From Publishers Weekly
One of Hollywood's brightest stars since the late 1940s (Champion, Lust for Life, Spartacus), Douglas embarked on a literary career in the 1980s, with his bestselling memoir The Ragman's Son. He suffered a debilitating stroke several years ago, and now, at 84, he offers the inspirational but not at all Pollyannaish story of his recovery. A peculiarly painful sensation in his right cheek was the first warning, followed by a bewildering inability to talk. Lying in a hospital bed set up in his home, Douglas felt his situation was hopeless. How could he be an actor and not be able to talk? He contemplated ending his life, but when he put a gun in his mouth and painfully bumped his teeth, he withdrew the weapon and began to laugh at his own dramatic gesture. Douglas recounts how he battled his depression not only with medical care but also by recalling happy memories (he shares reminiscences about Sinatra, Reagan and others), and he explains tips and exercises he learned from his speech therapist. Inspired by the courage of others who endured physical or emotional illness, Douglas began to overcome his fears. With the help of his supportive family (who refused to coddle him), he even returned to the screen in Diamonds, playing a boxer who had a stroke. Entertaining and uplifting, Douglas's story is a lesson in survival, one that will entice readers whether or not they have had similar illnesses. B&w photos. (Jan. 14)Forecast: This book is a natural for the 65-plus crowd, especially those who enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A producer and the star of over 83 movies, Douglas is also a talented writer and the author of two previous memoirs, three novels, and two children's books. His latest is an uplifting memoir of his survival after a stroke in 1995. In this sometimes painful account, enriched by the actor's own brand of humor, wit, and a triumphant return to living, Douglas shows how he turned a debilitating illness into a life-altering experience. He resumed his acting and writing careers and spent time rediscovering the Jewish religion, which has become an integral part of his life. His memoir is focused on helping patients and their families cope with the aftermath of an illness. In the last chapter is Douglas's "Operators Manual," which he hopes will help other stroke victims. His memoir Climbing the Mountain contains some of the same anecdotes, but fans of Douglas will want to read this one. Recommended for all libraries.- Rosalind Dayen, Broward Cty. South Regional Lib., Pembroke Pines, FL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.