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Intoxicated by My Illness

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  261 Ratings  ·  45 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, 156 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Fawcett (first published 1992)
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Nuria Castaño monllor
Jul 08, 2014 Nuria Castaño monllor rated it really liked it
De una clarividencia arrolladora. Más de 4.
Jan 27, 2015 Rj rated it it was amazing
I was happy to finally collect Broyard's book on his encounter with prostate cancer, a cancer that eventually robbed him of his life and discovered an author who expresses some of the anguish, pain and peculiar emotions that come with life-threatening illnesses. It is odd but for so long I searched for a voice like this. While I lay in the hospital my body riddled with cancer and at the mercy of the routine of chemotherapy I searched high and low for an author like Broyard, for someone who could ...more
Luna Miguel
Apr 12, 2013 Luna Miguel rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 27, 2009 Wendell rated it liked it
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
May 18, 2008 Elizabeth rated it liked it
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
Apr 22, 2009 Loren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: morbid-books
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 13, 2008 katie rated it really liked it
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
Richard Smith
Apr 26, 2012 Richard Smith rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 02, 2013 Alba Laracroft rated it it was amazing
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 Sánchez
Apr 02, 2013 María Sánchez rated it it was amazing
Porque no existen las enfermedades, sino los enfermos.
Francisco H. González
A Anatole Broyard le llevó toda una vida morirse. Aconteció a los 70 años, por culpa de un cáncer de próstata.

Anatole Broyard afamado crítico literario, al saber que no hay nada que oponer a la muerte, más allá de la ira y la frustración por tener que dejar este mundo, opta por defenderse con las espadas del escritor, esto es, escribiendo.

De esta manera, decide que los meses que le queden sean materia prima para escribir un libro autobiográfico, toda vez que tras haber examinado con lupa todos
Michael Johnston
May 06, 2014 Michael Johnston rated it really liked it
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
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
Juan Carlos
May 11, 2015 Juan Carlos rated it really liked it
El libro, publicado por primera vez en 1991, tiene el título arriba indicado por ser éste el primero de los escritos que sobre la enfermedad y sus consecuencias contiene este breve volumen de tan sólo 180 páginas. Son 5 escritos y un relato. De los escritos, reflexiones personales y literarias suscitadas al enfermo Anatole a raiz de su afección, el que da título al volumen habla de las distintas reacciones acaecidas en en el enfermo a raiz de la manifestación y diagnóstico de su enfermedad: sorp ...more
Jan 29, 2009 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
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
David Villar Cembellín
Jun 12, 2014 David Villar Cembellín rated it really liked it
«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
Maya Rock
Jul 22, 2007 Maya Rock rated it liked it
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
Oct 04, 2007 Rochelle rated it it was ok
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
I was hoping for something a little more insightful, personal, detailed...? The last essay, on his father's death, is good.
Dwayne Shugert
Oct 24, 2014 Dwayne Shugert rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 19, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Mar 06, 2015 Sonia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Giving this 4.5 stars

I got this from my Humanistic Medicine professor for writing a (apparently good) essay and participating in the class discussions. Thank you!

This was a brilliant, brilliant book.

I never knew one could write about death and dying in such a way! It's witty and immensely captivating! I am happy to have read this; it has changed my outlook on the matter quite considerably!

Excuse the short review, but am still in awe of this book!
Judith Hannan
Apr 05, 2013 Judith Hannan rated it it was amazing
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."
Aug 16, 2010 Diana rated it liked it
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.
Apr 29, 2008 lola rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Aug 20, 2013 Bev Wall rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 06, 2009 Norina rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 23, 2010 reed rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 20, 2012 Sergio rated it it was amazing
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.
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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
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“I’m filled with desire—to live, to write, to do everything. Desire itself is a kind of immortality.” 3 likes
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