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Busy Body: My Life with Tourette's Syndrome Paperback – 6 Apr 2006
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Nick Van Bloss was 7 years old when he had his first tic: a sudden compulsion to shake his head from left to right, twice in rapid succession. It wasn't until 15 years later that he was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome and he could comprehend the condition that had plagued him for so long. Amidst his battles with unhelpful medical professionals, jeering bullies and his own very busy body, Nick managed to survive by discovering a gift and passion for the piano. Life, however, was still to throw a number of obstacles in his way before he could learn to accept his syndrome and wear his tics with a smile...Nick van Bloss' memoir gives a remarkable insight into a much-misunderstood condition, and allows us into the heart and mind of a wonderfully witty and talented man.
Top customer reviews
The author points out that the book is not simply about tourette's but, more importantly, about embracing it as a lifestyle. I followed his life through many episodes, some excrutiatingly painful, some fabulously comical and others ironic and accepting. It was a great insight into exactly what tourette's is and also precisely how it is and feels to live with. I found it quite heartbreaking that such a gifted and sensitive person should have been afflicted in such a way, not only with tourette's itself, which is bad enough, but also with having to deal with a bullying and insensitive society, not to mention many other problems that the author has had to deal with in his intense lifestyle - he is still only in his 30's. I was so sad that he had to give up a career as a professional pianist because of his tourette's and found myself wishing that he hadn't. Nick van Bloss is obviously a man with a lot to give and in this book I think he has shared a moving and honest story of living with a nightmare of a condition.
I'm always reading biographies and this one proved to be as worthy, if not more so, than some of the best I've read. OK, a book about medical condition like Tourettes doesn't fill one with any promise of excitement, scandal or even much at all really, other than just talking about living with an illness.
Busy Body took me into a different world, one where things are so different to most peoples that I became excited by a condition I knew very little about. I also became enthralled with the author and began feeling as though I was being let into his secret world where things are just not as they seem. The author feels the world in a dizzy and violent way and I began to feel that I was joining him, such was the power of the vivid descriptions.
Tourettes must be impossible to live with and I think this book shows just how brave the author is, not only in living with it but also in being able to write such a powerful book about living with it.
It reeks of courage, suffering and cathartic acceptance and isn't written in a 'feel sorry for me' style, but a 'join me in my way of life' one.
I got to know the author and fell into step with his easy style and knew he was speaking straight from the heart.
I'm always fascinated by books about mind conditions, but so many are rambling epics of misery that I find myself bogged and often left none the wiser about them.
Busy Body really spoke to me - I feel that I really understand Tourette's now and was bowled over at how someone who has suffered (and still suffers) so badly could have produced such a warm, entertaining, readable and witty book.
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