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A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,707 ratings  ·  382 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Tom Brokaw, the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, comes a powerful memoir of a year of dramatic change—a year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life.

Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 12th 2015 by Random House
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Deborah D. My grandmother was diagnosed in the late 1970's. It was quite advanced and the concept of hospice had just begun to enter the mainstream.

She outlived…more
My grandmother was diagnosed in the late 1970's. It was quite advanced and the concept of hospice had just begun to enter the mainstream.

She outlived the prognosis at that time with sheer grit and pain management.

Far too many people do not have the depth of resources of Mr. Brokaw and he brought that up numerous times as I listened to this book. (less)
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Montzalee Wittmann
A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw is a thought provoking, and tender book. I have always admired Tom Brokaw for his honest and unbiased ways and this book goes into his personal life and shows what a truly wonderful and strong character he is. A powerful message, esp to those of us that battle against problems. Maybe not cancer but other problems too that are life changing and dramatic. He gives a hope and encouragement with his calm and soothing manner. I got this book f ...more
Dave Schaafsma
The only reason I read this book is because my close friend was recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable but treatable blood cancer. When I visited him in Ann Arbor I noticed someone had given him this book, though still was surprised he would read it. Our shared tastes would lean more toward Bukowski than Brokaw, the author of such irrepressibly plucky tomes as The Greatest Generation. Yikes. I have nothing against the guy. Seems like a good person, but he's just not the kind of t ...more
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My preconceived notion of what I expected from this book did not come to fruition. Do admire Tom Brokaw's professional life and his other books. I did learn some about the illness, multiple myeloma, however it was mainly a lesson in American medical care available if you're a 'personality', have connections, and have unlimited resources. I know that this book was written as a 'memoir', however by the end I grew rather tired of all the name-dropping. ...more
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I downloaded this book last night and finished it this morning. That does not bode well for quality sleep.

I like Tom Brokaw. I wish him many more years of continued remission from multiple myeloma, which I have recently learned about. Cancer sucks. But it helps when you can jet off to the Mayo Clinic and have your private team of professionals and you’re a high profile patient. Right now I’m left feeling more depressed about our US health system and the inequality of care.

It’s probably a bette
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always enjoyed Tom Brokow's writing. In this memoir he shares his journey with multiple myeloma, from diagnosis into remission. His zest for living, while knowing he's in his final years, is quite inspiring. I sincerely wish his every hope is realized. ...more
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps I just need to stay away from memoirs. I found this agonizing to read. I understand that he has cancer, I feel for him but he comes across as pompous and doesn't realize how lucky he is to have the resources that he does to get through this disease. ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Twenty one years ago, my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a relatively rare cancer of the bone marrow plasma cells. He was told that MM is incurable, but eminently treatable; however, he succumbed to it just a few months later. Thus, it was with more than passing interest that I read Tom Brokaw's chronicle of his own encounter with the disease.

Treatments for multiple myeloma have improved considerably in recent years, although Brokaw reports that more than 11,000 people died of it in
Judy Scarbeck
First, know that I admire Tom Brokaw immensely. I've read his books about World War II and feel he is an excellent writer, journalist and person. This book, though, about his year-long battle with multiple myeloma, was not just about his experiences with cancer. He would often get side-tracked and relate stories about being in Normandy to celebrate the anniversary of D-Day, or reminisce about his on-the-scene coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He also talks about the terrorist attacks on 9 ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really an interesting book learning about what Tom Brokaw went through when he found out about his cancer. I've always admired Tom so I really wanted to know this information. ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Perhaps the title, "A Lucky Life" should have prepared me, but I was struck (and turned off) by the "1%er" perspective. This book, while trying to be a serious memoir, reads more like a bit of a whine by one who doesn't want to be thought of as a whiner and has lived a *very* privileged life.

At one point, Brokaw emphasizes that no one can truly understand the horror of being diagnosed with cancer until one *is* diagnosed with cancer. Well, I kept thinking that this book proves that no one can t
Andy Rosenblum
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book, but it would have been even better had Mr. Brokaw spent more time talking about his illness, and less time talking about all of his celebrity friends and his career accomplishments. I've read similar books written by well known people, all of which were not so self centered. Mr. Brokaw comes across as an individual who is in need of ego boosting, thus the reason for the constant references to all of the 'important' things that he's done as a journalist, and the incessant na ...more
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aptly named, this memoir is the telling of not only Brokaw's experience as a cancer patient but the life that cancer interrupted. It's insightful into both his life and the disruption the diagnosis of multiple myeloma brought to it. I didn't find his "name dropping" (as some reviewers have called it) to be off putting because that is his life and so why should he try to hide it? I found his reminiscing to be interesting and show the contrast with his life during treatment and today. Having lost ...more
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a memoir by Tom Brokaw, recounting his battle with MM (multiple myeloma). While the book obviously covers his own struggles, he does a good job of explaining this type of cancer as a way of possibly helping others. I saw one review that felt he was pompous and basically didn’t account for those that face this that are less fortunate and have less money. I felt just the opposite; several times he recognizes how lucky he is, knowing so many don’t have the means he does. In addition, he tal ...more
Elise Martin
I read this book for obvious reasons (Multiple Myeloma diagnosis), but thought Tom Brokaw name-dropped and went on about details of his very out-of-reach-for-most-people life way too much to make this book one with which most fellow MM patients could identify.
I've always liked and respected Tom Brokaw, and now I like him even more!

As a cancer survivor, this book really spoke to me.

This is not just a book about his battle with Multiple Myeloma (MM), which by the way is treatable / manageable, but not curable -- at this stage, Brokaw's cancer is manageable, but also a brief history of his broadcasting career.

So, just what is this thing that Brokaw refers to as MM throughout this book. According to the author (and Google), "Plasma cells that help you f
Ruthanne Johnston
I've always admired Tom Brokaw as a reporter/journalist but now I admire him even more for his courage and his willingness to share his story. This is a book where he takes us through his incredibly painful and frightening diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma. This is a rare form of cancer and it began with bone pain which, because of his age, he assumed was arthritis. I'm sure a very common assumption.
He details the steps to diagnosis and early treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Further treat
Randy Tramp
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are certain people you want to be around. Tom Brokaw is one of those people. Although I've never met him, I feel I have. A few years ago, my daughter who is a manager of a cell phone store, helped a customer. That customer was Tom Brokaw. He asked about her family. She told him about me, to which he said, "I knew Art Tramp from Crofton (Nebraska)." He talked about how he'd stop at our gas station when he ate at Bogner's Steak House which was across the street. I was impressed Tom remembere ...more
I had to call it quits when I read," A New York financial wiz and big time foodie called regularly with offers of home cooked meals. An NBC colleague baked cookies for grandchildren visits." Oy. the name dropping and total oblivion of what the "average" person goes through, killed me. I'm a Bone Marrow Nurse. I see the sh*t those w/ mm have to go through and I don't want to discount that this happened to him. However, listening to him complain about how Sunday mornings were "especially difficult ...more
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There may be other people who can get a personal consultation from Jerome Groopman (How Doctors Think) and well wishes from former presidents, and I am genuinely glad Brokaw has, thus far, survived multiple myeloma, but this medical memoir seems more than a little tone deaf, starting with the abysmal subtitle, "a Memoir of Hope," when he's clearly fortunate enough to have a lot more going for him than just that. ...more
Rhonda Coale
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I love Tom Brokaw, so it's unlikely he's going to write something that I don't love. This memoir is about his diagnosis with cancer, but he discusses important historical events that he's covered with NBC. What an amazing, down-to-earth, Midwestern guy and hero. I love him. ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a bit uneven, but all in all an entertaining read.

The most fascinating part to me is the difference having a ton of money and connections makes (and doesn't make) in the health care world. On one hand, he has all the advantages you'd expect from being wealthy, famous and having a ton of connections (being on the board of the Mayo Clinic is convenient and having Harvard doctor friends seemingly on speed dial can't hurt).
At the same time, he doesn't have a flawless journey through the hea
Jan 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lucky life? Yes. Some might even called it privilege. After reading the first third of the book, I realized the whole thing would continue along this name-dropping, self promoting, boringly told stream of consciousness. Obviously a very talented news anchor and reporter, his ability to write a relatable story is weak. Some paragraphs would begin with humility, only to mention how he hopped a private jet to receive care at the Mayo Clinic or called up his physician daughter for counsel. The subti ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was interested in the myeloma story since we now have a diagnosis in the family. I agree with other reviewers - lots of name-dropping. Lots of “I was there when...”. Yes. We all know you were on the cusp of history. But I’m more interested in how you face your mortality. Like the rest of us - only with more money. Certainly this book condemns our unequal and unfair health care system. We don’t all have the resources and connections this author has. I skipped through a lot of the name dropping ...more
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The events are of what happens to Tom leading up and about 1 year after he was diagnosed with cancer. This one really short at 230 pages and it is a smaller book, so really like 150 pages. The book is not one of his finest. It goes off on way too many tangents and it lacks focus, which is a surprise.

Unless you love everything about Tom you can probably skip it.
Caroline Mcphail-Lambert
Much enjoyed listening to Brokaw's take on his life prior to and during his battle with cancer. Wish he had read it himself, but . . . . ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a awesome book

learned a lot and It was well done
takes you back in time to world events
and what Mr. Brokaw thought about them
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad Tom Brokaw read this life story to me. I hate that he has had to go through the fight of cancer/leukemia, but I'm so glad he shared this journey with us. He's such an American treasure. ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some of the information regarding his disease was interesting and helpful; his reminiscences were interesting. His fortitude and courage were admirable; however, for the most part, the book was a self-serving, self congratulating, name dropping exercise.
Judy Birch
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of hope after a cancer diagnosis.
I had seen a portion of the television special Tom Brokaw did on cancer and how it reared its ugly head in his life and was sorry I had not caught all of it. I wanted to learn more, so I picked up the book. I have always admired Brokaw, although (and this is a SMALL thing in the scheme of life) it is hard to listen to his pronunciation of Ls, but I never knew much about his personal life. He has indeed, led a lucky life, with a very happy marriage, highly successful children (who seemed not to h ...more
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Thomas John Brokaw is an American television journalist and author, previously working on regularly scheduled news documentaries for the NBC television network, and is the former NBC News anchorman and managing editor of the program NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. His last broadcast as anchorman was on December 1, 2004, succeeded by Brian Williams in a carefully planned transition. In the later ...more

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