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My Year Off: Recovering Life After a Stroke
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My Year Off: Recovering Life After a Stroke

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  74 ratings  ·  10 reviews
On the morning of July 29, 1995, Robert McCrum--forty-two-years old, newly married, at the top of his profession as one of British publishing's most admired editors, and in what he thought was the full bloom of health--awoke to find himself totally paralyzed on the left side, the victim of a stroke brought on by a massive cerebral hemorrhage. In My Year Off, McCrum takes r ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 7th 1999 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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As the mum of a child who is not neurologically typical, the wife of a man who suffered a reasonably serious concussion last year, and the daughter and sister of physiotherapists, I have some interest in the topic of brain injury and neuroplasticity, so when this book was suggested to me, I made an effort to track it down. This was not easy, as it is out of print, and the library copy on which I placed a hold was missing. It took two weeks for the library staff to confirm this and they mysteriou ...more
Diane Challenor
I enjoyed this book. It's interesting to know the thought processes a person goes through when on a journey. This story is a journey through the author's health crisis, which of course became his wife's journey too. Neither would be the same in the aftermath of the crisis. The feminist in me wondered; if the roles were reversed would Mr McCrumb's wife have received the same level devotion and been allowed the same expectations. We will never know. It's been a long while since I've read a book in ...more
The description of what Robert went through was so dead on. What has kept me from really enjoying this book is I don't think I liked Robert. I read this book because I was interested in other people's experiences surviving a stroke. One of the things that bothered me was that he never used the word survived, it was always suffered. I'm not talking about the majority of the book when he was angry, but the end of the book. His descriptions were good, like how long and scary the night could be, but ...more
It is amazing to me how similar my mental and emotional experience has been to what McCrum describes in the ups and downs of his recovery from the utter frustration of losing control over my own health to the elation of learning to walk again. It is a wonderful memoir to remind you that your own perserverance can go a long way...
Alex Strick van Linschoten
A pretty good summary of a single case, though the author's private healthcare and access to the top doctors and physiotherapists clearly make this a book that doesn't help those without such access.
Maybe a little dated now, but still worth reading. At times, I wished the narrative meandered a little less, but it's a small thing compared to the unique perspective offered.

Worth reading, especially if you know someone who has had a stroke.
It is hard to imagine that a person can write down his feelings during the strok so authentic and honest. Life becomes so real and sharp when one is forced to stop his connections with the outside world. Living alive is the only goal of his daily life. I quite agree with the three things that he learns from his illness, one is illness is painful for every one especially for those who get AIDs, cancer, heart disease and stroke. The second is that each of us, in some sense, is in the doctor's wait ...more

A very full account of the processes stroke suffers go through, particularly how it affects relationships. A great read to understand the thought processes across all areas of young stroke recovery first hand.
Amanda Stolk
Good "story". Very clinical and aloof considering it was a firsthand account. Worth reading for the learning.
I am always interested in young stroke victim stories.
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Robert McCrum is an associate editor of the Observer. He was born and educated in Cambridge. For nearly 20 years he was editor-in-chief of the publishers Faber & Faber. He is the co-author of The Story of English (1986), and has written six novels. He was the literary editor of the Observer from 1996 to 2008, and has been a regular contributor to the Guardian since 1990
More about Robert McCrum...
The Story of English Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language Wodehouse: A Life In the Secret State On Reading: Notes on the literary landscape, 1995-2012

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