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On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer's Paperback – August 26, 2014
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"The book is excellent…It's sad, it's beautifully written, it's humorous at times…really a good read for anyone heading down this path, or knowing someone who is going down this path." —Anthony Everett, Ch.5 Chronicle.
"Told with extraordinary vulnerability, grace, humor, and profound insight, On Pluto is an intimate look inside the mind of Greg O’Brien, a journalist diagnosed with young onset Alzheimer's. But the real gem of On Pluto lies in its unflinching look inside Greg’s heart. If you’re trying to understand what it feels like to live with Alzheimer’s, and you are because you’re reading these words, then you need to read this book." --Lisa Genova, New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice.
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 Bestselling 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 bestselling 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 bestselling 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
Greg O’Brien has more than 35 years of newspaper and magazine experience as a writer, editor, investigative reporter, and publisher. Over the years, he has contributed to, among other publications, the Associated Press, UPI, USA Today, Arizona Republic, Boston Herald American, Boston Metro, New York Metro, Philadelphia Metro, Providence Journal, Cape Cod Times, Boston Irish Reporter, and Boston Magazine, where he was senior writer. He is former editor and publisher of the Cape Codder and Register newspapers, former editor of Cape Cod Life, and was a founding managing director of Community Newspaper Company in Boston. He is the editor/author of several books, has published 17 books by other writers through his publishing affiliate Codfish Press, has written/produced documentaries, and has been a scriptwriter. O’Brien is the editor and president of Stony Brook Group located on Cape Cod in Brewster, MA, through which he runs local, regional, and national political and corporate communication strategy campaigns. He and his wife Mary Catherine have three children: Brendan, Colleen, and Conor.
Lisa Genova, PhD, is the New York Times best-selling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, and Still Anthony.
Top customer reviews
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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!
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.
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!