- Explore more great deals on thousands of titles in our Deals in Books store.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What I Learned When I Almost Died: How a Maniac TV Producer Put Down His BlackBerry and Started to Live His Life Hardcover
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Special Offers and Product Promotions
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Killer Producer
Lately, if I happen to be looking through my address book for a phone number, I’m apt to stop when I come across the name of someone I haven’t been in touch with for a while. A friend, maybe, or an acquaintance. When I do, I’m likely to fire off an e-mail with no more length or gravitas than this:
Hey, how you been?
The gesture is a small one, but I didn’t used to do this. Days that were filled with the pressure and crises of running a national cable television program had little room for casual nicety. If I wasn’t in the control room producing it, I was in my office thinking about how to produce it. If the talent was unhappy, I’d let it gnaw at my gut. If somebody screwed up, I could go off like a roadside bomb, in a finger snap. I knew this. But the show so consumed me that it couldn’t be merely acceptable. It had to be great. I had ambitions. I had to be the killer producer.
Then one day, with no warning whatsoever, I became scary sick in a random and hard-to-figure way, given that I was not even forty years old. Most people with the medical emergency I had do not emerge from the experience physically intact, if they emerge at all. Weeks later, my health restored, I went back to work, and was eager and happy to do so. Illness hadn’t scared me into some big life makeover. I had no urge to surrender my spot in the fast lane for ownership of a B&B in Vermont.
But serious illness had recalibrated me. It had brought a trove of knowledge, as if I had involuntarily paid a painful tuition for an elite education. It was about letting go of my fears. It was about what I could control and what I couldn’t, and how people felt about me, really felt about me. It was about how to use time. It was even about Joe Biden, the vice president of the United States.
It would be nice, I thought, if everyone could get the education I had gotten without having to nearly die.
So I decided to write a book.
© 2011 Chris Licht --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
This is an extremely, extremely, short book with 5" x 7" pages and only 165 of those, and most of those pages are filled with name droppings that ranged from Joe Scarborough to Vice President Joe Biden to Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal. In fact Biden used his "influence" to get his preferred Doctor assigned to Licht. The average reader, especially, anyone who has personally gone through medical traumas such as his brain hemorrhage or much, much worse... will not be impressed with all the cars and limos that are made available at no charge of course to Licht. Additionally the author (in my opinion) never fully details the horror of ordeals such as MRI's which to most people are just words... until you're locked inside one.Read more ›
Most of the first half of the book chronicles the details of the Licht's mysterious brain bleed and the emotional roller coaster that he endures as he gradually understands the seriousness of his situation. Eventually, Chris' famous coworkers (TV's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski) enter the picture and word gets out to family and friends that this always healthy and hard driving guy is suddenly undergoing catscans and having contrast dye injected through a catheter inserted into his leg and threaded all the way up to the brain.
Ultimately, the book is about the author's vulnerability during a medical crisis and about how he is is moved by how many people were willing to rally to his support. True, the book spends some time dropping names like Joe Biden and Mike Barnicle and maybe not quite enough time talking about the folks you haven't heard mentioned on cable news, but that's probably just a reflection of the world that Licht lives in. The reader gets the impression that these people are just part of his everyday life as a television producer.Read more ›
about my severe pain radiating across my left side and waist when a kidney stone was working it's way down from my kidney getting stuck halfway causing kidney sepsis which almost killed me on the operating table. I spent time in intensive care and went through months of pain and three surgeries before they were able to get the darn stone out.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I actually shed a few tears reading this.
So many parallels - with life lessons.
Thank you for writing this.
An amazing story about walking to the edge of death and coming back with a new perspective on life. Licht shows how his brush with mortality lead him to a fresh understanding of... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Politix Fan
I completely enjoyed reading this book. Chris gives such great insights on how to handle life after something unexpected hits you. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Kicksdad
but at least a short read. I was looking forward to at least some sort of interesting or provoking insight in this book but found nothing other than a consistent air of arrogance... Read morePublished on December 30, 2011 by jessie
Picked this off the library shelf never having heard anything about it. Not knowing what to expect I was swept into the drama of Chris Licht's medical emergency. Read morePublished on November 10, 2011 by R. S. Macias
This book was a huge disappointment. The author appeared to be pushed into writing the book, shared the experience in a way that felt distanced from the event. Read morePublished on October 21, 2011 by Rascal's Mom
I was very disappointed by this book. I sympathize with the author and his family and all they went through but, this book really missed the mark. Read morePublished on October 3, 2011 by brianatl01
Maybe it is a gernerational thing. I will be 83 next month and I just felt he didn't learn much of anything. Or at least he has a long way to go yet. Read morePublished on September 27, 2011 by S. Riel