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Still Me: With a New Afterword for this Edition Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Christopher Reeve has beaten the odds before. He scored his first role in a Euripides play at 15, costarred with Katharine Hepburn at 22, and was one of two advanced-program students accepted at Juilliard, to which 2,000 drama students annually apply. (The other advanced student became his best friend, Robin Williams.) Reeve rode a sailplane to 32,000 feet over Pikes Peak, fell 90 feet from a parasail harness into four feet of water and walked away. He survived emergency appendectomy, malaria in Kenya, and the disastrous film Changing Channels, with Burt Reynolds. He flew vintage airplanes upside down. On his first solo transatlantic flight, a radar controller informed him he was about to run out of gas 200 miles west of Iceland. The radar controller had misread his screen, and Reeve landed safely.

Then, in 1995, his horse balked at a 3-foot-3-inch racecourse fence, made an abrupt "dirty stop," Reeve's hands got tangled in the reins, he landed on his head and got a "hangman's injury"--a broken neck. Ace paramedics got oxygen to him 60 seconds before brain damage set in, and a helicopter named Pegasus lofted him to a hospital.

Reeve was already important. His interpretation of Superman was classic, and his starring role in The Bostonians launched the Merchant/Ivory school of filmmaking. But it was not until his paralysis that Reeve really got moving as a public figure of the first rank. As his memoir Still Me details, since the accident, Reeve has directed his first film, started the Christopher Reeve Foundation to fund spinal-cord-repair research, lobbied Congress, and crisscrossed the country on speaking engagements.

