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Intoxicated by My Illness
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Intoxicated by My Illness

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  183 ratings  ·  34 reviews
"Succeeds brilliantly....He lives as a writer and we are the wealthier for it."
Anatyole Broyad, long-time book critic, book review editor, and essayist for THE NEW YORK TIMES wants to be remembered. He will be, with this collection of irreverent, humorous essays he wrote concerning the ordeals of life and death--many of which were written duri
Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Fawcett (first published 1992)
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Luna Miguel
Inteligente y brillante. Es muy breve y se lee de un tirón. A partir de la tercera parte empiezan lo bueno. La reflexión sobre los médicos que deberían leer poesía me parece preciosa. La historia del padre tremenda.

Gracias, Anatole.
There should be a special shelf for books you wanted passionately to admire, books that it breaks your heart not to have loved. This is one of them. Anatole Broyard was an extraordinary writer with a breadth of knowledge that took your breath away. I thought—I hoped—he’d have something amazing to say about his experience of dealing with cancer. What he winds up saying in this book deserves our respect—if only because he skillfully avoids every cliché, platitude, and bromide about dying (all the ...more
Anatole Broyard was a literary critic and editor of the New York Times Book Review. When he was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer, he turned his analytic skills and gift with language into observing himself as a fatally ill man.

One of my favorite observations appears in the fourth section of the book, excerpts from Broyard's journal: "I want an untamed, beautiful death. So I think we should have a competition in dying, sort of like Halloween costumes. Isn't there some way to turn dying i
Jan 18, 2008 katie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to katie by: Art
This book reminded me of the idea in The Parable of the Talents that creating can keep you alive through anything. The world of modern medicine is a machine, and people die in that machine. The author asks those who care for him in illness and in death, do you understand the significance of who I am in my illness? Is this moment lost on you? Because if it, that seems a violation. It makes me ask myself, how do I stay vibrant enough to really see each sick person that I work with? I did not learn ...more
David Villar Cembellín
«A veces pienso que el silencio puede matarnos, como en esa terrible escena, al final de "El proceso", de Kafka, en la que Joseph K. muere sin decir palabra, «como un perro». En "La metamorfosis", relato que hoy está alojado en el inconsciente de todos, Gregor Samsa muere como un insecto. Morir es dejar de ser humanos, deshumanizarse, y a mi entender el lenguaje, el habla, los relatos o narraciones son las formas más eficaces de mantener viva nuestra condición humana. Guardar silencio es, de for ...more
Michael Johnston
As I contemplated the beginning of the book, I was intimidated. Musings on life and death from an acclaimed book critic written during his (ultimately unsuccessful) battle with cancer - would it be morbid, depressing, unapproachably emotional? Although i began with trepidation, the opening of the book was not at all what i expected. In Broyard's initially disconnected ramblings he openly rejected sentimentalism as irrelevant to the story of his disease. One gets the sense from the comments of hi ...more
Richard Smith
I haven't read all of this book, but I've read two chapters--and it's very bright, witty, insightful writing. The chapter on what he wants from his doctor is wonderful. Every doctor and medical student should read it--but there's probably only one doctor who could make his grade: Oliver Sachs, who write the foreword to the book.
Alba Laracroft
En la traducción española, el título es "Ebrio de enfermedad". Se trata de un libro increíble, formado por varios escritos en los que su autor narra la enfermedad que le robaría la vida. Lo bueno del libro es que está ausente todo patetismo y solo se ve inteligencia, brillantez e ironía. Una maravilla.
María Mercromina
Porque no existen las enfermedades, sino los enfermos.
Dwayne Shugert
Brilliant and poignant. A book about death and life and style and what it means to be alive when you die.
Anatole's long love affair with books and writing had served him well. As a child he had wanted to become a writer. It gave him the reference points, coordinates, metaphors, and attitudes that enabled him to be alive and himself until that was no longer possible. When he lost the ability to speak, his smile was still radiant.
Anatole died doing what he did best, commenting on life and his su
The first half of this book left me bemused. Although Broyard was certainly talking about his illness and thinking about it, he seemed to be surveying it from an 'outside' perspective, wandering around it, giving it a little poke here and there, and then meticulously recording what happened. He examined his cancer as if under a microscope, but he never seemed to connect to the fact that the cancer was in him and threatening him as a person.

However, this changed in one of the longer essays in the
Gregory Baird
“Inside every patient there’s a poet trying to get out.”

To be sure, Anatole Broyard was no shrinking violet. When diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 1989 he did not “go gentle into that good night,” cowed by fear and anger, but rose up and fought to be heard as he struggled to come to terms with the end of his life. “Intoxicated by My Illness” is the result of that fight, a stunningly eloquent and well-reasoned treatise about how to die, how to treat the dying, and, indirectly, how to
A beautiful sad memoir from the pen of a perfect writer. I could not put this book down. The title essay is permeated with a unsentimental clarity. Unabashedly in love with words, Broyard drops language jokes everywhere: “I understood that living itself had a deadline.” He enjoys the irony of being a critic with a critical illness.
In “Toward a Literature of Illness,” he praises novelists who have tackled the topic—first among them Thomas Mann (a favorite of mine) and Malcolm Lowry—but only Olive
Maya Rock
Jul 29, 2007 Maya Rock rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Rita
This book has inspired a new shelf "booksaboutrace." However, this isn't really a book about race. It's just notable because it's by a Times critic who kind of pretended to be white his whole life even though he came from a family who considered themselves black.

