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Ticked: A Medical Miracle, a Friendship, and the Weird World of Tourette Syndrome Hardcover – May 1, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this heart-wrenching and heartwarming story, two men with Tourette syndrome explain what it’s like to live with a misfiring of signals in the brain that causes tics. And no, neither of them yells curse words. Fussell, a writer at the Kansas City Star, shakes his head a lot. Matovic’s sharp, repetitive, involuntary muscle spasms were so severe he had a surgeon bore holes in his head. It basically worked, and he told his story on Oprah. Fussell learned about Matovic from Oprah herself when he interviewed her. He and Matovic hit it off, and they make a good team in this engaging, well-written book about growing up different and the symptoms of ­Tourette’s, including the trouble staying still that Fussell and Matovic used to their advantage to excel at sports. The book is hopeful (both men are happily married fathers) and funny (at a ­Tourette’s gathering, Fussell doesn’t know how to handle a woman whose tic is undressing strangers, including him). With a foreword by comedian Jeff Foxworthy, this has wide appeal. --Karen Springen

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"A graphic but inspiring depiction of the ravages of the disease, their bravery and the sustaining love of their families."—Kirkus Reviews


“An extraordinary and inspiring account of personal courage in the face of unimaginable adversity. Emotional shock waves live on every page of this book” Hal Friedman, coauthor with James Patterson of Against Medical Advice: One Family’s Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery

Ticked is inspirational, well-written, and surprisingly witty.” —Lowell Handler, author of Twitch and Shout: A Touretter’s Tale

“The people who make a difference in our world are the ones with courage. This is a wonderful story of the daily courage of two men with Tourette Syndrome. Ticked is vivid, wrenching, funny, and, most of all, inspiring. I trust it will notch up the courage in everyone who reads it.” John Rosenow, founder and CEO of the Arbor Day Foundation

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613743807
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613743805
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #978,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great book! I'm a big Harry Potter fan. I had just finished reading (re-reading) the series when I ordered this book from Amazon. About half-way through, it struck me that there were many parallels with the Harry Potter novels: the main characters knew from a young age that they were different; they faced numerous hardships throughout their lives that tended to make them stronger; they had the help of good friends, mentors and role-models; and they ultimately triumph, in their own ways, over the evil they faced. The most striking contrast, however, is that Harry Potter is fictional while Jim and Jeff, the authors of "Ticked", are real.

That this is reality makes the book, in my opinion, all the more astounding. Any work of fiction, no matter how inspirational or morally instructive, has the downside of being just that--fiction. One can read of Harry or Romeo or Jean Valjean (or countless other fictional heroes), and though all those characters dealt with huge difficulties, their struggles can be discounted as fiction, not to be taken too seriously; perhaps not worthy of inspiring such strength in the reader. Jim and Jeff, on the other hand, are the living, breathing real thing, because their struggles actually happened. The story they tell and the lesson to be gained from their book cannot be dismissed as just fiction, as a mere moral tale concocted to make a point (or worse, to make a buck). Their story--their setbacks and triumphs, the profane and profound means of dealing with their fate--beats the best fiction for giving inspiration and hope. I'm glad I read it and I recommend it to anyone looking for a true story of triumph over hardship; one that reminded me, at least, how easy it is to forget one's many blessings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a father with a daughter who has Tourette's I picked up this book as one more resource in the fight with this monster known as TS that has sunk it's teeth into my child and family. As I read through, I laughed, wept, smiled and related to both Jim and Jeff's stories. This book helped me see what life is like for one man who was just almost an invalid due to the syndrome and one whose neck has really taken a toll due to it as well. I see how it ravages my own child and pray continually that she is saved from any permanent damage. Society throws around the word hero a lot but these two men, and all who live with this crazy screwed up neurological imbalance are true heroes just to survive on a daily basis.

Tourette's is not a sexy thing, no ribbon, no "month", no cool media really, no big name movie star as the spokesperson, mostly just ignored although there are estimates it affects up to 5 million folks...and once you know you can see it...Joel Osteen's blinking, Dan Akroyd has it, NFL players even, athletes, actors, doctors, etc...and yet it goes largely unnoticed by the public.

This book hopefully will help push it to the social media conscience where it belongs, to be ignored so long is a tragedy. Thanks Jim so much for telling this story, you are an inspiration and a leader and I can only hope this book jumps to #1 on the best seller list.

I have only this advice: Read this book
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a medical person to understand and appreciate this book. It provides great insight into the condition known as Tourette Syndrome, and it does so in an unassuming way. (Reviewer's disclosure: I am an uncle of co-author Jeff Matovic. Since I know of Jeff's condition personally, I can truly say that this book really reflects the reality of the affliction.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For anyone with any kind of challenge or disability this is a must book. He talks about stigmatization in addition to his story and his coauthor's story. I have bipolar disorder and it was very uplifting and I got the feeling that finally someone has verbalized my frustration with the lack of understanding of health issues.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is so "on" and so wonderfully human and "carefully" written that a reader will never, I predict, feel the same about this syndrome that can grab a kid's life and shake it to pieces. Yes, too many quotation marks, a weakness of vocabulary probably, that writer Jim Fussell never falls into. His writing is almost painfully honest. If you get a chance to see these guys touring for the book or just speaking in your town, take it.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An inspiring and very frank and open book about living with Tourette's. Jim's and Jeff's experiences can resonate with anyone facing circumstances that can seem beyond endurance. An amazing story about how compassion, understanding and perseverance can triumph. Should be required reading in all schools.

When Jeff Matovic appeared on Oprah's show with his inspiring story, she not only praised him as a "Miracle Man" (and indeed he is), she said that when he wrote his story that she would like to feature his book in her book club. Is there a way to let her know that his book "Ticked" with Jim Fussell is that book? It would be great to feature him/them on "Where Are They Now?" It would be great to somehow reach through Twitter and Facebook -- I don't have accounts -- and see this happen. This is a book for everyone!
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