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Left Neglected Paperback – July 26, 2011
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Lisa Genova is the Michael Crichton of brain science...This is huge, powerful human drama at its elegant best." --Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean.
"Genova is the master of getting into the heads of her characters, relating from the inside out...brilliantly. A well-told tale from a keen medical mind." --USA Today
"Remember how you couldn't put down Still Alice? Well, clear your schedule--because you're going to feel the same way." --Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sing You Home.
"As Sarah Nickerson works her way through a devastating brain injury and back into her hectic life, she is forced to re-evaluate what really matters. I dare any reader to not do the same after reading this book." --Ann Hood, bestselling author of The Red Thread.
"An incredibly compelling story....A cautionary tale that is ripe for our times and will resonate with readers who wonder at the craziness of their own busy lives." --Cape Cod Times.
About the Author
Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside the O’Briens. Still Alice was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, and Kristen Stewart. Lisa graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about the neurological diseases she writes about and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Today, PBS NewsHour, CNN, and NPR. Her TED talk, What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer's, has been viewed over 2 million times.
Top customer reviews
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By the middle, I was thanking my lucky stars that I didn't experience anything as severe as the subject of this book did. I didn't read Still Alice, another of this author's novels, but I saw the film. The author is doing a great service by writing about these neurological conditions in such a human way. By the end, I understood left neglect do much better than I have from just reading medical websites, or having therapists who haven't experienced it tell me about it.
Firstly, Sarah must have been in the worst rehab hospital in the country. When I was in rehad they had an alarm on my bed and on my wheelchair to make sure I didn't get up without professional supervision. Even using the bathroom required someone to go with me, door open. Sometimes this was a man, which was embarrassing, but hey, there is no privacy when you're in the hospital. When I started walking, my therapist always used a support belt on me until they were sure I was stable enough to walk on my own. I NEVER fell down. They NEVER let me walk into things. THey NEVER left me alone in the therapy room/gym.
Also, why wasn't her head bandaged after surgery? The test they gave her to see if she was blind would not have proved that she wasn't blind to the left (left homonymous hemianopsia, which I have). In either case, the finger would have disappeared as soon as it went to the left of the midpoint. Why didn't she complain or mention the extreme pain after brain surgery? I had a brain hemorrhage which is probably not as painful as being in a car crash since you would probably have other injuries. Brain surgery is the most painful thing I can even imagine, and I really try not to remember it. But I did have a double crainiotomy so maybe mine was more painful than average.
She doesn't mention running into walls, doors, people, whatever except at the beginning. This is something I deal with everyday. When she lost Linus, she was able to "run" down the sidewalk without running into anyone, something I can't imagine. She is also able to scan to the left with a lot more success than I have. It's very hard to remember to do something when you've forgotten about it pretty much by definition. She also never mentions that your brain makes up excuses for how things make sense without the left side. This is almost impossible to fight since it's your own brain so you naturally believe it.
I'm giving it two stars (instead of one) because it at least addresses this disability which few people know about.
Positives: I learned a ton about a condition I didn't even know existed and once I got about 40% of the way through I couldn't put it down. Also, it was so inspirational and in the end was more about perseverance and family than the actual tragedy. I loved all the family dynamics; they felt real and very nuanced. Sarah felt genuine with all her varied and conflicting emotions; she's proud of her success but feels guilty for the time it takes away from her family. I can relate to that, even if I don't actually have kids yet. Sarah and Bob's relationship was strong but they had their own issues throughout. The deep-seated turmoil between Sarah and her mom was probably what I connected to most and I thought it was well done. I guess my point is that this wasn't just a dry medical story to teach us about a relatively unknown condition: we get to truly see how a person with this condition would experience life.