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Blindsight (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Chris Colin , The Atavist

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  • Length: 38 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

In March of 1994, Simon Lewis was a Hollywood man on the rise. He had started in the film industry as a lawyer and worked his way up to become a big-budget studio producer. He’d helped shepherd one of the most successful comedies in film history. He’d married the love of his life. And then one night, in a few seconds, everything changed.

In Blindsight, author Chris Colin unspools the remarkable true story of a horrific accident and the life that followed it. A killer at large. Unlikely twists of fate. Miraculous medical oddities. Otherworldly perceptions. Lewis's is a tale of one man’s love and loss, and of the strange turns awaiting a life remade.

“Colin tells Simon Lewis's story of wreckage and rebirth with economy, vividness, and grace.” —Nicholson Baker,” author of House of Holes and Vox

“The extraordinary perceptions and insights experienced by Simon Lewis after his life-altering brain injury are fascinating to read about. This piece should remind those of us who plod through our days with healthy brains that a similar beauty and grace exists inside us waiting to be uncovered.” —Ethan Watters, author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

“Only Chris Colin could make me care about the man responsible for the cheese-horror movie C.H.U.D II. Mixing a potent blend of reportage with vivid storytelling, Blindsight tells the tragic story of movie producer Simon Lewis, and his almost twenty year struggle with a strange neurological condition. Lewis’s story, we know in our heart of hearts, could befall any of us.” —Novella Carpenter, best-selling author of Farm City

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 116 KB
  • Print Length: 38 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Atavist (24 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005J0Z9S4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #458,712 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hero's story of endurance and resilience 26 Aug. 2011
By Rett01 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Blindsight is a rarity, a most often trauma-induced medical condition in which a person without sight can "see" through the blindness without consciously registering images. A person with blindsight will navigate around a garbage can without ever visualizing the obstacle. Blindsight is seeing without seeing, the brain doing a workaround.

Simon Lewis developed blindsight after being crushed body and soul in a horrible 1994 car wreck that killed his wife of five months, left Lewis in a four-month coma and became the start of a decade-long crawl back toward daylight.

Storyboard, Panel 1 of 5: Lewis is a Hollywood kid who loves the movies and starts by shooting a high schooler, backyard version of "Macbeth." Some time later a string of progressively more main-stream B-movies follow. At the top of that heap is "C.H.U.D.2." Then the young producer latches onto a hokey script and hustles to sign 70s has-been John Travolta. The movie is about a tough talking baby who telegraphs his thoughts to the audience and bam, "Look Who's Talking" is the smash hit of 1989, beating every other hit of the year including "When Harry Met Sally" and "The Little Mermaid." At about the same time, he meets Marcy and records another triumph when she, "talkative and vivacious," agrees to marry him, "pale and bookish."

Storyboard, Panel 2: March 2, 1994. If he would have paused outside the fancy Italian restaurant they both loved to tie his shoelace before getting into their brand new Infiniti he would have driven through the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and McCadden Place a couple seconds later and missed being T-boned by that white 1978 van running the stop sign full-throttle at 75 miles per hour. In a home nearby a couple eating dinner thought a bomb had gone off. They ducked under their dinner table.

Storyboard, Panel 3: The paramedics first on the scene report no survivors in the Infiniti. Witnesses say they saw a young man climb out of the van and sprint up McCadden, never to be identified. It takes over an hour to splay the Infinity open. Rescuers are shocked to discover Lewis has a pulse. Every second that passes, more blood leaks internally filling every available space under his skin. More brain cells die. By the time Lewis is admitted to Cedars-Sinai his body has swollen to twice its normal size. Four months later, one day in April, Lewis' eyes open.

Storyboard, Panel 4: The road back is a long one. More than ten years. Lewis had lost everything. Then with struggle, gained much back. His legs are fitted with a NESS L300, a neuroprosthesis that sends impulses to nerves to help him walk. He's now a middle-aged man in his 50s. "A little advice," someone says to Lewis, "Find love again." In 2010 he writes a book "Rise and Shine" an extremely detailed chronicle of his ordeal. Life moves on.

