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Me Again Hardcover – August 17, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 383 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Cronin's debut is an engaging read, utilizing an affable tone and ample humor to temper subject matter that could easily fall into melodrama. The novel shines when navigating the complex interpersonal relationships Jonathan has been thrown back into, as he gets to know not just the family he's unable to remember, but also the man he used to be."
~ KIRKUS REVIEWS


"A beautifully wrought tale of courage, hope, and awakenings of all kinds."
~ Sara Gruen (WATER FOR ELEPHANTS)

"Heart and humor are inseparable in Keith Cronin's engaging debut."
~ Susan Henderson (UP FROM THE BLUE)

"A work that will make readers laugh and think."
~ Lauren Baratz-Logsted (THE THIN PINK LINE)

From the Author

Giving something back . . .

It's a strange thing, writing about tragedy in the name of entertainment. As readers, we seem to have an insatiable appetite for seeing characters undergo terrible challenges and calamity. And as writers, we dig deep to see what we can come up with to feed that hunger.

I wrote ME AGAIN with the goal of creating an entertaining, often funny book that explored some serious emotional themes as it followed the intertwined paths of two young stroke victims. But as the book neared completion, I began to have misgivings about using an affliction that touches so many people - some 795,000 Americans each year, and that's just the victims, not their loved ones - as the basis for a story meant merely to entertain.

So I made myself a promise. If this book sold, I'd use it to help others as well. That's why 25% of everything I earn from ME AGAIN - including my advance - is being donated to the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association that focuses on reducing risk, disability and death from stroke through research, education, fund raising and advocacy.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death, and the leading cause of adult disability. My hope is that my little what-if story can do something to help change that, while still managing to entertain people on airplanes and beaches.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (August 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432825038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432825034
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,148,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Man, this guy can write.

A synopsis doesn't do the book justice. The bare bones can't convey what delights await the reader but here goes: Jonathan Hooper wakes up from a stroke-induced coma of six years. He has no knowledge of who he was and no recognition of family and friends.

His rehab is a struggle but there's more to the goal than walking and talking again. Jonathan is smitten by another young stroke victim Rebecca Chase. Her stroke has left her with no pretense or verbal filters.

Little by little Jonathan discovers that his former self wasn't at all like the man he has become. Rebecca, who has left her former trophy wife ways behind, finds her husband's constant disappointment overbearing. How they put themselves back together and what they discover along the way is a triumph of courage.

If all this sounds like a daytime soap, let me put that thought to rest. There's a big scoop of humor added to the mix. Me Again is a debut novel that doesn't read like a debut novel. It's a well-polished work with three-dimensional characters, a plot that moves along without a stumble and believable dialogue. In a recent interview Keith Cronin said the book took more that five years and three rewrites to complete. All that hard work makes for an enjoyable read.

If there were more stars to award, this book club and movie-worthy book would get them.
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Format: Hardcover
First thoughts after finishing: "What a lovely debut novel. I bought it hook, line, and sinker."

"And Dad?" I reached out and touched his arm, startling him. We stopped, standing among the graves of people unknown to us, looking at each other.
"Even though I don't remember you," I said, frightened about what I was about to say but convinced of it being what I needed most to say, "I love you. Here and now. I love you."
(from Me Again page 242)

That writing absolutely struck a chord with me because I had almost the exact same conversation with my beloved Grandfather when he was in the final stages of Alzeimer's. I was visiting for what would be one of my final visits. I held his hands and looked him in the face and told him how much I loved him and that he was the best grandpa in the whole world. He then looked right at me and said, "Sis, I don't know who you are, but I do know that I love you." Knowing that a loved one's memory is affected regardless of how it happened is never easy to deal with, but I think Keith Cronin took a step in the right direction by taking his reader along for the journey as Jonathan tries to find his way back to life after waking up from a coma. I loved this book and most of all I loved Jonathan. There is nothing contrived about this story and I believe that it may help readers think twice about the difficulties one faces after being stricken down by a stroke. I think one of the important views of the story were from Jonathan's family. It was hard for them to reconcile themselves to the fact that the new Jonathan was NOTHING like the old Jonathan. In a way, it was a bit harder for them to deal with than Jonathan because he didn't remember anything of his life.

Recommend? Absolutely!
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Format: Hardcover
Irresistible opening lines-- "I was born on a Tuesday morning. It was a difficult birth, because I was thirty-four years old."
Seriously, one of the best openers I've ever read--and from there, you will float and soar on Cronin's narrative.
This heartful story is driven by a powerful trio of engines: humor, wisdom and insight about about who we are, who we were, and what we can become. There's an underlying optimism here that transforms two stroke victims' losses into something uplifting and promising.
This story envelopes you, and will make you laugh out loud repeatedly--a truly rare gift.
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By Wendy J on August 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Jonathan wakes from a six-year coma to find that a stroke has left him as helpless as a baby. He has to learn everything from scratch. But learning how to talk and walk again is easier than trying to remember who his family and friends are, or who he used to be. In hospital he meets Rebecca whose stroke has transformed her from a bubbly, life-and-soul-of-the-party wife to an introvert who keeps putting her foot in it. They both need to find a way to live as their new selves.

This book is absolutely brilliant. I love the ways in which the author describes Jonathan's physical, mental, and emotional recovery: his initial confusion and dawning realization of what's happened to him; his early attempts at communication; meeting his family and friends; meeting Rebecca... As I write each of these, I can picture the scenes, and experience again the humor and the melancholy that runs through each of them.

The tentative and tender relationship between Jonathan and Rebecca is described with a perfect blend of wit and pathos. The early scenes between them are some of the best in the book. Jonathan's running commentary in his head about his lack of verbal skills is hilarious, while his vulnerability is truly moving.

In effect this book has four lead characters - the 'new' Jonathan and Rebecca, and their old selves. Living with their changed personalities raises many complex questions for them and for the reader. I do wonder how they would have got on had they met prior to their hospitalization.

There are plenty of surprises for Jonathan and the reader as he learns about his previous life, and even though many of the reveals are signaled ahead of time, they each add another dimension to the story, whether it's a comic moment, an element of intrigue, or a powerful emotional punch. While many scenes made me laugh, I'll admit that this story reduced me to tears more than once.

This story is a triumph, and I enjoyed it from start to finish.
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