With some touting marijuana as a palliative to chemotherapy's side effects, which the author smoked as he combated Hodgkin's disease, one might expect Shapiro to explore the controversies surrounding the issue of grass-as-medicine. Besides briefly relating how his mother cultivated hemp in the backyard, he never allows the subject to impinge on his potpourri of cancer survival memories. Diagnosed at age 20 with a tumor, Shapiro details the biopsies, I.V. drips, radiation sessions, and blood draws alongside his characterization of the doctors, technicians, and nurses who managed his care. Interleaved with this commentary about the antiseptic quality of modern hospitalization are Shapiro's deeply drawn recollections of growing up and pursuing a career in psychology. Regrettably this volume lacks a thematic linkage to Shapiro's myriad memories of dreams, his walk along the precipice of death, and his amour. Nevertheless, the book's origin as NPR pieces and the author's lectures to oncology organizations will most likely generate interest. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"A page-turner filled with exquisite drama, deeply personal insight and?delightful, quirky humor."
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"Part memoir, part social commentary, part medical journal and entirely wonderful."
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"An engaging, thoughtful, and funny account from a first-rate writer."
--Andrew Weil, M.D.