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My Lobotomy: A Memoir Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor; Unabridged edition (November 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400105366
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400105366
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,781,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Johnny Heller brings the tale of Dully's childhood lobotomy to life in this rugged, clear-cut autobiography. Heller perfectly captures Dully's San Jose accent, adding a grain to words to give a slightly raspy tone. Detailing the author's troubled, often heartbreaking childhood, Heller narrates at a surprisingly swift and unrelenting pace, resulting in an even stronger portrayal of Dully's story as he opts not to hammer each tragic occurrence into the listener's mind. Rather, Heller relates the story in matter-of-factly, as Dully never pauses to mourn his painful adolescence, but chooses to include as much information as he possibly can while speaking of his own experiences. Dully's honest story never pleads for the audience's sympathies, but firmly demands their attention. Heller does not disappoint as he relates this intriguing and painful tale.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"The value of the book is in the indomitable spirit Dully displays throughout his grueling saga." ---Chicago-Sun Times

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 136 customer reviews
It is one of the saddest books I've ever read.
J.J. Langr
I was curious and first listened to his NPR interview, and was so intrigued I purchased this book for my Kindle.
Kym
Thank you Howard for such an inspirational story.
VinellaGal2000

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 97 people found the following review helpful By G. Larrow on September 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a review of this book in my local paper. What prompted me to buy it was the outrage of all those who heard Mr. Dully on NPR, causing their website to crash. Not hearing his intereview, I knew I had to read "his story."

While ultimately one rejoices with Mr. Dully, this is such a painful book to read. One will surely feel outrage towards all those who were involved with the horrors perpetrated against Dully.

Not only a powerful memoir on how people can rise above even the worst scenarios and the indomitability of the human spirit, this book gives a small window into what can happen when "agencies," and other "institutions" come into the fray and take over, and how one's life can be so diabolically altered by just one professional's own bizarre beliefs.

This book will also give one a whole new appreciation for anyone labeled "mentally ill" or "mentally unstable."

This reader hopes Dr. Freeman is rotting in hell.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Gottlieb on December 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'd heard Howard Dully on NPR before I bought this book and was fascinated.

I almost set it aside because the the first two chapters were slow and monotonous, they read almost like bulleted lists. And then I remembered I was hearing the author's voice and he's been lobotomized.

The book is flat where it ought to be screaming at you. It's factual where it should be rage filled and scientific where it should be sad.

Every so often I had to set this aside because my stomach simply lurched too much.

The story is difficult to read because it's real but the story is compelling. I'm not sure that psychiatrists now aren't doing the same thing by medicating school aged children who irritate their teachers. It's an important read.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Tallystarr on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in one 6-hour sitting. It's real, riveting, and heart-wrenching. Howard Dully didn't stand a chance against the odds he faced. The fact that he found the courage to ask the hard question~ Why? ~speaks highly of his nature and spirit. I recommend this book to anyone struggling with the issues of childhood and trying to come to terms with what it all means.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Evil Eyes on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a child psychotherapist I work with children who are emotionally disturbed in a special school. I often see how some children fall between the cracks in society and really have noone to pull them out, even clinical social workers as myself. It can be disheartening at times. This memior gives anyone who deals with struggles an opportunity to read about the true feelings of a (I feel) neglected child, and then what became a successful man through his journey after being the victim of a horrific surgery. I am sorry that Howard Dully didn't have someone to pull for him. However, I think that due to this memior more people will open their eyes about how children were treated with behavioral issues back then and how they are treated now. What a riviting look at mental illness. A great read and I encourage Howard to continue writing.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nicole R. Smith on October 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished My Lobotomy. I absolutely loved this book and already have a list of friends wanting to borrow it, and who have already bought their own copy!

Reading this book in Howard Dully's own words really made the story stick and made it more personal. I grew to love Howard and his bravery for tackling this project and not just letting it go, as so many people would be inclined to do. At first I was afraid this would be another 'poor soul overcomes' type of story, but this one went above and byond all my expecatations.

Bravo Howard! God bless you.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By William H. Staebler on October 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A shocking story of the tragic abuse inflicted by parents and the psychiatric profession upon a helpless child. This barbaric procedure was performed on thousands of unsuspecting children and adults at the hands of an unqualified quack more absorbed with his legacy than the welfare of the lives he destroyed. Heartbreaking for its simplicity of message and survival of the defenseless.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By N. Melchiorre on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book is an accurate portrayal of this procedure. I photographed it when Dr. Freeman came to the Cherokee, Iowa State Hospital. I made a montage for Dr. Freeman, which he took on the rest of his tour.He "posed" mid-procedure for some of the photos.We had to see a film prior to procedure & were told there would be only "minor" visible effects. In reality, "post surgery", the patients' faces were black & blue over entire face & down through the neck area. Many of these patients were simply "dumped" at the State Hosp. by families financially, physically, unable to care for them at home, or un-willing to. The families had to give consent & were assured of the expected great improvement. Didn't happen..... True, some were seriously mentally disturbed, but, in retrospect I believe many were just Alzheimers afflicted or generally senile. It was incredibly sad to see their bruised faces & their lost, frightened expressions after procedure. A really barbaric event for patients who had no say in what happened to them. They were simply experimental subjects.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By C.Wallace VINE VOICE on September 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is not a whodunit. We know whodunit. It was Lou Dully, Howard Dully's stepmother. She engineered a lobotomy for twelve-year-old Howard in 1960 because she hated him and found him irritating.

Howard's mother died of cancer when he was five. This death may well have contributed to Howard's less than stellar behavior as a child. Also likely impacting Howard's behavior was his father, Rod, who was a cold, sometimes cruel, man.

In the years before his lobotomy, Howard seems to have been rather slovenly and a bit insensitive. The child probably just needed the love and affection that his parents wouldn't give him; instead, he got an ice pick in the brain. If Howard "needed" a lobotomy, so did the majority of the country.

Actually performing the surgery was Walter Freeman. He performed some 2,500 (one source says 3,500) lobotomies from 1936-1967. It is a shameful reflection on the medical community/the government/society that Freeman could slice brains for so long.

Many of Freeman's patients (the book indicates fifteen percent) died as a result of the operation. Many survived as "vegetables." Others lived out their lives in a passive state, not "vegetables," but unable to survive independently. Many showed no long-range change in the behavior that had led to the lobotomy. Enough showed improvement in their (usually depressed or aggressive) behavior to lend credibility to the procedure.

The lobotomy severs the connection between the frontal lobe and the rest of the brain. This seems to block the development of strong emotions that can lead to depression, defiance, and aggression.

After the operation, Howard drifted about for decades.
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