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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857203339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857203335
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'It is a deeply affecting and at times shocking book... The Diving Bell and The Butterfly but with a happy ending' --Sunday Times, 17 July 2011 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Martin Pistorius was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1975. An unknown illness at the age of twelve left him wheelchair bound and unable to speak, and he spent fourteen years in institutions. In 2001 he learned to communicate via computer, make friends and change his life. In 2008 he met the love of his life, Joanna, and immigrated to the UK. In 2009 they married and in 2010 he started his own business. He describes himself a Geek with a wicked sense of humour and a love of technology. He loves animals, is a keen photographer, enjoys watching cricket, Formula 1 Grand Prix and films, listening to music, spending time with friends and, most of all, being with his wife.

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dale A. Haines VINE VOICE on 1 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One Saturday morning a while back, I turned on the car radio. It was turned to radio four where an interviewer was conversing with someone using a speech synthesiser to reply. At first I suspected it was an interview with Prof Steven Hawking but the voice intonation was different as was the subject. It turned out to be an interview with Martin Pistorius. Following listening to the programme I came home, went straight on line and ordered the book. I was swallowed up in it's depths immediately.

In 1988 aged 12 Martin became ill with a disease that no one could diagnose nor cure nor even delay as it totally shut down his entire body and higher brain. In a few months he was wheelchair bound and unable to interact with the world in anyway. He was not expected to live.

What nobody was aware of was that at some point along the way Martin's mind started to awaken once more, leaving him aware but trapped inside an unresponsive shell of a body.
Amazingly some 10 years later, a visiting aromatherapist felt that Martin was, at some level, aware and responsive. Despite the experts original dismissive attitude, Martin's parents strove to have him assessed. It soon began to become clear that inside this non-functioning body was a mind as intelligent and alert as it had once been.

Martin's abilities and desire to communicate with the world around him along with his parent's beliefs in him helped him forge his way back from the dark world in habited as a ghost boy and to emerge once more into the light of a life where he could learn, teach, travel, meet, fall in love with and ultimately marry the woman who had fallen in love with him too.

This book is truly amazing; not simply because of the subject matter of Martin's life but for all the nuances - some dark, some light - which pepper the fabric of his story.
A soul lifting story of a struggle, the type of which none of us can ever truly understand for ourselves.
A five star read.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brione on 20 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
A truly inspiring book which I was unable to put down. To know you are locked in a body with no way of communicating would be a nightmare. To read of his gradual emergence out of the shadows and learning to speak through his computer was compelling. Many of us are not lucky enough to find a true and complete love and the love that Martin and Joanna have found is wonderful. I can recommend this book as one of the best I have read in a long time.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paul on 18 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
This real life story grips you from the first page, as Martin's experience plunges you into a world where none of us wish to be. Martin describes how it actually feels to be aware of people around you but not be able to talk to them or shout with pain or joy with what they are saying or doing. His gradual partial recovery over many years and determination to overcome the many challenges he faces is described culminating in his experiencing true love and marriage. This book will challenge you to rethink your attitude to everyone around you and enrich your life in the process. I can strongly recommend this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gillian Linford on 27 July 2011
Format: Hardcover
I heard Martin being interviewed on Saturday Live and downloaded Ghost Boy to my IPad there and then. The book is inspirational and uplifting, even though (or perhaps because) he describes in graphic detail the physical, verbal and sexual abuse he suffered in so-called care homes and the pain and frustration of being trapped inside his body with no way of communicating his needs and wishes. This book should be required annual reading for anyone who works in a care environment, as an object lesson in how easy it is to disregard someone's needs and views and fail to notice abuse being perpetrated.

At last Martin finds an empathetic visiting aromatherapist, who encourages him and his parents to research Augmentative and Alternative Communication. This is no quick fix: it takes years for him to find the right devices, programme and train on them, re-learn literacy and become part of the work force. I rejoiced with him as he gained independence, respect, fulfilment and finally love.

I encountered this book at a very busy period of my life, but the accessible style, short chapters and gripping narrative meant I finished it in three days. Everyone should read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen C on 4 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a truly amazing story which is moving, inspiring and gives you an insight into a world where no one would want to be. I was so involved in the story I couldn't help myself giving updates of what was happening to my family and friends.
I highly recommend this book. When you read about how Martin has overcome his difficulties it will make you think anything is possible and that you can take on the whole world!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Turrell on 30 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book has to be the most incredible book I have ever read. Brutally honest, with an eloquence that is breathtaking and an intelligence that crackles through every page, Martin Pistorius takes the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions as he recounts his life. At times dark and shocking, Martin's story is deeply moving as the threads of resilience, determination, hope and love shine through, getting ever stronger. Ultimately the reader is left with great optimism for the life Martin creates, and deep joy for the true love he finds with the beautiful Joanna. Ghost Boy is an uplifting and utterly inspirational book, written by an awe-inspiring and amazing man.
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