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4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The best-selling author describes his teenage son's valiant but unsuccessful battle against bone cancer and relates the mystical and miraculous events that led the author to an understanding of the undying quality of the human spirit. Reprint.
Paperback, 243 pages
Published January 1st 1999 by Warner Books (NY)
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Feb 03, 2014 Monnie rated it really liked it
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
Ferdi van der Kamp
May 24, 2012 Ferdi van der Kamp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
''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
Jan 28, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I never expected to love a book where I knew a fifteen year old boy was going to be dead by the end of it, but I did.

The whole story was captivating, a beautiful combination of reality and imagination. The characters were almost to good to be true, yet they were. Matthew especially was outstanding, the kind of person everyone dreams of being. The kind of person who can stare down the barrel of death and not stop fighting. It was unbelievably heartbreaking yet unbelievably real.

It was good bein
Feb 03, 2017 Deborah rated it really liked it
I didn't always understand what was going on as the author went from imagining himself to be an old man on his deathbed to being a young father trying to save his son. What was real? What was imagination? What I did understand, however, is that a bright young teen died way too soon. And his grieving father tried to make some sense of what happened by writing about the events that led up to his son's death from a rare form of cancer.

I identified with a good deal of what was written. Like Morrell
Jul 23, 2011 David rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 21, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it
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
Rick Lee James
Jul 11, 2015 Rick Lee James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Grief Observed

This is a profound book about facing and embracing grief honestly. David Morrell, Author of best-selling books like first blood and brotherhood of the Rose, tells his experience of losing his 15 year old son Matt to cancer in 1982. It is a journey from loss, through grief, and into hope changing the life of David and his family in powerful ways and helping them be a source of strength to others who grieve. It is also a story from agnosticism to faith. It's just a great book and I
Apr 28, 2013 Casey rated it really liked it
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
Jan 18, 2013 Anne Hussey rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 11, 2008 Terilin rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 05, 2011 Stacy rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 17, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Feb 12, 2014 Loretta rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Tear-jerker all the way...
Apr 19, 2013 Emma rated it liked it
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
Nov 15, 2009 Andrew Vachss rated it it was amazing
The surest bet there is in the action-adventure game.
Aug 12, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This story haunts me. It pops into my mind at the most unexpected moments. Its beautiful sadness makes it unforgettable.
Jul 05, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it
Read this in my early 20's and was deeply moved by it. A beautiful memoir & tribute to his son.
Jacinta rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2012
C.S. rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2009
Mdj rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2009
Cyber rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2014
Mark rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2013
Eric Wilson
Eric Wilson rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2010
Sytse Algera
Sytse Algera rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2013
Paula Ribon
Paula Ribon rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2015
Jeanne Foster
Jeanne Foster rated it liked it
Dec 26, 2016
Agie rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2013
Brad Dollar
Brad Dollar rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2015
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Emily F. rated it liked it
Jan 03, 2010
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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.
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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.” 10 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.” 5 likes
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