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GIMP: The Story Behind the Star of Murderball

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  251 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
College soccer star Mark Zupan had been out drinking one night and had passed out in the back of his best friend's pickup truck when his friend got in the driver's seat, decided to take the truck for a spin, and accidentally crashed it. Thrown into a canal and stuck in frigid water for fourteen hours, Mark was finally rescued and learned soon after that he'd broken his nec ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published October 1st 2006)
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William Stacks
My wife got hurt with a spinal cord injury a little more than a year ago. I started reading all the books I could to learn from others what the capabilities and possibilities are for her. Mark shows in his book how he proceeds forward even though life is give him a hard process to push through.
We moved out of our state to South Florida to attend the Center for Neuro Recovery in North Palm Beach. We found out that this is one of the best centers in the country for exercise, recovery and independe
Sep 25, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Living on your own terms

I'd heard of Mark Zupan and Murderball, but did not know the entire story. An incredible journey and a 'never quit' attitude that everyone talks about but Mark actually lives by. Worth a read for sure.
Mark Zupan has become the face of those with physical disabilities for two reasons: 1.) His role in the documentary "Murder Ball" and, 2.) The fact that most of those with disabilites fall into his demographic: young males who made poor decisions or were affected by someone else who did.
Just as it's no accident that Mark takes over the big screen with his coarse and aggressive personality, it's not surprising that this book hits on a lot of levels.
On the surface a dude with "tats", a long goatee
Kristal Cooper
Jan 11, 2014 Kristal Cooper rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the documentary "Murderball" so I expected to like this memoir by the movie's star: Mark Zupan. Unfortunately, it's just really poorly delivered in every way -- his co-author must be a near-novice because the writing style is simply elementary and Zupan's clearly not an actor or orator because his narration of the audiobook sounds completely unnatural. Worst of all, I think the book is -supposed- to be about heroically overcoming obstacles, but I came away with exactly the opposite fee ...more
Elaine D
May 06, 2010 Elaine D rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men, someone struggling with a life crisis
Recommended to Elaine by: Ball State Honors College
This book was one that I had to read for a Freshman college class I taught in 2010. I was eager to read it because I love memoirs and thought that this would be a very interesting one. After reading the first half of the book, I had very mixed feelings. Mostly I thought that while Mark was a funny guy, he was also a womanizer. I'm glad that the story from his perspective wasn't sugar-coated, but at the same time I think it might be hard for some women to read this book without feeling very defen ...more
I got this book through BookMooch. Thanks BookMooch giver!

I picked this book up, thinking I would just get started reading it, and the next thing I knew, I was halfway done and it was the middle of the night. The same thing happened the next night. I thought I would just read a chapter or maybe two, but I couldn't put it down until I finished it.

Mark Zupan writes like he's talking, which makes this book exciting and easy to read. I really enjoyed reading his honest telling of his accident and re
Jul 06, 2010 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tried really hard not to like this book. Required reading sucks and I put if off as long as humanly possible. And I'd probably give this a 3.5 if I could. But I can't. So I rounded up for good writing style.

I know this book was supposed to inspire me, but it didn't. I felt sorry for him, yeah, but it's one of those "cautionary tales" as he put it. I'm not going to get so drunk I'm passed out in the bed of my friend's truck. I know the consequences of drinking, so I felt this was sort of wasted
Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn)
Jan 28, 2013 Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any who needs a boost in life. Who needs to see the beauty of life.
Recommended to Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn) by: Not too sure. I think I stumbled upon it while surfing the internet.
Finished this today. It's one hell of a satisfying reads ever. Didn't know biographies could so interesting. This book almost converted me into a sports junkie. From now on, I have new respect for athletes and I am pretty sure to be watching out for quad rugby, football and soccer. Zupan's passion on sports and athleticism is most infectious!

