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If You Could Hear What I See: Lessons About Life, Luck, and the Choices We Make Hardcover – July 1, 2001

4.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Buckley, the country's first hearing-impaired comedian and now also a motivational speaker, certainly has the story to back up her words. Buckley grew up in a smalltown Ohio family of noncommunicators who somehow neglected to explain to her the fact of her hearing loss (at age eight, "I still assumed everyone heard the same way I did"). Besides one good friend and one good teacher, her youth was replete with misunderstanding and misery. She halfheartedly attempted self-destructive behavior, was run over by a Jeep, found her first real lover and left him after she was diagnosed, at age 27, with cervical cancer. She rejected a second operation "I decided to take that incredible gift called choice" and changed her diet and her life, most notably confronting the man who'd molested her as a child. She describes affectingly the experience of finding her first effective hearing aid. Then, two-thirds of the way through her tale, she somewhat surprisingly as the memoir up to here is more sober than funny explains that since she'd always used laughter to win people over, she went into comedy and soon added motivational speaking to her performance repertoire. Her message: "get over it and get on with... life." Buckley rebuilds her own relationship with her mother and finds a surrogate family. She urges communication (to break down walls), decries ignorance (which lets people accept unfair labels) and credits God's guidance for putting extraordinary people in her path. Buckley's spirituality might not convince skeptics, but her hard-won victories surely have given her the capacity to see and point others to the bright side. (July) Forecast: Buckley's PBS special will air in August. Audiences know her she is a five-time Comedy Award nominee and the subject of an Emmy-winning documentary and her inspirational story should sell well.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Kathy Buckley's remarkable life story was the basis of her one-woman show, Don't Buck With Me, which was critically acclaimed and earned her the L.A. Ovation Award for best writing. A five-time American Comedy Award nominee, she has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and Entertainment Tonight.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052594611X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525946113
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Learn to use what you have instead of worrying about what you don't." That advice pretty well sums up this book, which delivers the message with a wry, self-effacing joke and a smile.
Several years ago, my wife and I attended a Tony Robbins seminar in which Ms. Buckley was one of the fellow participants who was "working on herself" just like the rest of us. She was doing this, although she had often been a motivational speaker at similar sessions for Mr. Robbins. I was intensely touched by her then, and am even more moved now by reading about her story in detail.
As she says, Ms. Buckley was a victim of ignorance . . . that of others and her own. Probably due to one or the other of severe childhood problems, she has very little hearing. Neither her parents or the school realized this until she was 8. The remediation helped a little, but not enough. She was a poor lip reader, no one tried to make it easier for her, she didn't have hearing aids that did her any good, and schools generally did not give her the special support she needed. As a result, she was more often treated as a mentally retarded person or as a trouble-maker than as a hearing-impaired person. It's hard to know what you don't know in that situation. In many cases, she describes the shock of hearing simple things for the first time (like the laughter of a baby, paper rustling, and the warning bell in a car).
Her second challenge was that having so many things to learn, she was often shunned by others. This made developing her emotional connections slow and difficult. Her parents were not very communicative (even for those who could hear them), and friends and mentors were the exception rather than the rule.
As a result, Ms.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kathy Buckley has led an extraordinary life that enables anybody who reads "If You Could See What I Hear" to gain a new perspective. This book is about overcoming odds to lead a productive life. Kathy describes her hard-knocks in a very real way without taking on a "feel sorry for me" tone. She describes in detail how she went from "I can't" to "I can" in a manner that the reader will be forced to start looking at their own lives to see they have choice to say "I can". This book gives Kathy the ability to go into greater precious detail, then in her stage act, on many of her life's experiences and how she overcame the setbacks. If you've seen her act and was left with questions like "who, what, where or when did you get run over by a Jeep?", the answers are here.
This book is recommended for teenagers, people with disabilities, people who feel like they have been `cornered' into a life they do not desire, and those whose lives are significantly good but just need a reality check on the perspective of those who don't have it as great.
Thank you Kathy for giving us this opportunity to look a little deeper look into your life.
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Format: Hardcover
Incredibly moving and inspirational. It made me laugh and made me cry. But most of all it made me celebrate the wonderful human being Kathy is - and the lessons we can all learn from her experiences. Should be required reading - especially for young people setting out to find their lives.
Fern Field Brooks
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I heard the author speak at a function. Her life has been a great struggle, and this book brings an understanding on how we can get a better idea of how we communicate with one another....or lack thereof. Great book.
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who grew up confused about the world around them will find a friend in Kathy Buckley. This soul-bearing account of her early life and later redemption is full of help and REAL hope for you. I rarely read non-fiction cover to cover but did this one, and am so glad I did - couldn't put it down.
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Format: Paperback
This poignant and beautifully written tale is both inspiring and hysterically funny! An easy read, but brilliantly written, it ties the reader to the book. Without pity, Kathy portrays herself and shows her life through wit and humor that can bring a tear to your eye without making you feel sorry for her. Instead it helps you see your life in better perspective and inspires the reader to attain higher goals. Excellent read.
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Format: Paperback
Kathy's severe hearing loss lead to an early diagnosis of mental retardation: she was also molested, run over, and stricken with cancer all before the age of thirty but she never lost her sense of humor. If You Could See What I Hear provides her life story and how she kept this sense of humor through the darkest of days. A powerful memoir and personal account of hope.
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Format: Paperback
I totally enjoyed this book. Kathy is an inspiration and I wish her nothing but continued success in the future. The book is hard to believe in some points - that so many bad things can happen to one person. It is amazing to see the metamorphasis Kathy goes through in her life and how the total of all of her life's experiences both good and bad have shaped who she is today. She's triumphant!
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