Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Physical: An American Checkup Paperback – December 12, 2006
|New from||Used from|
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But basically all that happened in this book is the author goes for some tests at the Mayo clinic and is surprised to find that his drinking, smoking, and high stress haven't put him in the greatest condition to care for his second, younger family (his children with his second wife are only 5 and 6). There is a bit of interesting information in here about the Mayo clinic, some history of medicine, and general info about certain common diseases and maladies, but nothing so interesting that it made me feel excited about continuing.
Later in the book, he gets on a rant about stem-cell research and how he had hoped that it could help his diabetic daughter live a longer life, but how deeply disappointing it is that the Bush administration won't allow federal funding for this kind of research. I agree with him passionately on this topic, but even my sympathies were tried by the amount of times he returned to that same rant. I think a good editor could have really helped in that regard.
So this book gets a disappointed 3 stars from me. I got some information out of it, but I didn't get any earth-shattering insights from it, and I didn't really find his personal musings about his health all that interesting.
At first, the title and subtitle refer to his Mayo examination, but the book rapidly transcends that to mean both the uncomfortable awareness of our bodies as physical entities, meat puppets, and the state of medical care as a checkup on the social health of America. Despite the always-amusing tone, McManus pulls no punches, discussing the suicide of his son, the horrors of juvenile diabetes in one daughter and the dramatic eye injury of another; along with many unpleasant deaths of friends and strangers. He unflinchingly details invasive procedures and unpopular body fluids. But even when terrified, enraged, grossed out or lecturing, the author remains unshakably, deeply, humbly, human.
PFS certainly did not create the poker boom, but it came along at the inflection point and instantly became the thinking man's guide to the modern tournament poker world. Five years later as the steepening of the mortality curve becomes noticeable to boomers, good cholesterol and blood pressure readings become better than royal flushes. Questions about the economics and ethics of health care are rising to the top of the political agenda.Read more ›
But I DID relate to McManus as he wrote about his own mortality, something that weighs pretty heavily on those of us in the "prime" of our midlife years. Hearburn was a "new" experience I could have done without, along with the beginnings of arthritis and a waistline that is no longer naturally trim but which takes hours in the gym to maintain (sigh). Rising cholesterol and a daily regimen of fiber additives forced me to modify some of my dietary habits. So I looked forward to any suggestions or revelations McManus might share about living more healthily.
I've also become concerned about the state of health care in our country, something which is explored in this book. So there WERE parts of this book which maintained my attention. Perhaps it would do the same for others in their middle years.
But would it hold the interest of the average reader, some of whom may be far younger than 40, 50 and up? I'm not convinced of that. Perhaps the "politics of medicine" sections might stir those readers to action. But those sections are set amid some very personal anecdotes and (I confess) I felt envious that most of us couldn't have the detailed exam that McManus had. So how relevant is it to the average reader? One has to wonder.
By the way, is it only me or did anyone else find the cover photo a bit disconcerting? That gloved hand...looking like it was ready to probe...EWWWWW.
Title Physical: An American Checkup
Vendor Code FARRA
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Avoid this author's political soapboxing, circular logic, pop-culture references, and redundant rants. Read morePublished on March 3, 2011 by Sean Michael Tremblay
I must admit I was curious to read a book that detailed the plight of the middle aged male going in for a physical especially being in health care myself. Read morePublished on March 26, 2007 by PT Ben
This was an "I need something to read" library pickup, and I wasn't quite sure what to expect... Physical: An American Checkup by James McManus. Read morePublished on January 13, 2007 by Thomas Duff
I have always enjoyed the author's work, and "Physical" is no exception.
However, the only thing missing in this novel was a plot: it was more the daily musings of a... Read more
The first part of this book is the best. It catalogs the author's complete physical at the Mayo Center. Read morePublished on May 7, 2006 by J. Rudden
James McManus' PHYSICAL: AN AMERICAN CHECKUP (1593978731, $29.95) tells of an American who gets a checkup at the Mayo Clinic and confronts both modern preventative medicine and his... Read morePublished on March 11, 2006 by D. Donovan, Editor/Sr. Reviewer
not quite as engrossing as "Postively Fifth Street", his FABULOUS book on poker and the Binion murder, but good nonetheless. Read morePublished on February 23, 2006 by Robert J. Oefinger
Had the focus remained on the Mayo Clinic experience, this book would have been worthwhile. However, it quickly became evident that the author had been sent through the Mayo... Read morePublished on February 19, 2006 by Lynn