Thursday, September 12, 2013

Physical: An American Checkup

Physical: An American Checkup
James McManus

First Sentence
"The truth is, I don't think I'm going to die."
Publisher's Description:
When hard-living, middle-aged American writer James McManus gets a three-day executive checkup at the Mayo Clinic, he is immediately forced to confront his mortality. Will he survive his own cardiovascular system and genetic inheritance long enough to see his young daughters grow up? With great candor and wit, McManus explores not only his own health but also that of the health care system itself and the political realities that have hamstrung stem cell research--which could help his eldest daughter's diabetes. Physical is an unabashed, wrenching, and often hilarious portrait of unwellness in America

Dear Reader,

This was an audiobook, I feel that fact is important when reviewing because the format of print vs. audiobook can make quite the difference. The Author is a famous poker player who got his fame in the literary world with his informative poker book, "Positively Fifth Street: Murders, Cheetahs and Binion's World Series of Poker". I haven't read that book nor have I heard of James McManus before "Physical". I'm the type of gal that likes to participate not watch when something fun is going on, I hate watching games or sports... I like playing them. Maybe this book has piqued the interested in those who've come across his name through his poker playing skills or his books about the game BUT this book is something entirely different. I would steer those people away from this or at least warn them that without an interest in the medical world or stem cell research, they'd probably be disinterested.

So what does a poker player know about the medical world? Quite a lot actually! As much as his knowledge is vast though, his opinions are even bigger. I can only describe this book as someone who experienced everything first hand and spewed all his passion from this experience straight at us like a lightning bolt. I enjoyed his passion but most of the time I found myself rolling my eyes and hoping he would just tone it down a bit. But this begs the question, if he wasn't so passionate would I have liked the book any more? Probably not. His experience is quite unique and his life is chock full of tragedy. I feel for him and can only be happy he can share this with the world.

I would also advise anyone attempting to read this that he is quite colorful with his words and there's quite a few cringe worthy moments of the book. Particularly, the part about his daughter getting stabbed in the eye with a broken magic wand at a birthday party. I won't spoil the details but it gets quite gruesome. For me in particular, I believe this book held more interest because it had so much to do with the medical world and the controversy behind it. It delved into things that I have been realizing for awhile now, things that if I didn't work in the medical field... might go unnoticed. I'm glad to have read it but I'm not sure I would pick up anything else by him, mostly because reading about poker sounds downright dull.

Happy Reading,

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