/99, is a rare exception). Halpin's view is so in your face, so funny, so foul-mouthed, and so honest that everyone will want to read this and cheer for his wife, Kirsten, and their four-year-old daughter, Rowen. This is the yearlong diary of Kirsten's ordeal, which included high-dose chemotherapy and stem-cell replacement. Halpin describes every day, every complaint, every fear, along with his favorite (and not so favorite) music (loves the Carter Family, hates Dan Fogelberg), TV shows, movies, and food (especially food). He doesn't let family or friends off the hook except maybe the folks from the Unitarian Church where he belongs who do his housework, even cleaning the toilets, and his students, whom he truly loves teaching. Fortunately, there is no ending to his story. Kirsten is alive, her tumors are still palpable but considerably smaller, and she celebrated her 33rd birthday. According to Halpin, that "has to be enough." The language is graphic, which is to be expected of most 32-year-old males, but this book should not be missed. Highly recommended. Bette-Lee Fox, "Library Journal"

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Bancroft on March 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm a little confused by some of the reviews here. One says that the author fails to make his point: it seems to me that that reviewer wanted the author to have, simply, a different point to make. He doesn't. His point is that illness brings out the best and the worst in all of us, and doesn't really leave any of us looking very much like heroes. The kind of book that these reviewers seem to want is the kind of book that makes me generally despise fiction: blah blah blah, oh, we're all so honorable and brave. We're not. We're all peeing our pants most of the time, and Mr. Halpin says so, and I was immensely relieved to hear it.
If Mr. Halpin admits that he was less than respectful in some moments, well, good for him, maybe the next man who isn't perfect will feel better knowing he's not alone. If Mr. Halpin admits that he doesn't know what's going to happen next, well good for him some more: neither do I and neither do you. Mr. Halpin doesn't give us all the details that we want about his wife's experience: frankly, it's not her book, but it's important to note that we do want those details. It's a quick read, someone said: yep. I wanted it to be longer too. It lacks structure: no, it lacks predictable structure, but so does one's mind when dealing with this sort of experience.
I hadn't planned on writing a reveiw of this book, but reading the others here has inspired me, so here goes:
"It Takes Worried Man" is not a nice, tidy, politically correct story. Thank God for that.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Reading about this struggle of dealing with life-threatening illness, I was constantly reminded about how important it is to always remember we're human. That's what separates us and also binds us. Halpin puts his humanness right out there in all its uniqueness and commonality: of being in his wife's experience and being outside it, of being tugged between his own fears and those of his wife and their family, of being caught between frustration and hope, of finding refuge in things wacky and sublime. All these things remind me that I can not know how I might respond to such a situation, but I can know that I would have my own unique reactions. And as unique as they would be, they would also be part of a shared humanness. Halpin's book is an important, funny, and heartrending read in these times when we need to constantly remember we're part of a fragile, human community.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book yesterday, and found myself very unsociable, all evening, I couldn't put it down. Halpin draws you right in, and you want to know whats going on. I read it on the subway coming into work, and kept brushing away tears. I love this family, I love the lives they live - I love Halpin's ability to see joy in moments with his daughter. You find that these are people you want to be with!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Killilea on March 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Brendan Halpin writes in a voice that is seamless and conversational. I could not stop reading this book. I did not know much about cancer or cancer treatments, so hearing about one example of what treatment is like from a layperson's point of view was an education. But I think this book is even more about marriage and love, and about hard times and aloneness. I hope he writes many more books--I will read them all. Because of his many references to music and the way he mocks Phish and folk music, people might compare him to Nick Hornby. But I think Halpin is even more like Anne Lamott--so honest about his own ugly side that readers can not help but feel a connection.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A friend recommended this book after reading an excerpt in a magazine. I picked it up and I couldn't stop reading after the first two pages. The author's honesty is astounding; his voice is compelling; his capacity for humor in a distinctly unfunny situation is incredible. This book is a testament to how strong we all are in the face of adversity. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading, and I would make it a must-read book for anyone who needs to find strength during a tough time. I would give this book more stars if I could!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Laura Duet on March 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book in every way. As a reading experience it is everything you hope for as it draws you in and holds your interest. I did not want the book to end. It is hearbreaking, funny, and riveting. I feel bad saying that because it is about one family's life-altering experience, one that no one should have to deal with. But I thank the author for honestly telling us about his experiences. I think that was an act of bravery. This is definitely a book that I will recommend to many, many people. I am sending all good thoughts to the author, Kirsten, and Rowen for blessings of health and happiness. I, too, will look forward to any other writing by Mr. Halpin. I loved this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Wengert on August 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was hesitant to read this book because I wasn't in the mood for anything depressing, but I'm so glad I did. It's told in such a humorous and real manner that it makes you feel like you're listening to an old friend. Although the subject matter is intense, it's not maudlin, and leaves you with the thought to really try and put things in perspective in your own life. I highly recommend this book and I hope that Mr. Halpin will have additional books in the future. I will continue to keep Kristen and the Halpin family in my prayers and wish for a full recovery.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews