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Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery
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Against Medical Advice: One Family's Struggle with an Agonizing Medical Mystery

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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  4,817 ratings  ·  725 reviews
Cory Friedman woke up one morning when he was five years old with the uncontrollable urge to twitch his neck. From that day forward his life became a hell of irrepressible tics and involuntary utterances, and Cory embarked on an excruciating journey from specialist to specialist to discover the cause of his disease. Soon it became unclear what tics were symptoms of his dis ...more
Kindle Edition, 316 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laren
This is James Patterson's first foray into non-fiction, slapping his name on Hal Friedman's true story about his son. Right on the cover it says "One family's struggle with an agonizing medical mystery" so imagine my surprise when I figured out what he had on the first page of the preface to the book and my diagnosis was confirmed on the very next page. I guess the mystery is supposed to be why nothing was able to help this patient with OCD and Tourette's for 13 years. Instead, I found several o ...more
Sherri
Nov 13, 2008 Sherri rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I was in the middle of reading another book when I saw this in the store. I'm a big fan of James Patterson and it looked interesting so I picked it up and started reading. In no time I had read the first four chapters and decided that I had to buy the book and read it now. I know that Patterson's books read really fast and I knew this would also. I finished this in just a couple of days, which is pretty quick for me now because I have so little time to read.

This is the story of a teenage boy (Co
...more
gina
Hmm... well, I had this on my list for a while and then my husband read it and was impressed by it so I finally downloaded it and listened. BTW not sure if it makes a difference but it was an mp3 version not a cd version I listened to. However, it seems to be the same reader, length, etc.

I was not impressed with this families story. I was a social worker for several years, so in a lot of ways this book "took me back" to the days when I lived in their drama every day, just as a helper though, not
...more
Mary M
Mar 14, 2009 Mary M rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Intermediate ESL students
I enjoyed inhaling this book in only two days. I'm usually a slow reader, and this is truly a quick read & an interesting real-life story about a boy with Tourette's and OCD. I recently met someone with Tourette's for the first time. A woman was in the hallway next to a computer lab where I was working with a group of students. She was making very odd trilling noises very loudly, so it was quite distracting. I went out in the hall to ask her to keep it down, and while blinking and contorting ...more
Julie
I listened to this on CD since my professions find me in my car most of the time. Having a son with sever ADHD, and upon the recommendation of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, I bought this on CD. A fascinating book...so many of the struggles this young man faced with Tourette's, anxiety disorder and OCD modeled many of the symptoms my son faces on a daily basis. And, now that he is of age, we're finding a whole new set of problems as he has total exercise of his free will in his life. My heart is ...more
Kelli
There's always something kind of weird in the tone of a book written by an adult, *for* adults, but in the voice of a child/adolescent. It just kind of struck me as odd throughout the book. The story was interesting but I felt that there could have been more information/detail on the actual condition and how outside factors and behavioral issues contributed to the overall Tourette's symptoms.
Deborah
What an amazing read! I couldn't put this book down! James Patterson and Hal Friedman did an amazing job of portraying illness through a child's eyes. Cory became a strong survivor as the story progressed. He is an example to all that no matter what hurdles are put before us, they can be overcome.

Our daughter was diagnosed with PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections) in January of this year. This caused sudden, overnight onset of OCD due
...more
Ted
My rating of this book is mostly due to my opinion (as someone with Tourette's) of its depiction of someone with Tourette Syndrome, and is an effort to address what seems to be the public opinion of this story as representative of a typical case of Tourette's (which I feel it largely is NOT). I'll leave my gripes with the (relatively awful) writing and style of this book out of the discussion - but wow, I could write pages on my opinion of that alone. (Just quickly though - the writing really is ...more
Debby
This is the true story of Cory Friedmand's 13 year hellish battle with and hard-fought effort to overcome Tourette's Syndrome, OCD and Anxiety Disorder, was written by James Patterson and Hal Friedman, Cory's father.
Way too often people look at behavior they observe and judge as if they have all the info and answers when in fact, they know NOTHING of what this person or this family are battling and enduring. I found it very difficult to think bout putting myself in the shoes of Cory or his pare
...more
Linda Lipko
The brain is a marvelous, incredible joy to behold -- when it is functioning properly. When the signals are crossed, chaos results, leaving frustration, fear, anger, pain, sorrow and helplessness.

At the age of five, Hal Friedman's son Cory began to twitch frantically. Over the years, Tourette's Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder, alcohol, and an exceedingly high level of anxiety took over Cory's life and made it and those around him a living hell.

An entire spectrum of anti psychotic, anti d
...more
Laurie Lou
This was a book club book for March. Truly, I would have NEVER read this without having been asked to for a book club (I'm not such a fan of the way Patterson writes). Even having been asked to read it, I had a hard time reading it at times. Both Tourette's & OCD are near and dear to my heart, and reading this book literally hurt at times. At the end of the book, I was glad that I'd finished it. I'm incredibly grateful for people who share their stories or adversity, and this is a story or a ...more
Dana
This story, told from the boy's point of view, was an eye opener. He suffers from severe OCD,anxiety and Tourette's. Some of side effects of the medication were heartbreaking. The family did the best they could. Medical community wasn't really that helpful. It would be very hard to deal with as a family. His tics were sad too. I was alittle discouraged near the end of the book, but in the end it is a story of love, patience, courage and hope.
Claire
Dear James Patterson,

It's okay for chapters to be longer than eight paragraphs. Really.

