CNN's Larry King has written a celebrity show and tell about discovering and overcoming heart disease. Eighteen first-person accounts, including King's triple-bypass surgery, are paired with advice from expert cardiologists. Each story is used to illustrate key aspects of how to spot, diagnose and survive heart disease. "When your body and mind heal," promises the resilient King, "get ready for a hell of a ride." Journalist Mike Wallace report of his two heart surgeries while his cardiologist details the effects of slow heartbeats and how to live with a pacemaker. Actress Kate Jackson's description of her surgery to repair a hole in her heart is linked with a discussion of women and heart disease. Walter Cronkite's tale of grilling his physician before his bypass surgery is followed by five questions to ask your cardiologist. The account of Regis Philbin's reluctant angioplasty is enlarged by a description of revolutionary tests to detect heart disease. Through his careful choice of narratives and expert commentary, King describes the many faces of heart disease (from runaway rapid heartbeat to blocked arteries) as well as the heart smart strategies for survival. Even the name-dropping tidbits, (Cher calls Kate Jackson; Arnold calls Regis Philbin) and the occasional live-for-today cliches do not detract from the sensible and wide ranging advise King has collected. In our celebrity-driven culture, he is wise to tap the rich and famous to teach these life-saving truths about heart disease. --Barbara Mackoff
From Publishers Weekly
Since King underwent quintuple bypass surgery in 1987, he has worked hard to convey the message that people can fight heart disease if they are willing to change their lifestyle. That's the lesson from this collection of stories from more than a dozen celebrities in the entertainment, sports and political world. Readers will enjoy learning how Arnold Schwarzenegger, Peggy Fleming, Regis Philbin, Walter Cronkite, Joyce Carol Oates and others have waged their own battles with heart disease. Their candid contributions, segmented into such sections as Early Warning Signs, The Diagnosis, and Surviving and Thriving, reveal their rarely seen human sides. One common factor that bonds them all together is the wake-up call that heart disease has played in their lives. For example, after former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda had a heart attack, he decided to "face facts" and retire from his beloved post. "I said, 'Uh-uh. I want to live and see my granddaughter graduate from college.... All great things have to come to an end.' " In addition to the firsthand accounts, there are contributions from the celebrities' physicians (who are among the top cardiologists in the country), in which they spell out, in layman's terms, the medical implications of each celebrity's heart condition. The stories will provide advice, comfort and hope to readers facing their own heart problems. King deserves credit for being a catalyst in encouraging the public to come to terms with heart disease. 22 b&w photos not seen by PW
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.