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My Year Off: Rediscovering Life After a Stroke Paperback – 2 May 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (2 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033045711X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330457118
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 383,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Few of us can write in perfect health with the wit, skill, honesty and compassion that McCrum manages following a stroke’ Professor Anthony Clare

‘I have never read anything quite like this, a moving and unsentimental account of an encounter with the Grim Reaper. I think it should be prescribed reading for all’ Beryl Bainbridge

‘With its lucid heartfelt prose, My Year Off gives voice to the millions of people who suffer strokes . . . More importantly, the book is a testament to the parallel trials and courage of the family members of stroke victims’ New York Times Book Review

‘Elevates the health-book genre to art. Here’s proof a book can delight as it heals’ Wall Street Journal

Book Description

An essential, compassionate book for all stroke victims and their families, with a new introduction from the author

With a new introduction from the author

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book brought to mind Lee and Bob Woodruff's book, In an Instant, but there are, of course, differences. While Bob Woodruff was disabled by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Robert McCrum was laid low by a stroke at the age of forty-two, at a time when he and his wife Sarah had only been married a couple of months. McCrum characterizes his crippling stroke as a "biological car wreck." He tells in frank terms how devastating the stroke was, leaving most of his left side paralyzed and "frozen," and how hard it was to come back from it over the next year and more. But besides enumerating all the struggles and treatments involved in being rehabilitated, he also explores the way it forced him to rethink his life and way he viewed the world. The Woodruff book was often as much a love story as it was a story of treatment and therapy. The same is true with the McCrum story. One cannot help but feel an enormous admiration for McCrum in effecting his recovery from the stroke, but I was equally moved by the unstinting devotion and love showed by his still-new bride in her tireless efforts to fix her cruelly "broken" husband. After all, she hadn't signed on in the marriage to be a nurse and caregiver, but she didn't complain. She nursed, encouraged and - most of all - loved him. This is an inspirational story, and an extremely well-written one too. Both Bob Woodruff and Robert McCrum were extremely lucky in the unkind hands that fate dealt them. They had wives who loved them, and who proved it every day. I recommend this book, MY YEAR OFF, without reservations. It's a good one. - Tim Bazzett, author of LOVE, WAR & POLIO
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Format: Paperback
Robert McCrum was a writer of national standing before his stroke, (or 'brain attack' as he calls it) so this account of his experience suffering a major stroke at the age of 42 is especially well-written. He doesn't minimise all the difficulties, the frustration, resentment and fears, and the impact on his relationship with his wife of just a few months or with his two children born after the stroke. But his story is one of hope and love, profoundly moving and ultimately inspiring.
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Format: Paperback
A wonderful account by a man too young to have a stroke. Since my mother had a stroke a few years later it has been a great help to understand the frustratingly long recovery, but my strongest memory of this story of recovery is Robert's wife for whom it was almost harder to cope with, yet came through as central in his recovery , and is just amazing. That is how it was for me and my brother and sister in law in getting my Mum better and home again. If anyone needs an uplifting experience against adversity read this book, and then you will be fine.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating, well written account of stroke survival, although in my experience stroke care in hospital is far better now than it was for McCrum, with its advantage in recent, more advanced understanding of neuroscience and its urgent focus upon whole-person recovery and the availability of CAT and MRI scans.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I brought this book a few months ago after having a stroke last year, when I was reading it I can remember thinking so many of the same things as Robert McCrum had written in his diary, being pushed around in a wheelchair and the sense of helplessness, and when asking when will things improve being told how long is a piece of string and use it or lose it (it must be a physiotherapist catch phases) Things do improve and life does change and I would highly recommend buying this book, my husband who also read this book found it helped him understand things and for me regarding his feeling of having to cope with someone who has had a stoke
P.S Apologies for any spelling mistakes, I have had to read this about 5 times to check it, but this is sometimes all part of having a stroke.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really disappointed with this book which was recommended by one of my therapists.
I was hoping to find this book to provide myself with some inspiration and common experience after the stroke I had in 2014.
Instead, I found this book just full of self pity and wanting by the author to drop as many famous friends as possible.
I am not sure if the author hadn't been previously an Editor-in-Chief at Faber and Faber if the book would have been published...but that is only me perception.

The Introduction to the 10th Anniversary Edition chapter is the only one which was full of advice and inspirational information to myself.
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Informative, insightful and essential reading for anyone who's own life or has family that has been effected by stroke. I gave me understanding of what my uncle who recently had a stroke was going through and what he might be expecting to go through, as well as helpful information about the brain and greatly needed hope for a positive outcome.
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I haven't finished this book yet, but will get round to it asap.. the first few days of peace I managed to read about half of it. It was recommended to my by an occupational therapist who was cautioning all students of the profession to be aware of the experience of this author and to NEVER replicate it for anyone as their therapist. So far it's been an interesting insight into the cruelties of stroke.
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