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Now It's Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and Other Looming Disasters Paperback – February 16, 2012
"Brave Enough" by Cheryl Strayed
From the best-selling author of Wild, a collection of quotes--drawn from the wide range of her writings--that capture her wisdom, courage, and outspoken humor, presented in a gift-sized package that's as irresistible to give as it is to receive. Learn more | See related books
From Kirkus Reviews
One man’s funny, bittersweet memoir of physical and marital collapse and rebirth. When his doctors find a small smudge on one of 40-year-old TV production company owner Solomon’s lungs during a routine physical, they at first discount its significance. Even later, after other tests, they’re professionally circumspect: “They describe things in dimensions and locations, and from these various ellipses you have to draw the picture yourself.” The picture is cancer, and before readers of Solomon’s engaging and ultimately redemptive (as he puts it, “I’m happy to be around to watch you laugh, believe me”) memoir have progressed very far into his tale, the cancer has metastasized. Solomon, in the middle of a strained marriage and trying to be a good father to his 6-year-old son, Luke, feels like “the protagonist in a cruel and bitter joke.” What follows this initial diagnosis and precipitate worsening will be familiar to anybody who’s ever known (or been) a cancer patient: an endless round of tests, procedures, CAT scans and catheters, all of which Solomon describes with a sharp clarity leavened by warm, inclusive wit. Solomon endures the horrors of his own situation with plenty of psychological help from the camaraderie he finds with other patients: “You find you’ve got endless company. Everybody’s got something.” Solomon skillfully intertwines the medical with the emotional, affectingly describing the toll his illness takes on his already fragile family; the chapter “Telling Luke” is a small masterpiece in depicting a father-son bond under unthinkable pressure. Through the whole account, Solomon is both a remarkably smart guide and a very entertaining one. There is no pathos in these pages, and that will move readers all the more.
A quietly powerful, assured debut.
“I'm exceedingly sorry Michael Solomon got cancer. But I'm exceedingly happy he chose to share his tale with us. He manages to squeeze a huge amount of humor from this seemingly depressing topic, weaving in thoughts on marriage, fatherhood, surgery and improbable crushes on medical personnel.” -- A.J. Jacobs Bestselling author of The-Know-It-All and The Year Of Living Biblically
" We can be hit with so much that eventually all we can do is laugh about it. "Now It's Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce, and Other Looming Disasters" is a humorous memoir from Michael Solomon who presents his own journey into the joys of fighting cancer and how everything else about life threw itself at him at the same time, and how he emerged from it all laughing. "Now It's Funny" provides its own inspiration, and is well worth considering. " -- Midwest Book Review
“I am a cancer survivor and was sick with the flu when I read this book, yet Michael Solomon still made me laugh. Making a sick person laugh is a gift. Being able to find humor when you’re sick yourself, well, that’s an even greater gift. I’m thankful Michael Solomon shared his gifts in “Now It’s Funny,” a heartfelt, accurate, and hilarious recounting of surviving cancer and a few other of life’s hurdles.” - Teresa J. Rhyne, author of "The Dog Lived (and So Will I)."
More About the Author
As a filmmaker, Michael produced and photographed "How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It)," an inspirational documentary film about renaissance man Melvin Van Peebles which was released theatrically in eight US cities including New York and Los Angeles. He also produced "Constantine's Sword," a documentary feature film based on the book by National Book Award-winning author James Carroll. "Constantine's Sword" was a New York Times Critic's Pick and was released theatrically in over 80 cities including New York and LA.
Michael is happily remarried and the proud father of two fine boys, his most successful and challenging productions to date.
Top Customer Reviews
As painful as the author described his medical tests and the surgeries themselves, he wasn't exaggerating one bit. As a veteran of nine surgeries, I'll vouch for the accuracy of his descriptions. His hatred of the infamous Foley catheter is understandable, but he was able to make light of it: "I take my penis seriously, even if no one else does." And when the doctors would not release him after one test until he had a successful bowel movement, in exchange for letting him go, he promised to e-mail the doctor a photo of his next bowel movement (it worked). You have to like someone who thinks like that.
The author tells a remarkable story of his trials and triumphs. One of the most difficult things about having cancer and separating from his wife was telling his young son Luke. When should he tell him, how should he tell him, and how would Luke respond?
And to answer the vital question of why did he get cancer not only once but twice, the author makes a startling discovery that may hold the answers.
Now It's Funny is a well written memoir that I enjoyed reading very much.
Michael experienced all three simultaneously at the turn of the last decade. His father pesters him non-stop to get a colonoscopy because of a family history of colon cancer. The good news: he doesn't have colon cancer. The bad news: there appears to be "something" on his lung and possibly his liver. The worst news: his marriage is shaky and oh yes, a terrorist attack is looming in the near future.
Facing news like this, one can either get too maudlin or too saccharine. Fortunately, Michael relies on his instinctive sense of humor. Unlike the so-called "illness" memoir, this one is often hilariously funny without ever trivializing the journey that cancer survivors take.
Take this gem, for example: "My emotional state is somewhat akin to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire): lots of crazy thoughts battling over a mineral rich piece of territory (my brain)." Or this one, when he settles on using the word "lesion" instead of "cancer" when telling his young son about his impending hospital stay: "My guess is it's going to be a long time before he runs across the word lesion again...I've never heard of anyone dying from a lesion although it's a daily occurrence among people with cancer."
The tone is fresh, irreverent, and yet empathetic and is entertaining and informative simultaneously, which makes it a good "read" for just about anyone who likes a page-turning medical story and particularly for those who are dealing with cancer or have friends and relatives who are.Read more ›
"My survival is all contained in my story," Solomon says, and his story is laced with crucial life lessons. Throughout his harrowing trip through the cosmic dunking booth, he remains clear-eyed, honest with himself, firmly connected to his funny bone, and focused on putting one sure or shaky foot in front of the other. "I'm nervous," he writes of his forthcoming biopsy," though not in a shaky, hard way. I just feel like I'm wearing a hat, even though I'm not."
Throughout, he musters strength through his deep, abiding love for his son, his friends and family, and above all, through his own remarkable strength and humanity. This is a beautifully-rendered, unforgettable book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book kept my attention the whole time. Really well written and an easy read. It was entertaining and very funny. Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Kim K
Note: I was offered a copy of Now It's Funny by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I've had Michael Soloman's quasi-memoir of survival in my reading queue for... Read more
Now It's Funny answers that question of "What would you do if you were told you had a fatal illness? Read morePublished on August 19, 2012 by Marie
Page 81 ... "I'm pretty good with facing inevitable situations, no matter how unpleasant. I mean I hope I'm not like one of those Auschwitz Jews who walked meekly into the gas... Read morePublished on July 25, 2012 by David S.
One of th best books I have ever read... Nice work Michael. Use your life, learn from every experience, drink it in..
Real, funny, insiightful... Thank you for writing this.
Having watched my father battle lung cancer, I was filled with certain trepidation when I got into the details of Mr. Solomon's story. Read morePublished on June 30, 2012 by Mandy
Now It's Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce and Other Looming Disasters
Author: Michael Solomon
What do you do when you are forty years old, own a TV production... Read more
I'm a cancer survivor....friends ask me what books to give to others starting the cancer journey. I've read a ton of them and Michael Solomon's memoir is by far the best. Read morePublished on June 18, 2012 by Caliboots
This book cleverly avoids the cliched medical biography, the deep, dark tale of the blurry region in the medical images, but the flailing doctors, and the soulful and humane... Read morePublished on May 2, 2012 by Michael A. Duvernois