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The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life. And Death. Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Length: 208 pages

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If even paranoids have real enemies, Washington Post "Sunday Style" editor Weingarten humorously demands respect for his own minor mental derangement. Before heading to Washington D. C., Weingarten ran the Miami Herald's Sunday magazine. Miami colleague Dave Barry's foreword reveals some stylistic similarities: like Barry, Weingarten takes an ordinary--or only slightly odd--situation and pushes it to its limit. There's a fair amount of true medical information scattered amid satire, sidebars, and tongue-in-cheek charts in chapters on hypochondria, the hypochondriac's relationship with physicians, and a range of behaviors, symptoms, and conditions (e.g., headaches, hiccups, heart disease, tumors, ulcers, obesity, smoking, alcoholism, pregnancy, excretion, and "things that can take out an eye"). Weingarten proudly claims a lifetime of hypochondria, a disease abruptly cured several years ago when he was diagnosed with hepatitis C: what doctors call "the next epidemic." So perhaps Weingarten is a posthypochondriac who recalls the pleasures of imaginary illnesses while coping with all-too-real health problems. Mary Carroll

Review

Jackie Jones Bleecker The San Diego Union-Tribune The definitive laugh-out-loud handbook....Hilarious. And Scary.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2246 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (May 20, 2010)
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2010
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003N3TU1G
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #621,256 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you're not a hypochondriac before you read "The Hypochondriac's Guide to Life and Death," you will be by the time you finish it. Who among us doesn't hiccup, eat vegetables, or experience the occasional twitch in an eyelid?
According to Weingarten, all of these seemingly harmless activities can lead to our imminent demise, accompanied by horrible pain and distressing body noises.
For instance, the only place where we probably can't get cancer is the lens of our eye.
Then there is this really gross tumor called a "teratoma" that can have teeth and hair. If you ever bit the head off of one of those ugly little Smurf® dolls when you were a kid (or as part of a fraternity initiation rite when you were still a kid but had the body of an adult), then picture it as wandering to a sensitive portion of your anatomy and MUTATING!!!
Whew!
Even the author had trouble finding anything humorous about cancer. He tried asking an oncologist, "So, Doctor, what's funny about cancer?"
"'Let's see,' [the oncologist] said. `Humor. OK, what is the difference between Sloan-Kettering and Shea Stadium?'
"Dunno, I said.
"'At Sloan-Kettering, the mets always win.'
"Ha ha, I said. What?
"'See, `mets' is an abbreviation for `metastasis,' which is a cancer that has spread systemically from one organ or system to another.'
"Ah.
"A desperate silence filled the room."
I suppose if I had to stagger off of this mortal coil, "beer potomania" wouldn't be such a bad way to go (compared to most of the other diseases in this book). People who drink in excess of eight quarts of beer per day can accumulate too much water in their blood (I guess the liver hogs all of the beer), which leads to confusion, lethargy, and death.
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Format: Hardcover
This is absolutely one of the funniest books I've ever read. Weingarten is a refreshingly talented author. He has a wonderful sense of humor and timing. He has managed to make fun of hypochondriacs, without insulting them. This is the only book I've ever recommended--and I'm a librarian.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of this book in a huge bookstore, because we were on vacation and I got sick. Tired of watching tv, I started reading, and within moments I was laughing so hard that tears were sliding down my face and I was actually snorting with laughter. There are some sad parts too, but Gene Weingarten, who writes a weekly column for the Washington Post Magazine, in DC, is one of my favorite writers, and I had always enjoyed his work. He speaks of illnesses in words you've always wanted to say, but never had, especially at the right time, and shows you that once you've been sick, and have been taken into the Medical Establishment's Mothership, LOL, you will never be the same again. Nothing will ever embarrass you about your body, because it will be hanging out for all to see, at any given time. There is nothing frightening about this book: it is merely a wonderful display of medical knowledge, personal history, and a fantastic sense of humor, on the part of the author. If you've ever even had a cold, you will appreciate this book!
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Format: Hardcover
Gene Weingarten has produced a book that is at once funny, neurosis producing, and touching. The review of hypochondria is so funny that I found myself reading it out loud to family and friends. For example, the book recounts the story of King Charles II being treated for a minor stroke by, among other things, having holes drilled into his head to drain the bad humors. As he lay on his deathbed because, no doubt, he had holes drilled in this head, the King thanked his doctors for their heroic efforts. Weingarten gives the marginal hypochondriac the tools to become a full fledged hypochondriac by listing minor symptoms that could be preludes to serious diseases. I will forever think of this book when I sneeze and wonder if I have been exposed to Anthrax. The book ends with a touching story of Weingarten's own serious medical problem, which he claims cured him of his hypochondria. This book tended to reinforce my prejudice that when it come to medicine maybe the cure is worse than the disease.
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By A Customer on July 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
perhaps the funniest book(laugh out loud and be unable to stop).where dave barry would stop,the author plumbs the limits of true dementia. in the insanity every so often there is a little shock of recognition to puncture the condescention we feel for these poor terrified souls. a must read.
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By A Customer on September 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My sister gave me this book and I was reluctant to read it because I thought it was going to be a serious psychological piece about how hypochondriacs are wusses and just plain crazy! I decided to give it a try and every pragraph made me laugh out loud! I am a silent hypochondriac...never go to the doctor unless I need a written physical for work but always diagnose myself by doing research on all possible illnesses that I think I may have. This book really hit home!If laughter is the best medicine then buy this book and heal (at least while your reading it).
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Format: Hardcover
One of the funniest non-Dave Barry humor books ever, this slender book goes over the various lunatic manifestations of hypochondria, a problem I have from time to time. (I now have a fear of twenty-foot-long tapeworms)
I first read about Gene Weingarten in a Dave Barry column where dear Dave got a laser gun stuck in his eye (don't ask) where he called Gene to ask him what the drowsiness meant. Gene's eventual reply was that he needed a CAT scan and probably was going to die. This book pretty much sticks to that vein.
The book becomes slightly more serious near the end, where Gene recounts his diagnosis of Hepatitis C, as well as a visit to a friend with AIDS. But even these are leavened with humor, such as Weingarten's mental ramblings when his friend offers him a cookie: "This dying man is offering me nourishment! This is Saint Francis of Assisi!" (not a direct quote)
One warning: Do not read this book if you will afterward start anxiously looking up the symptoms of a twenty-foot-long tapeworm. You have been warned.
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