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The Road Back Paperback – April 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475073089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475073089
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Here’s what others had to say about The Road Back:


"The Road Back is an incredible story of survival and recovery against all odds. Matt Miller's focus and determination are unbelievable and inspiring -- I'll never again have an excuse not to get out and train." --Erin Donohue, U.S. Olympic 1500-meter runner


"I read it in one day. LOVED it! Matt Miller's story is one of inspiration and perseverance. Mr. Vitez's writing is captivating as he describes the unwavering fortitude that brought Matt from near death to medical school and Ironman success. His character and love of life remind me so much of my brother. Amazing book about an amazing man."  -- Maddy Crippen, former U.S. Olympic swimmer and sister of the late Fran Crippen, who plays a key role in Matt's story


"This is an absorbing, well-written, and inspiring book about a special young man who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. The medical accounts were accurate and compelling, and I think anyone with an interest in recovery from neurological injury would enjoy this book."  -- Dong H. Kim, chief of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical School who cared for Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.


"This engaging account of Matt Miller's unwavering positive attitude and determination in the face of a near death injury is inspiring. As a former collegiate athlete, enthusiastic marathon runner and the current owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, I can truly appreciate the effort it took for Matt to recover and finish the Ironman in such an impressive time. Philadelphia should be proud to call Matt and his fiancée Emily its own." -- Josh Harris, owner Philadelphia 76ers, co-founder Apollo Global Management, and aspiring triathlete.

About the Author

Michael T. Vitez has been a staff writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer for 27 years. He won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism for a series of stories about five people approaching the end of life. Vitez has taught classes in narrative non-fiction at the University of Pennsylvania and was a visiting Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton. He is also a former Michigan Journalism Fellow. He is the author of Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps. (2006) He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he was editor-in-chief of The Cavalier Daily. He is married to Maureen Fitzgerald, food editor at the Inquirer, and they have three children.  For 12 years, he has organized the annual Erlton triathlon at his local swim club! 

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
78%
4 star
14%
3 star
8%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 72 customer reviews
This story was absolutely inspiring and amazing.
TFarris
Thank you, to Mr. Vitez and the Miller family, for sharing Matt's incredible story.
F. A. Webb
This book is inspiring and I highly recommend reading it.
Tom Elliott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Antol Krull on May 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been following the story of Matt Miller since Mr. Vitez first started writing about him. As an avid cyclist myself, and someone who worked for many years at a medical school, I found reading the book compelling, emotional and inspirational. I truly could not put the book down and I even knew how it ended! The story of the Miller family and all the doctors, nurses, friends and others who joined together in Matt's recovery was truly astounding. It is a must read for anyone who ever wondered about the power of the human spirit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JAG on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could not put my Kindle down while reading this book on vacation(except to wipe away some tears). I really would like to thank the Miller family for sharing such an incredible story and thank you Mr. Vitez for writing and publishing it. The courage, determination, love and loyalty of everyone involved (especially Matt) is such an inspiration and a truly remarkable example of the human spirt and will. Everyone should read this book! Thank you again for sharing this journey! Best wishes to Matt and Emily on the next chapter of their lives together!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Inspired in Wintergreen on June 3, 2012
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Michael Vitez has written a masterpiece. The book is compelling and almost impossible to put down. It is a parent's nightmare to get a call that your child is near death with little hope of recovery. You are left with chills as Mr. Vitez makes the story come to life. Mr. Vitez beautifully weaves the accident and the recovery with profiles of the incredible family and the devoted girlfriend. You will feel inspired when you finish the book and longing for more. There is something for everyone in this book and I enthusiastically recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pete Williams on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If Matt Miller was a fictitious character and The Road Back was a screenplay, Hollywood would dismiss it as too good to be true. Instead, it's a real-life, adrenaline-charged narrative from The Philadelphia Inquirer's Michael Vitez, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories on five people as they dealt with the end of their lives. He also wrote a book called "Rocky Stories," interviewing people who ran the "Rocky steps" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Those themes resonate in The Road Back, where Miller's family spends three days in 2008 wondering if the college junior is going to emerge from extensive brain and facial surgery following a devastating bicycle accident near Charlottesville, Virginia. Miller, who broke every bone in his face and essentially lost all of his teeth, even has a shy, pretty girlfriend who spends nights at his hospital bedside even as his face is mangled far beyond anything Rocky endured.

Miller, a walk-on swimmer at the University of Virginia who quit the team after one year to focus on triathlon, showed a superhuman tolerance for pain and proving medical experts wrong. He was studying physics texts in bed within days of emerging from major brain trauma. He found a way to consume nearly 4,000 calories a day with his jaw wired shut and underwent eight root canals in one day with minimal painkillers.

Doctors thought Miller could have permanent brain damage and would face months of physical therapy. Instead, he left the hospital in 25 days, scored a 95 on a makeup physics exam with a class average of 65, and two years later completed an Ironman triathlon -- during his first semester of medical school at the University of Pennsylvania, no less.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mike on June 2, 2012
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This is a very compelling and touching story of triumph over adversity and personal hardship. Michael Vitez has done and excellent job in capturing the emotions and feelings of all of the participants and keeps you emotionally involved in the story from beginning to end.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. A. Webb on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank you, to Mr. Vitez and the Miller family, for sharing Matt's incredible story. I ripped through the book within days of its Kindle release. I think I would have finished it faster, but I often had to stop reading because I didn't want to cry while on the metro at rush hour!

What an amazing story of grace and strength. My husband and I pray for our son each day, and I now pray that he will have the strength of character that both of the Miller boys showed so well throughout this trial. Mr. and Mrs. Miller give such inspiration to me as a young parent, I hope that I can build the strong and loving bonds that they have so clearly cultivated with their boys.

This book can serve as a manual for how to deal with the scariest of situations, as a real family, full of real people. Thank you for the reminder that ordinary people can survive, and even thrive in the face of the worst circumstances.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura K. Wortman on May 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story of Matt Miller and the journey he and his family embarked on in the face of sudden and terrible tragedy is both amazing and inspiring. The Miller family and their close friends allow readers a peek into their world as they face sadness, challenges and many, many triumphs. My heart grew with every page, with every miracle, and I highly recommend this book. Buy one for yourself, each member of your family, your best friends, colleagues, anyone who you are grateful to have in your life. The gift of this book expresses gratitude in a way words never can.
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