This guy has a great prose style. There is not a lot of structure to the book, just some notes and essays with his contemplating his cancer and also going over some books about death and illness and assessing them. Very quick read. He wr
Much of this book was taken from Broyard's past essays & personal journals after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1989. Perhaps the biggest contribution of this book is Broyard's advice to physicians. His perspective as a patient makes for invaluable advice on what a patient's vision of his doctor is and how he would like to be seen by his doctor. For example, his wish not only for a physician but a metaphysician. Particularly touching was his reflections on his father's death in 1948 ...more
from "What the Cystoscope Said":

"Don't leave me alone," he whispered, "I'm afraid." I put my hand on his. "You're not alone, Pop," I said, "I'm here." His eyes went far away. "I wish I had a hundred of my children here, and their children," he said, "I don't want to be alone."

You want everybody on earth to stop what they're doing and come to say good-bye personally to you. You want humanity to see you off, the way close friends see you off on a boat. The idea of unanimity, two billion people's s
I generally don't think about how I was a gender studies major in college except when reading books like this where I'm trying VERY HARD to really get into it and then I start SEEING HOW HE HATES WOMEN and I really and truly am TRYING to enjoy it but then i can't STOP seeing the misogyny and then I am still TRYING but all that happens is I pull out "Jesus fuckin' fuck, what the fuck is this guy's fucking problem with women?"

Good book. Hates girls and probably poors. That's it.
Judith Hannan
Broyard writes about the medical experience in a unique and almost exuberant way. His idea that illness can give you a sense of freedom is evident on many pages of this short book, a collection of essays and journal entries. Broyard reflects on his own diagnosis of prostate cancer but also tells the story of his father's own death. There are no cliches in this book and many wonderful quotes, particularly that, "Stories are antibodies against illness and pain."
A memoir by now deceased NY Times Book Review critic Broyard about his struggles with his diagnosis of metastatic bone cancer, and also about dealing with his father's protracted illness and death as a young adult. It contains essays about personal experiences, as well as intellectual and literary musings about the subject of death. It is an uneven book--some parts were lovely, other parts I found myself bored with.
Mark Bennett
Read this in tandem with Becker's "Denial of Death."

A quick read, thoughtful and forthcoming about what happens when you're up against it, when you find yourself immersed in the death throes, when gathering information, and therapies, and the whole process of managing and confronting disease becomes all consuming.

For those looking to understand how folks with terminal illness undergo challenges and change.
Bev Wall
I read this book for an Independent Study I was doing for my graduate degree, but I loved it. It was rich with detail and full of life even though it was written by someone who had terminal prostate cancer. There wasn't an once of self-pity or "woe is me." Instead it was full of life, quite literally, witty, sensitive, and raw. I recommend it to anyone if you just want to read a book that is written well.
Alejandro Morales
Un buen libro que gira en torno a la enfermedad y la muerte de un modo autobiográfico honesto y claro. De lo mejor que he leído acerca de la experiencia de estar enfermo (incluyendo el vínculo con los médicos) y la cercanía de la muerte.
Not a downer at all! This is a great, funny, inspiring (but not corny) and deadly serious book. Broyard doesn't ignore his illness or 'triumph' over it, but neither does he cede the narrative of his life to it. It's as though he and the cancer are co-writing his death, dancing around, wrestling, playing with words and meanings. I hope I can face my death like this.
Ah, at long last someone who writes about death with a sense of humor and style. This caps of my 'death binge' for the year. I love Broyard's straightforward prose, and his ironic wit. Everyone should read this book, before they die. Thanks Lara, for the recommendation. This was just what the doctor ordered
This is my favorite book on illness, particulary the first section. He has a magical way of writing about doctors, the amusing betrayal of the body, and the "pathos and bathos" of serious illness. I recommend it to anyone confronting illness in themselves or a loved one.
This is one of those books I'll always keep around and re-read. A short, elegant, witty, unsentimental collection of personal essays about his terminal illness. This book made me understand how to write about illness in a new way.
Marty Babits
A valuable book. On his way to dying he savors and revels in the richness of what it means to be who he is. Anatole Broyard is an engaging, challenging, searingly honest and charming raconteur. I love this thin volume.
Sergio Coddou
Una maravilla de libro. Todos los doctores y profesionales que están en contacto con pacientes, enfermos y sobre todo, pacientes terminales, debería leer este libro.
Broyard es un excelente ensayista y crítico.
Roger Paine
This is the best book I've come across so far about what it's like to be told you have a potentially fatal illness -- what you begin to do differently, and how you cope as various treatments are tried.
Randy Ray
A collection of essays and journal notes written by a man dying of cancer. Also includes a short story about the death of his father. Extraordinarily well-written. Beautiful prose.
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Anatole Paul Broyard was an American writer, literary critic and editor for The New York Times. In addition to his many reviews and columns, he published short stories, essays and two books during his lifetime. His autobiographical works, Intoxicated by My Illness (1992) and Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir (1993), were published after his death.

After his death, Broyard became the ce
More about Anatole Broyard...
Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir Men, Women, and Other Anticlimaxes Aroused by Books La morte asciutta A Passion for Books: A Book Lover's Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books

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