Storyboard, Panel 5: Lewis' story doesn't have an ending, happy or sad, that packs everything up in a little square box with a cover. The ending is ambiguous and undetermined, the way life works. Lewis makes contact again with the film community. He works on a script from long ago and like the rest of us Lewis continues on, "living the non-movie version of his own life."

The Pitch: The summary doesn't begin to size up the story which is almost science fiction in its treatment of how the brain functions in reaction to terrible trauma and works to heal itself. The story is inspirational. How do you go about remaking a life? There's an otherworldly quality to Lewis's rehabilitation that blurs reality and perception and reshapes what we mean by consciousness and cognition. To me, "Blindsight" is a hero's story of endurance and resilience.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating tale you'd think was fiction. 26 Aug. 2011
By Karol Gajda - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My reviews of stories published by The Atavist are going to get very redundant. They are brilliant at finding the perfect writer to tell the perfect story.

As for BlindSight: It captivated me from the beginning. Successful Hollywood producer gets in an accident, loses his wife, goes into a coma, then spends 15 years relearning the world? It's almost unbelievable in its reality.

If you're a fan of movies like Memento you'll enjoy this. If you're a fan of solid non-fiction story telling you will enjoy this. If you're a fan of human triumph that doesn't necessarily have a traditional happy Hollywood ending, you will enjoy this.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating story of brain trauma told with warmth and insight 27 Aug. 2011
By Mudaba - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating profile, but it's more than that. The author's gentle and insightful perspective on another man's tragedy is deftly shared. Line-by-line, it's very well-written (I loved this line: "He had a kind face layered with years of bad news."), but it's really the larger framework that impresses me as a reader. Too often I will leave a New Yorker profile thinking, "So what? What does it mean? What's the bigger point?" This wonderful piece really satisfied my desire for the author to take responsibility to tell us why we should care about this life and this experience.

I also loved feeling like the author anticipated my questions as a reader (Lewis can't just return to being a producer, can he?). In that, the writing is very current: each chapter is rife with little discoveries, and those transcend even the story itself. Highly recommended to people who love both fiction as well as smart-nonfiction. There's a quality of an authorial light touch--of relationship of the character to author--that resonates for lovers of fiction as well.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and courageous 29 Aug. 2011
By S. Warfield - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Simon Lewis was an up and coming Hollywood producer whose first successful movie was "Look Who's Talking." He had struggled until he started to find success. Simon Lewis was busier than ever and very excited over his career starting off. He met his wife Marcy, and married a year later in 1995.

Five months after they were married, Simon and Marcy were in their Infiniti on their way to a restaurant for dinner when a white van ran a stop sign, hitting Lewis's Infiniti at 77 mph. Marcy is killed in the passenger seat and Simon is crushed. It took 2 Jaws of Life to cut the car so that Simon could be removed. In the meantime, the driver of the white van runs off. Simon's brain is swelling, he is bleeding internally, nearly a third of the right hemisphre of his brain has been destroyed and he had an epidural, subdural and intraparenchymal hematomas in his brain.

Simon developed blindsight which is a rare condition where the person is blind but can see through blind spots without realizing that they can see. Even though they are blind, they will walk around objects in front of them.

This is a bittersweet story of a remarkable man who has been through a horrible ordeal. It is well worth reading to see how one person struggled and worked so hard to make it to recovery as much as he can. This is also a very inspirational story of love, loss, recovery and living again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knocked my socks off 28 Aug. 2011
By An Avid Reader - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
i have been interested in the Atavist since it first came out as the new thing in long form journalism. Or, looked at another way, the new thing in short form books. I liked the first few "barticles" I read, but now comes a story that really knocked my socks off. Chris Colin's "Blindsight" tells the story of a man with brain trauma who wants to get back into his old Hollywood life. Colin writes with beauty and inquisitiveness; in fact this should be read simply because in Colin's hands the story is more than the usual Underdog Protagonist on Hero's Journey; we are truly drawn into Simon Lewis' new way of seeing the world. I haven't stopped thinking about this man whose injured brain has rendered him incapable of anger, and who "sees" not with his eyes, but with his subconscious (the "blindsight" syndrome of the title.) I knew the brain was dogged and flexible, but had no idea the lengths it could go to function again. This is a fascinating read.
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