As a fourteen year old boy from a small Midwestern town, Charles Mee believed in God, family, and his future, which, at the very least, included girls and a long spell as a hometown football hero But when he collapsed one night at a school dance, his dreams began to vanish In a narrative at once funny and profound, Mee brilliantly captures the era in which polio, not communism, was every American parent s nightmare Unraveling the mysteries of his own Cold War youth, Mee gives voice both to the child with a potentially fatal disease and to the man whose recognition of himself as a disabled outsider has served to heighten his gifts as a storyteller....
|Title||:||A Nearly Normal Life: A Memoir|
|Publisher||:||Back Bay Books February 9, 2000|
|Number of Pages||:||240 pages|
|File Size||:||567 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A Nearly Normal Life: A Memoir Reviews
Reading this book I felt as much inside another person as I have ever felt. Mee takes readers inside his fight for existence, the profound solitude he felt while hovering at the boundary of death, his evolving realization of what his body could and couldn't do for him. I was drawn to the book in part because, although I thankfully never had polio, I had an accident a couple of years ago that compromised my mobility and required me to become much more aware of my body and its surroundings. Since then I've experienced many of the feelings that Mee describes: the way he luxuriated in the tiny pleasures of the physical world as he reentered it, his increasing attraction to the realm of the mind where he felt free, his ambivalence toward the world of the normal, his understanding that life-changing events can simply happen with no inherent purpose. Mee recounts how he began to experience his body in new ways, enjoying the sensation of moving his arms as he listened to classical music, which he had never much liked before. I did that, too. He refers to the cerebral realm and the realm of dreams as a kind of flight. After my own accident I often dreamed of flying, slipping effortlessly up and down stairs and slopes. I guess this is just to say that for a person who has some form of disability, the experiences Mee describes will no doubt ring true.
I ordered this for my mother, whose brother contracted polio back in the 1940s. She very much enjoyed reading and said it really reflected the ordeal my uncle has endured throughout his life. A true look-back on the polio epidemic.
So many of Polio Surviors can related to this book as we all grew up trying to have a near normal life. I could relate to all of this.
I think if the author hadn't written his memoir in such a vain way--it would have been better??
I've just finished Charles Mee's memoir. I bought it ten years ago to research something I was writing, but never used it for that reason. This week I picked it up and could not put it down.
I don't write many reviews anymore, who has time? However, this book stood out so much above the rest I've read lately that I just had to share. The book is about a polio survivor, the 50's, the discovery of the vaccine and oh so much more. It's about living the life you were handed, not the want you thought you were going to get.