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on 17 September 2010
I read this book whilst studying to work with Stroke patients. I found it really interesting and and what a fabulous guy Edward Collins is. Left me with much admiratiopn for the man!
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on 4 August 2009
I cannot praise this book highly enough. A moving, funny and searingly honest account of the time immediately before and many months after Edwyn's stroke. I was moved to tears and, by turns, laughing out loud as Grace Maxwell recounts the trials, tribulations and successes that occurred during this most difficult of times.
If you've ever spent extended periods in hospitals and treatment centres this will strike a chord with you and if you haven't prepare to have your eyes opened.

You don't have to be an Edwyn Collins or Orange Juice fan to find a connection to this book, just a big heart and a ready wit will suffice. I couldn't put it down from the moment I opened it. Fantastic, just fantastic, please buy it now.
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on 26 June 2013
My husband had a very similar stroke to Edwyn Collins 4 years ago having also had a very high profile career. Whilst some of the early chapters of Falling and Laughing were quite hard to read as we had experienced very similar ups and downs, it made us realise how one can overcome the greatest obstacles that occur in life and enjoy looking to the future.
Jo Peters
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Grace Maxwell is the long term partner of musician Edwyn Collins, best known for his song, 'A Girl Like You', which was a massive world wide hit. As Maxwell points out in this memoir, they were to praise the time this song made them financially comfortable, for finding Collins one day, collapsed on the floor of their home, having suffered an enormous stroke, and then nursing him through another one and MRSA, they were going to need the money.

And this is the strength of Maxwell's writing. She tells it like it is. This is a funny, frank, sentimental, sad and joyous read about the reality of the months and years needed to help rebuild a family's life after it has been ripped apart by such a devastating illness. Collins was left partially paraylsed with very little memory and unable to do very much of anything. The story shows how Grace, Edwyn and their family fought hard to create a new reality and amazingly get him back to the point where he could appear on stage again.

A truly inspiring read. I ate this book in a day. I genuinely could not put it down.
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on 11 February 2011
I bought this book mainly because as an Orange Juice / Edwyn Collins fan of some 30 years, if I'm honest, I've always been just that little bit jealous of Grace! I was therefore curious to read not only about how Edwyn and his nearest and dearest coped during the dark days but also to discover what she has that I don't.... :)

That was answered in the first few pages.....a strength of character that defies belief.

Grace writes beautfully and what is really laudable is how much of Edwyn's unique character, personality and idiosyncracies come through in her account of his time in hospital, on the road to recovery and also the early days, when she'd first met him...it's just really funny, touching and it stirred up all my great memories e.g. going to see Orange Juice in Tiffany's in Glasgow ("I'm no' a poof, YOU'RE a poof" :- Edwyn to some smart-ass, lagered-up student in the audience). I also remember falling in love to a Postcard Soundtrack....my then boyfriend gave me two Postcard 7" singles 'Poor Old Soul' and Aztec Camera's "Just Like Gold"....still 2 of my all time favourites today.

The book is simply great....not just because it embodies the spirit of Edwyn but because it demonstrates he definitely chose the right woman....strong enough to help Edwyn through the worst times, fight his battles when he wasn't able to do that himself and then to write about it so eloquently.

Falling and Laughing is a great book for both OJ fans and for people who've never heard of Edwyn Collins (where have you been?!)....it is a life-affirming, inspiring, headshakes-of-disbelief,smiles galore good read....I read it across 6 hours....just shows how engaging it is....

Not jealous now, Grace....just full of admiration!
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on 20 August 2009
As an admirer of Edwyn Collins since 1980 and a collector of both Orange Juice and his solo records
I was saddened when I first read of his illness.
However Edwyn survived despite a number of setbacks and that fact makes this book a life affirming read.
This book is a great follow on to the recent BBC documentary about Edwyn's recovery "Home Again".
I do wonder if the results would have been so favourable if Edwyn had not had the hit "A Girl Like You", as that
appears to have given the family the financial wherewithall to weather the crisis. If this is so then I am glad I bought the record.
Even if Edwyn never releases another record his recorded legacy is wonderfull.
He was even responsible (partly) for my favourite ever version of "Pale Blue Eyes", and I have often wondered was
the Orange Juice fourth album called the Third album in honour of the Velvets third or maybe as the book suggests
Edwyn was just being irksome with his record label.
On a final note the real hero of the book is Grace as it is her support and strength that shines through when Edwyn most needed it.
A lovely book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 May 2011
I come to this book as a confirmed Edwyn Collins fan. So far as I know, I own everything he has ever released, from the proto-indie soul of the Postcard years, through to the funk & eclecticism of Orange Juice's final flourish, and then onwards and upwards into the solo years, including the unexpected return to the upper echelons of the charts with `A Girl Like You'.

