Ghost Boy: My Escape from a Life Locked Inside My Own Body
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Ghost Boy: My Escape from a Life Locked Inside My Own Body

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  162 ratings  ·  31 reviews
In January 1988, aged twelve, Martin Pistorius fell inexplicably sick. He lost his voice, stopped eating and slept constantly. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin’s parents were told that he had an unknown degenerative disease and probably had less than two years to live. Then, in 1998, when Martin was twenty-three years old, an aromatherapy mas...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Jonathan Ball Publishers SA (first published January 1st 2011)
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Diane V-R
"In January 1988, aged twelve, Martin Pistorius fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating; then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin's parents were told that an unknown degenerative disease had left him with the mind of a baby and he probably had less than two years to live. Martin went on to be cared for at centres for severely disabled children, a shell of the bright, viva...more
This is the incredible story of a once-normal 12 year old boy who fell inexplicably sick and became a « living vegetable ». For six years, he’s “out”. Between the age of 18 and 20, his mind slowly but steadily resurges, while his body remains totally unresponsive to his will. To the world, including the people caring for him and even to his family, he still seems the lifeless body without a brain or any intelligence. While Martin himself does not remember being the once-normal 12 year old, he do...more
Sal Noel
If you work with people with disabilities- specifically Profound and Multiple you really should read this book. I came in at the end of an interview on Radio 4 with the author, and noted down the title. I tend to buy books almost by chance- quick read of the blurb, or a writer I already know. I went out that week to buy this book. The story is remarkable. Imagine coming round and having lost part of your life and not being able to communicate. Not saying when you were uncomfortable, being spoken...more
Sometimes you find those remarkable life stories that are almost too awe inspiring to be true. This is the case with this book. Martin has to overcome extraordinary odds in order to be able to write this book, and faces deep personal issues outside of his illness before he can accept who he is and the love of an equally extraordinary woman. I loved this personal account, and I loved the way this book was written between times because it made the reality of his illness always at the forefront. A...more
Michael Van in
I came across Martin Pistorius' name by chance while reading a technical item on PC accessibility tools, years ago. I was so intrigued by the glimpse into his experience that I wrote to him to get to know more about his amazing story. We corresponded several times and became quite friendly. When Martin told me he was having his biography published, I impatiently waited for about fourteen months to read it.

This is one of those astounding biographies that reveals the hidden but exceptional people...more
Ghost Boy is written as a journey, which the reader takes along with the writer. The journey gives a vivid picture of what one individual with physical limitations goes through and how they meet each new experience along the way. This book is written in the voice of the author/main character, Martin pistorius.

I cannot say enough good things about Ghost Boy. Late at night I struggled to put the book down. I felt propelled to turn each and every page. Martin held my complete attention.

Ghost Boy aw...more
Read, Run, Ramble
Thank you Thomas Nelson via Booksneeze for providing me with a copy of this book!

Martin was a normal, active boy until age 12 when he became ill. His parents took him to see many doctors and they had many test run, but no answers were to be found for his increasingly worse condition. Eventually he was without use of his body or mind. By the time he was 14, it seemed his death was inevitable. Yet Martin’s mind came back – he was finally aware again. His body remained still though and thus begins...more
Emily Rachelle
I'm not sure what compelled me to request this book for review. I already have a stack a mile high of books to review, and when this one arrived in the mail, I questioned my sanity in choosing it. I don't even like nonfiction, and I still have all these fairy tale retellings and dystopian stories at my disposal!

Once I started reading, though, I was hooked. The book reads more like a novel than an autobiography, and I often had to remind myself this was a real man speaking, not a fictional charac...more
None of us show all that we are on the outside. That takes getting to know us, and digging layer upon layer. But what about someone who can't talk, who has very limited movement? Who can know this person?
Ghost Boy is the personal account of a once-normal 12 year old whose unknown illness robbed him go his voice, his mobility, even his awareness. Years passed and he barely knows what's happening to him. Then, one day, he starts to awaken. But he has no way to tell anyone and those who care for hi...more
For anyone willing to experience the horror and triumph within a severe disability...this book will benefit your understanding of it all. Martin's life story will change the way you view your own life, the lives of those with disabilities. It will encourage you to reach your dreams regardless of obstacles you face.
I had a hard time putting down this book. It is the story of a man that became trapped inside himself as a boy and after many years was slowly was able to interact with the world again. He has triumphs and setbacks but ends up being able to make his dreams come true. It is a humbling and inspiring read.
An unbelievable story of a man trapped for years in what others believe is a vegetative state, but he is all there and unable to communicate. I can't think of a worse nightmare. The story has a very happy ending.
Alison Jones
Quite simply moving and brilliant.
This book was about an amazing miracle, but unfortunately it read more like a journal. He would ramble on about how his thought process and basically tell off the people who didn't understand him who were supposed to care for him. I skipped pages throughout and finally after 2/3 the way through, abandoned hope.

I am happy for Martin though, that he was able to master himself to the point to be an inspiration to others.
Yasmin Rofidi
An amazing book, makes you think about how it might feel to live with any kind of disability. Very touching book, it made me want to cry at the end! Just an inspiring story. Only one thing to say, it's quite difficult to understand timescales as Martin seems to jump from present feelings to past feelings whilst telling his story. Nonetheless I give it 5 stars. Thankyou Martin for sharing your story with us xx
This book was incredible. Anyone who is having an 'i feel sorry for myself moment' needs to pick this book up and reassess their life. It makes you realise just how fortunate we are to be able to SPEAK. To be able to make verbal choices about what we want and don't want. What we like and don't. What we are thinking about. It is amazing. I am full of wonder and awe for Martin. He is an inspiration to us all!
The story of a 12 year old boy who suddenly fell ill and after 18 months was mute and wheelchair bound. His mind slowly "woke up" and he became aware but couldn't tell anyone....for 9 years! It was an eye-opener to realize what can happen to these kind of people in "care centers." An interesting story written by the author.
Rhonda Gilchrist
Stirred plenty of emotion and made for understanding my fears. The actualising that terrible things do happen and that not having a voice doesn't mean things that are good and bad don't happen. The focus of ability over disability is exciting and hopeful. As. Parent of a 17 year old with similar abilities.
This is by no means a great piece of writing but the tale itself was stunning. I sat down to browse at the cover and read the whole book without leaving my seat. An amazing tale and one that I have shared with many people since. An absolute eye-opener!
Very good read and eye opener to the world of Institutionalising Not-abled persons. Very sad story of being "locked" in your own world with no-one to understand or comprehend. But remarkable story of self-determination and courage of a loved one.
Becky Roper
A story of a disabled boy and his "awakening". It is a good reminder to not judge a "book" by it's cover - - this boy was so aware of others around him without being able to let them know. What a gift it is to be able to communicate.
I loved this book. Being a nurse it opened my eyes and pulled at my heart string. I will never see a patient quite the same again
Wow, what a book, can't even imagine going through something like this. What an amazing person :)
A great real life story that will jerk a tear or two. Glad there was a happy ending.
Trefor Bark
nothing I could say would do justice to Martin Pistorious's story. JUST READ IT.
Keely Whitehead
this book is beautifully written and it is such an inspiring story.
Gillian Crichton
A moving story, what a remarkable life!!!
Charles Fox
This is real life, but what a life !
Read it !!!!
Well written. I like the way the book was not chronological. It needed more photos and in colour to engage more with the author and his wife.
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“Romantic love has always interested me: the way it ebbs and flows like a living thing, or how it is revealed in secret smiles or anguished conversations. Perhaps I've always found it captivating because it was the starkest reminder of how alone I was.” 3 likes
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