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297 of 316 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contagious inspiration and motivational drive, June 20, 2004
This review is from: Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (Mass Market Paperback)
GIFTED HANDS, an autobiographical look into the life of one of the best neurosurgeons in the U. S. of A, is so unbelievably inspirational and poignant. If 100 people simultaneously read this book, I assure you at least one of them would walk away a changed person! I know Ben Carson has changed me. From now on, I'm vowing to do my absolute best. This year of homeschooling has given me many opportunities to "slack off" as one might say - I've taken a few of those opportunities. Even though I ended up with mostly As, I'm vowing to give my all into my academic performance next year. Ben Carson's motivational drive is absolutely contagious!
Benjamin Carson, M.D started out on the mean Detroit streets. His father had to leave the family after it was found he was practically living a double life: he had a girlfriend and another family while married to Ben's mother. While his mother assured him the family would be fine, they had to struggle to make ends meet. Yet all the while, she kept pushing and pushing Ben to be the best he could possibly be. All the while, she knew he had it in him to get out of the Detroit ghetto in which they lived. All the while, she knew he'd make something of himself. And he did.
We see an amazing transformation from a skeptical kid, unsure of life, to an intelligent neurosurgeon with a heart of gold - so much so that he can't help but break down and cry when surgery results in the death of a patient. He is a person who made the best of his education, as well as his college years. He went from being the best to simply doing his best and can be regarded as an inspiration to all because his standard of life he began with wasn't as favorable as many rich families who have attended Ivy League colleges for generations. In his case, he along with his older brother, Curtis, were the first in the family to attend colleges. Curtis ended up at University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and Ben enrolled at Yale University, where he met his wife, Candy.
Ben's beginnings were certainly not easy. Signs of determination showed as young as the age of 10. He started out as the "class dummy" in school, frequently getting every single question on his math tests wrong. But then, through hard work and a lot of reading at the local library, plus a new presciption for glasses, he expanded his knowledge in every subject. Soon, "good" wasn't good enough. Ben was driven to be the best. In fact, he was so driven that he won a full scholarship to the renowned Yale University.
God has clearly played a pivotal role in Ben's life. Before operating, he always prays to the Lord. But one life experience in particular especially is one I won't soon forget. Ben feared flunking a Yale exam and knew last-minute cramming would do him no good. As he slept, he dreamt of the mathematical facts and figures and equations. The next day, he nervously proceeded to take the exam and realized many of the questions had been in his prior dream! After a lot of worrying, Ben scored a 97 on the exam. He knew it was God's way of helping him.
What I most enjoy about this autobiography is the way in which Ben addresses the readers. Whether his audience ranges from the age of 13 to the age of 99, either age should enjoy it. Clearly, Ben is a brilliant genius. He speaks eloquently, yet he doesn't throw in the "big words" he could probably use if he chose to. Instead, his story is told through simple language that anyone can understand.
Ben Carson ought to be regarded as a role model for today's youth. Those not on the right path to a successful future could especially benefit, as a book like this could assist in a serious straightening out of priorities. As I mentioned before, Ben's motivational drive is contagious and inspiring! This down-to-earth doctor's story is really meant for everyone, teens and adults alike.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 11, 2013 2:12:59 PM PST
Dr Carson could inspire a dead pig to do flipflops!

Posted on Aug 13, 2013 4:38:56 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 14, 2013 1:34:29 AM PDT]

Posted on May 14, 2015 6:29:23 PM PDT
I sink Ben Carthon did very well today. I with him the beth of luck, but he shouth whath out for those griths. They can be vewy grithy.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2015 8:31:09 PM PDT
g in CO says:
I agree. This was one of those books I could not put down until I finished it. Such an inspiring life story. I can't think of anyone I'd like more than his mother. His love and admiration for her shows.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2015 6:36:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2015 7:28:15 AM PDT
J. Messer says:
E. Pauzer
I have read your other reviews and find that you are very literate and articulate. Why on earth would you write something like this?

Posted on Oct 9, 2015 5:51:36 AM PDT
D. Shortell says:
Hi QUEEN_OF_EVERYTHING, David Shortell from CNN here. I know this is an old post but I was very interested to read that this book had such an impact on you, especially as a piece of reading assigned to you at homeschool. Give me an email if you can -- would love to talk to you more about the book for a story I am working on --


Posted on Nov 30, 2015 8:10:33 PM PST
"Ben scored a 97 on the exam. He knew it was God's way of helping him"
So his god didn't like, or deem worthy of helping, those other students who also didn't study? Wow, how very old testament, and how very "Joseph" of Carson to be visited with such a dream. Maybe this is also why Carson also believes the pyramids were built by Joseph and used to store grain. Glad you liked the "story" and glad too he didn't use any "big words." He might be a gifted neurosurgeon, but he's still "a dummy."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2016 12:06:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2016 12:09:24 PM PST
R Kaplan says:
How can you call BC a dummy?!! Don't you know that he is the first and ONLY neurosurgeon who lobotomized himself? And he had to do it without any anesthetic since otherwise he would have been sleepier during the surgery than he is during the debates!
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