I salute Zupan's no-holds-barred and poignant approach in the retelling of his story. He tell it as it is without sugar-coating anything or censorship. I r
Jul 26, 2008 Antoinette rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with disabilities, people that work with disabilities, college and high school students
Recommended to Antoinette by: goodreads!
Shelves: memoirs
Zupan was my hero during that brief month I was obsessed with "Murderball." I work with people with disabilities, and I show it often as a source of inspiration. But, reading this made me think less of him. I am not a fan of life stories written by two people... There were times when I definitely doubted the source of the wording. Also, he came off a bit...fratish. Pearl Jam obsessed, hot chick gettin', star high school athlete. The end was redeeming enough, I guess. There was not enough about t ...more
Jan 23, 2008 Dina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have barely got into it, but already I'm not a fan. I know a little bit about what the author is talking about because I currently got into Friday Night Lights in which the start quarterback becomes a parapalegic and joins a quad rugby team and he befriends the quad rugby star who looks an awful lot like the author. However, the character had a lot more spunk and personality and it is difficult getting into a biography in which the author is kind of boring. I admire his bravery and his tenacit ...more
K.z. Miller
Oct 23, 2014 K.z. Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't looking for an inspiring story, nor did I see "Murderball." I'm glad because I think if I did, I wouldn't have been able to see what was right in front of me. I liked how the authors didn't pull punches, didn't pretty things up, and made no excuses. Because I knew this was non-fiction, I didn't judge it as I would a piece of fiction. No tale of redemption, no one wins the girl, and no Death Stars are blown up in this book. But I came away feeling like I've learned a lot, and I appreciat ...more
Jul 30, 2010 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For everyone who hasn't seen Murderball, I would first like to say that you should go see Murderball. Zupan is one of the main "stars" of the movie, for good reason - he has an incredibly compelling story to tell, and isn't shy about telling it. His autobiography gets into a lot of details that couldn't possibly be covered in a 90-minute documentary - more highs, personal lows, relationship successes and failures, laugh-out-loud anecdotes involving pre- and post-injury shenanigans, and chapters ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Missy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Mark Zupan, one of the stars of the documentary Murderball. I loved the movie and this book told a lot of Mark's story. In the extra scenes of the movie, they talk about meeting with Iraqi war veterans and say that their message is not that everyone in a wheelchair has to be a quad rugby Paralympian, but that life doesn't end after injury. The book echoes this message and really shows how someone can grow through adversity.
Jan 04, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. The writing wasn't my favorite in places, but the compelling, real-life story trumps all. Anyone who has limited mobility or loves someone who does should read this book. Definitely for mature audiences. Then be sure to get the DVD, Murderball. I was inspired and I was sorry to close the book on the last page.
Jan 06, 2008 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sports fans, ableists,
Star of Murderball documentary tells his story in the sports memoir genre.
His intelligence plays a bigger role in the book, and his story adds context that helps interpret his character.
While at times his sexism and ableism gave me pause, in the context of his journey it seems he's come a long way.
Michelle Taylor
I dont like it :C So far it's been really difficult to read and just get into it, I or someone else has to tell me to sit down and read for a while, eh; forced reading. Ive never sat down and watched a full documentary, it's just not my thing.
Tender Branson
I really enjoyed the movie Murderball so I decided to read this book by one of the people detailed in that movie. It was interesting to read about what he went through and how he dug himself out of despair to find something that he enjoyed.
Elisha Chan
Mar 08, 2016 Elisha Chan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love how he pulled himself together after a shocking turnaround of just one incident. Love that he is still himself after the accident, taking life at its most precious. Feel his suffering and learn from it. Life to short to do everything...
Mar 24, 2008 Astrid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you liked the documentary Murder Ball, this book gives you alot more background on one of the atheletes shown in the film. Written in a way that seems to have captured Mark Zupan's personality and spirit from what I can tell from teh film and the language, it makes for engaging read.
Feb 24, 2008 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another one of my favorite books lol. I loved the straight-forwardness of this book. Mark told it how it was and didn't hold anything back. After seeing the Murderball movie this was a must read and did not disappoint.
Oct 06, 2007 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Charles
Great book... also, very interesting subject. If you saw the documentary "Murderball" and liked it, you will love this one. Quick easy read... discusses his success/failure after his paralysis accident
Feb 25, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mark Zupan offers a blunt, often funny, and honest account of his life before, during, and after an accident that changed his life. This is a great follow-up for any fans of the documentary "Murderball."
Stephanie Downing
The positive outlook under such bleak circumstances was compelling to read through. I will check out Murderball now, I was inspired with Mark Zupans strength and determination to keep living and moving forward.
I've always disliked jock culture, which Mark Zupan thrived on and mourned after a paralyzing accident. But I liked the message that when a devastating set back happens, the only way you can have peace is to embrace what you can do instead of lamenting what you can't.
Heather Green
Mar 04, 2008 Heather Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very inspirational story. I'm a big fan of the documentary "Murderball" which stars Mark Zupan so I was very excited when I saw that he wrote a book based on his experiences. I highly recommend this one.
Paul Jensen
The book is a little better than OK, but not the inspiring tale I have been led to believe it would be. I don't understand why every new quad gets a copy of this book in some of the rehab hospitals I have worked with. So far, just a lot of depression and anger.
Feb 26, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about an inspirational man. I saw Murderball a few years ago, and now I want to see it again after reading about his life. Definitely puts things into perspective.
Aug 30, 2015 Purlewe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I enjoyed this autobiography. I thought the movie Murderball was great, but I really wanted to know more about Zupan and Bob. I hope one day Bob writes a memoir too.
Jul 10, 2007 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing and inspiring story. Autobiography of a tremendous individual. Very strong character, not the best writer but you can really hear his voice.
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Mark Zupan (born May 20, 1975) is a wheelchair rugby player and the captain of the United States wheelchair rugby team which competed in the Paralympic Games in 2004. He is best known for his appearance in the 2005 film Murderball. Zupan was also a part of the 2008 United States gold winning team at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

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and Washington Post for a Q&A
More about Mark Zupan...

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“Most people fear pain. I've learned that not feeling pain is a much more frightening proposition than feeling it. In fact, there are times when I'm playing when I actually enjoy it.” 1 likes
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