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4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  128 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In the bestselling novels of suspense master David Morrell, fear is the main subject. But Morrell himself had never known genuine terror until he watched his 15-year-old son wage a heroic but doomed struggle with cancer. This is one father's powerful and unforgettable story of fierce love, impenetrable loss, and an unexpected, breathtaking encounter with the miraculous. Ul...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Warner Books (NY)
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Every once in a while, I try to take a break from the usual mystery, thriller and shoot-'em-ups that make up my favorite genre of books. Admittedly, I'm pretty choosy about what I pick; anything that even smells like a romance novel or bodice-ripper, for instance, isn't even on my radar.

Those that fall into the realm of tear-jerkers usually are avoided too. In this case, however, I decided to make an exception - even though for the life of me I can't think of anything worse than losing a child u...more
Ferdi van der Kamp
''All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,/And to die is different from what any one supposed.'' E=mc2

David Morrell tells his big loss in a passionate and inspiring story. It starts with this thrilling story (mostly non-fiction) and later explains more clearly the story and a part of what happened with him afterwards. Very strong written (so powerful) and on occasion it really hit me; I was hoping (while already knowing better), being disappointed, mourned for the loss for many, found wa...more
Suzanne LeRoy
A powerful testimony of a father's heartbreaking loss of his beloved 15 year old son to cancer. I heard David Morrell tell his story as the keynote at the San Francisco Writer's Conference a few year's ago - I read the book at that time and recently read it again for the third time. The power of the human spirit is embedded in every page.
Beautiful and sad memoir from one of my favorite authors of the death of his teenage son. While really describing the way it must feel to lose a child, he doesn't merely offer a linear memoir. David Morrell imagines a future scenario on his deathbed where he is supernaturally transported back in time, armed with the knowledge that might save his son, and given a second chance to save his life. Intensely personal and creative, this book also shares three omens near to his son's death that helped...more
Read this in my early 20's and was deeply moved by it. A beautiful memoir & tribute to his son.
Having met this author at a grief conference this summer, I was prepared for the drama and heartbreak of this story of his loss of his son to Ewings. Difficult to read, yet healing in a way because of the signs and messages he receives from his transitioned son, something every grieving parent has experienced in one form or another, and can appreciate as validation. The most tragic part of reading this book for me, is knowing that 15 years after his sons death, he will lose a grandaughter to the...more
Loretta Loebs
Tear-jerker all the way...
At the time the Author's Son was being treated for cancer, my Grandfather was going through the same. Each time I read this book I am drawn back to the times I spent with my Grandfather while he was sick - the laughs we shared, the songs he would sing. Most memorable were the prayers - saying the rosary with him, amazed at how well he knew all the words to each prayer.
Loved this. Parts were hard to read, because my mom almost died of cancer two years ago. But wow. to lose a son to cancer. I can't imagine. Loved this book. Glad the author went through the sorrow he had to relive the memories and write it. I loved how he told it to. Combining an element of fiction to tell such a great story. Excellence.
Anne Hussey
The author lived in my neighborhood in Iowa City and he was notable as the writer of the character built on the film Rambo and as a professor at the University of Iowa....Fireflies is the story of his son, Matt, who was a few years younger than I and his heroic swift hopeless battle with Ewing's Sarcoma.
This book is mostly, but not all, nonfiction. It tells the story of how Morrell lost his 15 year old son to a serious disease, and it is heart wrenching. I had a boy about the same age when I read it and it was very hard for me to get through. I really thought it was a powerful story.
Read this in college and it had a really strong impact on me - author's son died of cancer and he (author) subsequently had several "signs" after his death. Reread parts after Heather brought a little comfort.
This story haunts me. It pops into my mind at the most unexpected moments. Its beautiful sadness makes it unforgettable.
May 02, 2013 Emma rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
A moving and thought provoking account of a Father's grief at losing his teenage son to the horror of cancer.
Andrew Vachss
The surest bet there is in the action-adventure game.
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David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.
More about David Morrell...
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“Sometimes life kicks you in the teeth with an irony that a self-respecting fiction writer would be ashamed to invent.” 5 likes
“The posters and rock-star buttons and banners were valueless without the perspective of the mind that had attached significance to them. Souvenirs have no worth without nostalgia, after all. They're meaningless if a memory isn't linked to them.” 3 likes
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