~Me



I am confused: Hal Friedman is the author, but the book is written from the first person point of view of his son, Cory. Why not call Cory an author as well? Was Hal taking dictation? He says he wasn't. So did he make up everything about how Cory felt and what he thought? This is unclear.
Muhammad Siraj
The book made me feel how person with Tourette's syndrome suffer , show us how his parent supported him & helped him to be normal children ,they tested several ways to get cure from this disease but with each drug they get additional suffering due to side effected of drugs, his description to his symptoms was so strong that Made me really feel like I'm this boy .
Tammy
I was disappointed in this book and would not read it again. I was expecting more information on the illness and more history about the son. The voice of the book was simple, as it was "written" by the son. This made the book less detailed and one-sided.
Stephanie
This is a real life story, not the normal Patterson story line. More stories like this one need to be told about people, especially kids, in a battle with their own body. Maybe some lives would change for the better if people were more aware.

I can't imagine the childhood Cory had. Cory's parents had their hands full with Cory and they fought hard for him, never giving up on him. A hard thing to do.

I don't know if it is the way the book was written, choice of words, or if it was really the case,
...more
Susan Roy
Touching, heartbreaking story about a family's struggle with their child's agonizing medical condition - Tourette's. While the story is told from the point of view of the child, it is the father who wrote the story along with James Patterson. I am not sure why it was decided to use the child's voice as the storyteller, I think it would have been just as powerful and believable if told by the parents. In some ways I think using the child's voice made it seem a bit contrived since by the time the ...more
Rhonda
Cory Friedman was a typical five year old boy. That is, until he wakes up one morning with an urgent need to shake his head. This need is just the beginning of years of uncontrollable ticks, verbal utterances, and other unmanageable behavior. Cory is ultimately diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE is a story told by Cory Friedman and his father, Hal. The reader gets an inside look at the living hell that this family went through in the thir ...more
Doris
Overall, this true life story reinforces what I have seen in Tourette's sufferers, although I feel that the boy in the story suffers not only from his medical issues but from overprotective parenting.

The main problem is that the child is not properly diagnosed, and is given bad medical advice and lack of followup, which can be frustrating.

The true worth of this story is in that it allows those who don't have first hand experience of someone with OCD or Tourettes or one of the other disorders w
...more
Julie
This harrowing tale of Cory Friedman's life is one that I recommend all to read. The story, told from Cory's perspective, deals with his life with Tourette's and OCD. I cannot imagine how this life must have been for this young man! Knowing at a young age that he was different, it's not long before Cory starts ticing and doing abnormal things that cause him and his family embarrassment.

This should be a must read for ALL teachers and parents. The Friedman's have really demonstrated the true unco
...more
Cathie
Jan 07, 2013 Cathie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Cathie by: it was on a friend's TBR list (Antonello)
An outstanding heart wrenching and heart warming biography about a boy named Cory Friedman and his search for peace within his own body. At age 5 Cory started to display Tourette's Syndrome tics and this is his and his family's harrowing account of trying to find medical answers. Their struggle went on for 13 painstaking years, in which Corey was fed massive doses of medicines, many anti-psychotics, in an attempt to control his tics, his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder rituals and his extreme Soci ...more
Gail Katz
I did not READ this book. Instead, I got it from the library in an AUDIO version -- This is a true story ( as the title notes). The introduction is the actual two authors of the story -- father and long time ago work associate of James Patterson.

The perspective of the book itself is so engaging. It is written in the First person sigular -- the "I AM" point of view of Cory Friedman. His story is read aloud by Kevin Collins -- who did a truly magnificent job. Hearing this unique perspective as th
...more
Edwina Hall Callan
My son has a very slight case of Tourette's Syndrome, which is what made me want to read this book.
Now, after reading this book, I feel very blessed that my son has such a mild case of Tourette's, mostly eye blinking and facial tics, which his Doctor thinks will disappear by his mid twenties.
This book is a heartbreaking look at a very severe case of Tourette's that is made worse by OCD and an anxiety disorder.

Here is a youtube like of the Authors discussing the book.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?
...more
Kerry Greger
I received this book as a Christmas present from my husband. He knows I love reading anything by James Patterson. He is by far my favorite author. I was surprised to find that this book is a true story about a young man who is afflicted with Tourette's and OCD. I loved that this was written from the boys point of view verses the dads, who is the co-author. Such a well written book. I could feel the emotions of this boy and his family and found myself cheering for him, wanting to defend him and h ...more
Patricia Goodman
Amazing look at the life of a young man with OCD and Tourette's. Highly recommend.
Wendy
Talk about perspective.
Carol
This is a true story of a young man, Cory Friedman, who suffers from Tourette's Syndrome. Tourette's is a misunderstood disease and people who suffer with it are ridiculed. It is amazing that this young man could function at all with all the medication that he took on a daily basis yet, he graduated from high school and college. Parents of teenagers who are "normal" could learn from this book and thank their lucky stars that their children do not have this horrible disease.
Desiree
I didn't know much about Turrets Syndrome before I listened to this book. I found it fascinating to learn more about it while hearing how someone went through school, as a kid, with it. It would be interesting to hear more about how he is doing as time goes by. I really felt for the kid and his family as the story was told.

James Patterson is a great writer and he helped to tell the story in a way that kept you interested and wanting to know what would happen next.
Patricia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Margie Prine
This is a true story of a young boy's life with a debilitating disease. Any parent, teacher, counselor, medical personnel and anyone who has a connection with the life of a child who has depression, anxiety, OCD, ADD and the like should read this! The father of the child, along with James Patterson, wrote this in first person, from the child's point of view. Cody, the young boy recounts his early life through high school and gives the reader a look at what the family goes through, as well as wha ...more
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The subject of a Time magazine feature called, "The Man Who Can't Miss," James Patterson is the bestselling author of the past year, bar none, with more than 16 million books sold in North America alone. In 2007, one of every fifteen hardcover fiction books sold was a Patter
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More about James Patterson...
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