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Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See Hardcover – May 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Blinded in a childhood accident, Mike May never hesitated to try anythingdriving a motorcycle, hiking alone in the woods, downhill skiinguntil the day, when May was 46, an ophthalmologist told him a new stem-cell and cornea transplant could restore his vision. As Esquire contributing editor Kurson (Shadow Divers) relates, the decision to have the surgery wasn't easy. May, always a "pioneer in his heart," had never really felt he was missing anything in life. The surgery also had a few risks: the restoration of sight might only be temporary; the immunosuppressive drug was highly toxic; May might never adjust to the changes having sight would cause. Previously, patients had become depressed, their lives ruined because, while it might seem strange to sighted people, these patients found that the idea of vision was better than the reality. May went forward, only to find that, even though his eye was now perfect, his brain had forgotten how to process visual input. Fascinated by colors and patterns, he had difficulty discerning facial features, letters, even men from women. How May adjusts to his medical miracle, living with the disappointments as well as the joys, makes for a remarkable story of courage and endurance.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Robert Kurson's Shadow Divers (**** Sept/Oct 2004), a tale of a deadly search for a German U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, became an instant classic among adventure readers who enjoy well-told, high-octane nonfiction. In Crashing Through, the author finds an equally compelling subject. Kurson's journalistic instincts are strong, and tight writing and thorough research reflect his journalist background. The profile of Mike May is generally engaging-particularly in describing the difficult transition to the sighted world and what happens when May is ripped out of his comfort zone. However, readers should know that the story of May's personal struggles takes a back seat to Kurson's lucid exploration of the brain's circuitry and fascinating details of how we can have vision without really seeing.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
It is a fascinating exploration into the science and pyschology of vision, extremely complicated material that I felt was delivered masterfully in layman's terms without oversimplifying the material, and with a variety of illustrations to further explain complicated processes.
Another reader commented that it is a sort of self-help book and I agree, one can certainly see the motivational speaker at work in many parts of the book. I don't mean that as a detraction though, on the contrary I found the way that Mike May has quite literally "crashed through" life to be rather challenging to me personally.
The moral, ethical, and spiritual facets of blindness, vision, and vision restoration are extremely engaging. Normally I just tear through books, but this one took me some time to finish because I had to stop frequently to think about the words on the page, not to comprehend them but to really contemplate the message. Beyond the mechanics of vision, what does it mean to truly "see" -- and which is more valuable? Vison or "seeing."
Last, as another reviewer also mentioned, it's a great parenting book...and I'd add marriage manual to that as well.
I highly recommend this book, I think it would be great for a book club as there is no shortage of discussion topics. I have several friends who are teachers and I think this book would be great to "read alound" to a class (though there is one post-vision-restoration-romance-encounter...just one chapter they'd better skip, but for older teens I don't think even that would be a problem.) I'll certainly read it to my kids someday. And though I never buy people books because I don't want to impose my taste on anybody, in this case I will definitely make an exception.
Again my thanks go out to you for a nother splended book. This is the most thought provoking book I have read in a long time. "What comes naturally"is a phrase that most of us, "Sighted people", have taken for granted. Another phase that has brought new meaning is, "through my minds eye". Because of Mike May, his courage and the splended doctors, you were able to convey their knowledge , to your readers, in a way that we could understand.
I can't help but wonder if just anyone could have gone through this transplant the way Mike did and have the same effect Because of the case histories of some I know they could not. I have come to the conculsion that his Mother played a most important part in the good results. His loving freinds, doctors, and his family played important part but everything starts from a beginning and that is where his mother came in. I remember our own children, our grandchildren and showing them beauty as I perceived it to be. I just wanted to introduce them to nature's wonders . I had no idea of the billions of neutrons that were ment to preserve this beauty in their minds. I wanted them to know beauty and to learn to love those things that matter.