Says Reeve, "Lindbergh made it across the Atlantic [where he was feted by Reeve's grandma]; Houdini got out of those straitjackets; with enough money and grass-roots support, why shouldn't I be able to get out of this wheelchair?" Part Hollywood reminiscence, part scientific detective story, and part soapbox speech, Still Me explains the tantalizing but quite real possiblity that Reeve (and a quarter-million other paralyzed people, plus 49 million disabled Americans) may get back on their feet. Bobby Kennedy once tried to bolster Reeve's faith by saying, "Just fake it till you make it. The prayers will seem phony, but one day they'll become real." Christopher Reeve has more than a prayer, he has a program. He ain't fake, and he just might make it, leading a cast of millions. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Its poignant jacketAdepicting Reeve in his wheelchair, back to the camera, facing a hillside cast in dreamy greens and purplesAwill by itself propel this book into readers' hands. The words behind the picture are equally potent, however. Reeve has produced a memoir that's outspoken, wise and tremendously moving. The contours of Reeve's career are well known: the meteoric rise in the late 1970s from obscurity to superstardom as Superman; years of celebrity followed by lesser roles and fame; the riding accident that left Reeve a quadriplegic; the comeback through directing HBO's Into the Gloaming; the work on behalf of the disabled and spinal cord research. Reeve covers it all, shuttling back and forth in time, giving just enough detail about his earlier yearsAincluding a frank assessment of his parents and upbringing and lightly enjoyable anecdotes of his relationships with Robin Williams, Katharine Hepburn and other luminariesAto background the book's main act: the accident and its aftermath. Writing in a clean, even matter-of-fact style that renders his words all the more devastating for their lack of bathos, Reeve reveals the intimacies of his plight: the confusion and terror as he learned of his situation; a disorienting out-of-body experience in an operating room; the humiliating adjustment to reliance upon others in order to eat, breathe, live; the shift of the center of gravity of his being from self-service to the serving of others. No doubt, Reeve is "still me"Abut readers of his beautifully composed book will see that he is now also moreAthat through nearly unimaginable suffering and effort, he has transformed a charmed life into one blessed to be a true profile in courage. Photos. 350,000 first printing; first serial to People; simultaneous large-print edition and AudioBook, read by Reeve. (May) FYI: Random placed an embargo on any reviews of Still Me until May 3rd.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (May 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034543241X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345432414
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Still Me is a look into the life of Chritopher Reeve, both before and after his injury. Although Reeves best accolade is not writing, he does gives the reader an honest look into the adversity that he has encountered. I read this book out of personal interests and found it to be both interesting and encouraging. He recalls the events leading up to the moment of his accident, and also take us through the emotions he felt as he began to understand the depth of his injury, his experiences in rehab, and the ongoing adjustment process. Reeves also shares some delicately humorous moments...sure to make you laugh and cry. The reason I gave it four stars is that he also goes into great depths about his acting career...something that may not be of interest to everyone...but I can certainly understand his doing so. (I did come to learn the depth of his schooling as an actor, which I didn't know.) We all revel in our "glory days," and I'm certain it was (is) bittersweet for Reeves to do so. I can totally relate to that myself. But, this takes me to another point. Although Reeves shares the devastating heartache he, his wife Dana, and their family has endured, he also offers hope and inspiration. What a beautiful example of love they both share. So many couples call it quits when petty problems arise, but Chris and Dana show us what "in sickness and in health" really entails. Reeves is also doing a service for all of us who are in wheelchairs, by whatever cause, through his Foundation to raise funds and awareness for medical research that will lead to a cure for, not only spinal cord injury paralysis, but for many neurological diseases, such as MS and Parkinson's. He has and continues to use his 'public eye persona' to draw attention to this matter.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I probably read this book expecting too much. I should start by saying that I did enjoy the book, but I was a little disappointed. The most obvious criticism would be that Christopher Reeve is an actor, not a writer, and that really shows in his book. I thought he spent too much time on his acting career and his studies, but I'm sure that people who are interested in acting as a career would love that part of his story. I really appreciated his honesty in this book. First, I loved his sense of humor about Superman, the role that made him so famous. He describes with delight his making fun of Superman on Saturday Night Live, his belief that Superman III was "mostly a misconception", and he says that "the less said about Superman IV the better." More touching is his honesty about his weaker moments after the accident when he couldn't find a reason to live, and he tried to make life miserable for those around him. His pain and his hope become very real as you read this book. A lot of the power of Christopher Reeve's story is hearing him tell it. Reeve spoke at my college convocation the day before graduation, and I was so moved by his speech that I went and bought the book that day (they had it in the University Book Store - go figure). I think that the audiobook, which Reeve reads himself, would communicate much more of his courage and strength. While not phenomenal, the book is a good choice.
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By shawn on April 28, 2003
Format: School & Library Binding
My name is SHAWN,
On July 20,2002 was in a car rec. I broke my back at the T9 veritably, and now I'm paralyzed from the wisest down. When I first can out of my coma all that I could think about or ask for was to kill me. Than when I read about how Mr. reeves had gone through somewhat the same thing I was going through. So than I started to think if he had the power, heart, and desertion. Maybe I could do it to.
Most of all my family was there through all of it from the first second to this day.
Thank you MR. Reeves I just want to thank you for sharing his story.
Shawn Nadeem 16
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm normally not a huge fan of biographies or historical novels simply because I find it hard to keep straight all the details, dates, and people involved. I know that a diligent author will not omit important facts, so I tend to avoid the genre. I also avoid books about disabilities because I have one, and find most authors either take on a "pity me" or a "pretend I am completely normal" attitude when the truth of living with a disability is somewhere in the middle.
However, I was drawn to this book by Reeve's own writing style. I read an exceprt of his newest book in a magazine, and decided to purchase "Still Me". I'm glad I did- I *really* enjoyed this book. Reeve has a remarkable writing style- he managed to seamlessly layer events from his entire life along with descriptions of his life post-injury and scientific information in every chapter. Even though the book continually shifted focus and timeframe, it was not a struggle to keep up with all the details.
I have his next book ("Nothing is Impossible") on hold at the library, and can't wait to continue reading about Reeve's life. His writing style is open, honest, and warm all at once. He writes about his condition, and both his acceptance and rejection of it, with honesty and dignity. It's so refreshing to read about someone who is not afraid to be angry and proud about their situation. I truly hope that he is able to step out of his chair at some point in time, but even if he does not, he is truly a Superman in every respect of the word.
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