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Physical: An American Checkup
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Physical: An American Checkup

2.85 of 5 stars 2.85  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  9 reviews

Includes a New Afterword

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

When hard-living, middle-aged American writer James McManus gets a three-day executive checkup at the Mayo Clinic, he is immediately forced to confront his mortality. Will he survive his own cardiovascular system and genetic inheritance long enough to see his young daughters grow up? With great candor and
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by Picador (first published 2005)
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I'm listening to this on audio. I really needed a car book and it was the first I grabbed. Interesting bits about the Mayo clinic, less interesting political rants.
AmberBug **
Shelf Notes Review

Dear Reader,

This was an audiobook, I feel that fact is important when reviewing because the format of print vs. audiobook can make quite the difference. The Author is a famous poker player who got his fame in the literary world with his informative poker book, "Positively Fifth Street: Murders, Cheetahs and Binion's World Series of Poker". I haven't read that book nor have I heard of James McManus before "Physical". I'm the type of gal that likes to participate not watch when s
Bookmarks Magazine

McManus, journalist, novelist, and the author of the wildly popular Positively Fifth Street (2003), a compelling tale of big-stakes gambling at the 2000 World Series of Poker, follows that book with an account of his own mortality. The author's irreverent sense of humor is his strength. The highly readable story, however, suffers a fate similar to that of many magazine articles-cum-books__namely, the short piece's inability to shoulder the weight of further examination and the addition of larger

My original review for this was "Interesting. Light reading." for which I got blasted at the site where I posted stuff before - the commenter was furious that I would call this light reading when there was a description of an injured child in the book. Really? The writing was not deep and complex, and it was about medical issues, which naturally include injured people. What I meant was, you could probably read this while watching tv, or listening to music, or talking with someone else. There is ...more
Aug 15, 2007 Jill rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: democrats who'd like socialized healthcare.
Shelves: kick-ass-covers
This was interesting at first, but I found it dragging and repetitious as it progressed. Basically, McManus does the "executive physical" at the Mayo Clinic--which encompasses all of those scans and such--it was hugely expensive: $8,000

It's neat, in that you get to see the ins and outs of Mayo--but I encountered some mildly monotonous rants about healthcare that I'm sure Michael Moore could have spiced up a bit, if given the chance.

All in all--great cover, good start, petered out in the end.
Josh Fischel
Physical was disappointing in the way that Bush's reaction post-9/11 was disappointing. McManus, poker obsessed, had the opportunity to write about the Mayo Clinic and its 'executive physical' - thousands of dollars to run every test ever on you - but he managed to make it dull and overwrought, ranging tangentially to stem cell research and his daughter's diabetes. He stared into the unblinking eye of the physical and, like the rest of us, turned squeamish.
The patently obvious agenda of this book (against G.W.Bush, for stem cell research) made it a bit irritating at times -- but it happens to be an agenda with which I generally agree, which mitigated my annoyance somewhat.
UGH, his written voice was unbearable. could not read it any more.
Maybe more than I wanted to know about clinic time.
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James "Jim" McManus is an American poker player, teacher and writer living in Kenilworth, Illinois.
More about James McManus...
Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker Going to the Sun Chin Music Great America: Poems

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