In December 2010 I witnessed a wonderful set from Edwyn at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that was very emotional for me. I was smiling, singing, dancing and cheering, all with tears in my eyes. To cap it all, on that day Teenage Fanclub were Edwyn's backing band. Needless to say, I have meant to read this book for some time.

This book provides fascinating insights into the UK National Health Service (the stuff the NHS does well and not so well); how Edwyn recovered from his stroke; Edwyn's post-stroke therapy; the love of a wife and mother for her family; and, ultimately, the joy of being alive and Edwyn's determination to bounce back from a devastating illness.

Grace Maxwell is very eloquent, and I come away from this book feeling that I know more about her, in particular her formidable and engaging personality. What is very clear is just how much she loves Edwyn and how she was, and continues to be, totally committed to their life together. Edwyn and Grace are also surrounded by an amazing group of friends and family who enrich this book.

I do wonder how much I would have enjoyed what is, in essence, a detailed and honest account of the effects of a serious illness on the patient and his loved ones, if that patient were not Edwyn Collins. My sense is that I would still have found it interesting, moving and worth reading. That said, as an Edwyn fan, I would also have liked more about life before Edwyn's stroke. There are a few chapters that cover this area but I would love to read more. This is a bit unfair as it is not the purpose of this particular book; still perhaps Grace Maxwell might consider another book that covered the pre-stroke years in more detail?

I am so pleased that this book has such an uplifting ending. Edwyn and his family endured a dreadful ordeal and "The Restoration Of Edwyn Collins" is nothing short of miraculous. Through a combination of Edwyn's determination, the support of his family, especially Grace, and the help of countless specialists, Edwyn is back performing, writing, drawing and working. I recommend this book for fans and non-fans alike, and hope one day to be reviewing a second biography that covers the pre-stroke years. What do you say Grace?
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on 24 June 2010
As a LONG time fan of Orange Juice and Edwyn Collins' solo recordings, this book was wonderful. It provided a window into a dreadful private tragedy that I cared about deeply. It revealed Edwyn's remarkable determination and fortitude and Grace's amazing devotion and support. Reading the last part of the book when Edwyn is getting back on stage for the first time, I was sobbing uncontrollably for about 30 minutes. Even non-fans (e.g. my wife) can enjoy this excellent book.
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on 7 July 2009
Read this book in less than a day as once I picked it up I couldn't put it down.

A very honest and well written text that shows the full extent of human strength. A book that although sad in many respects will lift your spirits (I must confess to giggling out loud on more than one occasion).

Even if you are not a fan of the music of Edwyn Collins and Orange Juice this is still a fascinating read on how a close partner has to cope when their spouse suffers 2 brain hemorrhages.

I wish I could write a better review as this book was fantastic.
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on 18 November 2010
Inspirational is a much overused cliche but this book actually deserves that description. I heard Grace and Edwyn talking about Edwyn's illness on Radio 4 and decided to buy the book. I'm delighted I did as this is one of the best books I have ever read. Grace's honesty and her down to earth style makes the book a very enjoyable read.
She tell the story of her husband, the recording artist Edwyn Collins' fight back from two devastating strokes which almost ended his life. Against all expectation he has made a amazing recovery and is back giving live perfomances and writing and recording his music. Grace takes us through the long painful recovery process and her terror at leaving him in such a vulnerable state in the 'care' of some very uncaring hospital staff.

Their experiences in the hands of the NHS was sometimes second to none but more often than not,downright negligent and even dangerous!

I would highly recommend the book to everyone but not if you're going into hospital in the near future....best wait until you come back home!

It's not a 'woe is me' gloomy book as there are many laugh out loud moments to be enjoyed also.

An awesome book written by an awesome lady about a truly awesome guy!!
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