- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Codfish Press; 1 edition (August 26, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0991340108
- ISBN-13: 978-0991340101
- Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 197 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's Paperback – August 26, 2014
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"In On Pluto, Greg O'Brien has given us a priceless gift: an honest, funny, heartbreaking, and powerfully poignant look into the world of an Alzheimer's sufferer, written by a man who suffers from it himself. Greg O'Brien is a brilliant observer and superb writer, and he is at the top of his game in this book. It's as if he has willingly dropped himself into a mental tornado so that he can tell us what it looks like from inside. You have never read a book quite like it, and probably never will again." William Martin, New York Times best-selling author of Cape Cod, Back Bay, and The Lincoln Letter
Greg O’Brien writes with the consummate knowledge of a guide and the courage of a pioneer. In this important and transcendent book he serves both roles as he folds back the veils of fear and traverses the treacherous territory of early-onset Alzheimer’s. On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s glows with honesty, intelligence and compassion and, given the subject, is a surprisingly spirit-renewing book.” Anne D. LeClaire, author of best-selling Listening Below The Noise, Leaving Eden, and The Lavender Hour
Never before have we been offered such a clear understanding of how Alzheimer's disease effects day-to-day perceptions. Greg O'Brien's first-hand account of his own disease process will force us all to rethink the way we deliver care, and is a must addition to the libraries of all professional and family caregivers.” Suzanne Faith, RN psych, Clinical Director, Hope Dementia & Alzheimer's Services
On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s is destined to become a vital resource that Alzheimer’s organizations and senior centers across the country will turn to in assisting those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Greg O’Brien’s personal battle against Alzheimer’s is an everyman’s fight; he is the quintessence of the lead character in the epic New York Times best-selling Alzheimer’s novel, Still Alice. O’Brien, through faith, humor and journalistic grit, is able, like the master artist, to paint a compelling, naked work picture of this progressive, chronic disease for which there is no cure, and a sickness that will swamp a generation. This is not a misery memoir; O’Brien bluntly offers the Baby Boomers and generations to come a riveting guide in how to live with Alzheimer’s, not accede to it.” Alisa M. Galazzi, co-founder of Dementia Care Academy, former Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Services of Cape & Islands
About the Author
Lisa Genova, PhD, is the New York Times best-selling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Still Anthony.
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Speaking specifically about the Alzheimer's material, the book is a very frank and insightful look at what it feels like to be in the early stages of Alzheimer's . The author describes vividly times when he couldn't do various activities of daily life, and how it felt to him. Personally, I have never read a description like this from the inside-- it gives me a lot of sympathy for people going through this scary disease. It's actually quite amazing that he was able to write this book at all-- a feat of will and determination. Something like a message from the future for all of us baby boomers who have an excellent chance of developing Alzheimer's ourselves. Fascinating and scary!
Greg uses many coping skills and strategies to "outrun" the disease. Actually, running and exercise are two of his many ways of dealing. He talks of going to Pluto as what happens when the disease seems to flood his mind. He goes away to Pluto in his mind, because it seems easier than staying with reality. Pluto is a pleasant place for him. It seems natural and easy. Then he "comes back from Pluto". But as he states "One day I will not come back from Pluto, and I want my family to know where I am." That made me cry. Very good read.
Bottom line is, you don't read this book to gain strategies, or a comprehensive understanding of what to do when you or a loved one has Alzheimer's; you read this book to have a deeper sense of empathy and try to relate to someone with the disease. I would definitely recommend this book for some insight into needs and feelings of those with Alzheimer's. I also think that anyone who enjoys biographies might take a liking to Greg's story.
It chronicles his ten-year battle against Alzheimer's, a war he is still valiantly fighting for himself and for the whole baby boomer generation, many of whom may fall victim to this evil thief of the mind.
"On Pluto" is an emotional and powerful account of the disease from a reporter embedded inside the mind of an Alzheimer's victim.
I highly recommend it.
Greg O'Brien, a successful journalist, takes us inside his own psyche as he comes to grips with and struggles with the ravages of his early-onset disease. He describes in great detail his parents' battle (the genes never lie); and, after falling off a bicycle and suffering a head injury how he attempts to deal with their illnesses and his own. This book is poignant yet graphic, it makes the reader laugh and cry simultaneously. I loved it not only for it's honesty, but for the author's display of vulnerability and insight not only into what is occurring inside of him, but the impact it has on his family as well.
What courage, faith, and commitment it took to write this! How many people you are helping with their own struggles, Greg! And how you have furthered the knowledge of the vacillation between cognition and having one's thoughts on Pluto! Please read this book!