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Wake Up Running Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
From his childhood as a “preppy, to his college years adventures, to an early career with the Red Cross, to his professional and family life in Lebanon and the Near East, there was much for me to identify with even as our lives were different. For any older person who had to work hard for everything he/she got; and who ended up with a fair amount by “thinking outside of the box,” there will be a lot with which to identify.
David projects resolve. Even as his old age approaches he is determined that it will not control him. This book is a fine account of how to live one’s life!
Wake Up Running, what a catchy title, apparently from an Arab proverb, this is the theme of a first book, an auto-biography by David Egee published by Editions Tilleul in the USA. The e-book, soft cover and hardback come with an impressive cover photo of the author in his prime and cover the first half of Egee's life with some frank discussion about two pills `Towards the End'.
Egee has dedicated half his book to growing up in America. While this allowed the Author to recount a number of whimsical `Waltonesque' tales it also set the scene for his battle with dyslexia. With the best of East Coast private schools and most summers spent in remedial classes he battled with this impediment right through a helpful friend's Carr Plan to graduation and beyond. To write a book would have been an impossible task for the student David and the fact that he has ever faced this challenge, howbeit with more time in retirement says much of the man who wakes up running.
After some useful though non referred to black & white photographs, the second half of the book covers Egee's experience in running hospitals and later, retirement homes. He managed a prestigious hospital in Beirut and stories abound from espionage to how blood donations were organised by the `mild' Yasser Arafat. All the incidents ring true and even offer some lessons in career management and negotiation. For example with the hardened American who carefully sets up an opening negotiation scene to cause worry and a closing scene with a:
`I don't want to spoil the deal, why don't we just flip a coin for this remaining £20,000'.
People lucky enough to still have their wits about them as they approach eighty will invariably say that the first half of their life was their best. This was apparently true for David and Dale Egee who moved to The Lebanon in 1968. The good life came to a spectacular end with the Moslem takeover of power and the subsequent moving of the family like the lost tribes, to Rome, Libya, Dubai and finally London. The reader is not convinced that the man who wakes up running ran out of interesting life by the time that he was forty. But the Author obviously chose to close down his memoirs around that time for the purposes of this book.
Keeping conversation about ailments away from the dinner table is an imperative as one grows old. Egee's book follows life by kicking off and concluding with ailments. The Prologue features Dr Egee turning to his son as they leave a patient saying `he will be dead by the time he gets to hospital'. The book has an early account of boyhood osteomyelitis. A later account of a near life taking cancerous prostate bypass. And the book concludes with an exploration of his wife's Alzheimer's and the way he will end his own life. However never is the prose morbid, just informative. One never gets the feel of being sucked down into negativity - it is just not Egee to be other than open and positive. And that in turn produces warmth in the characters that are introduced to us throughout the main body of the read.
In exploring life's memories, all of us drill down to uncover facts we had long forgotten. The book is often tantalising in the way it describes a character from the past, a person important to Egee at the time. However the writing can sometimes leave us unsatisfied in the way that as in life, time moves on and so does the relationship. Probably recording follow-up research on these characters would have been unproductive for the book. However whatever happened to unrequited Preppy East Coast love? To Miss Iceland in Reykjavik? To his parents London friends' daughter Sofia? What happened to Sandra of Boston and surely wife number one warranted more than a page? We do get a beautiful thumbnail picture of the `unintentionally suggestive and sensual Olea'. However whatever happened to that so friendly couple down Mexico way where in answer to Egee's question about why use the stairs rather than your bed, we get the answer: `because someone had got there first'.
The Author's treatment of sex is certainly frank and some might say sensationalist. It is welcoming to hear that school boy exposure to sexual harassment is not confined to British private schools. That pubic crabs, according to Dr Egee, arise by sleeping in cheap hotels or with cheap women. And that sex is possible after bypass prostate surgery- with workarounds.
My initial fears of reading about old and dead times only of interest to old and dead people who had been there were unfounded. The book does cover parochial subjects (New England, Middle East, Hospital Management) but its prose is easy to read and a light anecdotal style keeps the general reader's attention. It might even manage to be informative to a younger generation.
Egee has rejected the temptation of auto biographers to sing their own praise (for example he modestly states he is better as an employee than an entrepreneur). In this he appeals especially to cultures that prefer self effacing to bragging. Without doubt the Author has proved he is a great listener and has made many more friends than most people ever do. He must have given much of his life to helping others but in his writing he prefers to recount how others have influenced him. Egee should continue Waking up Running.
Rod Fennemore London, February 2015
The writer is author to a number of published scientific papers and management reports.
He wrote and self published Tales from the Menagerie for his grandchildren.
Well done David !