Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0972534505
ISBN-10: 0972534504
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Marty Jezer spent much of his life dreading such ordinary tasks as making phone calls, asking directions, or ordering food, because he stutters. His moving and motivating memoir is an account of Jezer's attempts to deal with a speech disfluency that he defines as not a mere motor disorder, but, rather, a genetically based, organic disposition affecting the entire person. Jezer discusses the causes, cures, and prevention of disfluency, stresses that stuttering is never anyone's fault, and advises that advances made during treatments often do not transfer to the real world. He himself tried medications, deep breathing, sensory deprivation, speech classes, therapy, and psychoanalysis until discovering an appliance called an Edinburgh masker that generates white noise to mask the sound of the stutterer's own voice. Jezer's speech improved so much that he discovered a newfound talkativeness, abandoned his frustrations, and became his own hero--all in the face of a dysfunction for which the only absolute cure is silence. A valuable addition to any general collection. Patricia Hassler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

An engaging autobiography focusing on the author's lifelong struggle to achieve verbal and metaphysical fluency. Jezer (Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel, 1992, etc.), a '60s revolutionary, a supporter of environmentalism and feminism, and a chronicler of New Age self-fulfillment, focuses here on the mechanical and psychological dynamics of his chronic, often severe, stuttering. Even before getting involved in the author's childhood traumas, the reader must adjust to a plethora of technical terms involving the mechanics of speech, along with competing theories and therapies to contain disfluency. But that adjustment is easy because Jezer, when he's discussing relevant bits of genetics, neurology, or psychology, never loses sight of the universality of themes like human communication, vulnerability, and self-worth. In fact, there's a nice mix of the personal and the general throughout. The snapshots of Jezer's long struggle are vivid. Growing up ``loquacious in thought'' only, he requires ``an act of God'' to spare him from sounding like ``Porky Pig . . . reciting a prayer in a Jewish temple'' at his bar mitzvah. The pain of growing up with a handicap in the ``it's all in your mind'' '50s doesn't much moderate as the author, now grown, copes with employment and relationship problems. This highly communicative writer describes the stutterer's fear of telephones and tape recorders, and describes various speech therapists, their methods, philosophies, and relative successes. We also discover that the breathy speech of Marilyn Monroe and the oratorical exactness of Winston Churchill were the results of compensating for their stuttering. Jezer, the Bronx adman who takes on union busters and Klansmen, matures into a ponytailed Vermonter who finally achieves 60 percent fluency after overcoming laryngospasm and mastering continuity with syllable-stretching exercises. A ``Zen and the Art of Speech Therapy,'' deftly mingling the particulars of a humiliating struggle with the wider disruptions and challenges of life. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Small Pond Pr (October 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972534504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972534505
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #350,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Book Review

Lou Heite

lheite@eldhorn.is

STUTTERING: A Life Bound Up in Words

Marty Jezer

New York: Basic Books, A Division of Harper-Collins Publishers, 1997

Marty Jezer's much-awaited book is on the brink of publication, if it isn't
already on the stands. Marty, of course, is known throughout the stuttering
community for his clear, intelligent commentary and searching questions on
several discussion lists. Marty is a commited pacifist whose conciliatory
tone consistently rises above flame battles which remind this writer of
scenes from Star Wars. In his book he has applied his great good humor to
the story of his lifelong battle with his severe stutter, and has come out
the winner.

From a vantage point of middle-aged mellowness, Marty has taken a
clear-eyed look at what it means to be a person who stutters and what
impact his speech impediment has had on his life. He is neither vindictive
nor maudlin. He makes no attempt to hide his avoidances, his denial, or his
embarrassment under a cloak of heroism, and yet the real strength of his
honesty shows in his unwillingness to blame any individuals or much of
society for the difficulties he has experienced, difficulties which are
familiar to us all. Marty is no whiner.

The book begins and ends with a description of Marty's participation in an
experiment involving a drug that some hoped would alleviate stuttering. For
those who have dreamed of a "fluency pill" -- a regular list topic -- these
two chapters alone are worth the price of the book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DIANE on February 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
MR. JEZER'S GIVES PARENTS INSIGHT ON THEIR CHILDS DISABILITY. AS A PARENT OF A SEVERE STUTTER WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR ANSWERS OR SOLUTIONS TO THE OUR SON'S SPEECH DIFFICULTIES. CHILDREN HAVE DIFFICULTY ARTICULATING THEIR FRUSTRATIONS, EMOTIONS, AND INNER CONFLICTS. MR. JEZER HELPED ME UNDERSTAND MY SONS DAILY STRUGGLES JUST ALTTLE CLEARER. I WISH I WOULD HAVE READ THIS SOONER, I MAY HAVE APPROACHED THINGS DIFFERENTLY. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US.
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By Liz T on October 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me. I stutter (although it is not noticeable to most people) and both of my children stutter. Marty Jezer puts into words the thoughts and feelings of a person who stutters with insightful detail. Apparently he had a sever stutter most of the time - his ability to articulate what he went thru is heart wrenching and very accurate. I am still reading the book and look forward to reading about his life after high school. Liz T
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By Mikey1977 on February 11, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book all Speech Language Pathologists working with people that stutter should read this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex on September 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book used and it's an old library book so it has the library stamps on it but is in good condition and readable. Good deal for the cost since I'm just reading it. Couldn't give it as a gift though.
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