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Running From The Mirror

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Just three days after he was born, Howard Shulman contracted an infection that devoured his nose, lips, lower eyelids, and tear ducts, leaving behind a gaping hole. Abandoned at the hospital by his parents, he became a ward of New Jersey under the care of a state-employed surgeon who experimentally rebuilt his face.

Running from the Mirror is the poignant true story of one
Paperback, 254 pages
Published October 5th 2015 by Sandra Jonas Publishing (first published October 2nd 2015)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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Pearl Angeli
"Recent events in my life have made me realize that our choices are not always as black and white as they may seem, especially the most complex ones-- the ones involving family and love."

There is something so incredibly beautiful about this memoir of Howard Shulman, the man whose face was devoured by an infection when he was born. It's a story that inspires. It's an eye-opener and a reminder that life is sometimes cruel but nevertheless, amazing because of the imperfections that somehow make
catherine ♡
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
*Thank you to the author for giving me a free e-copy of this book to review!*

Actual Rating: 4.0

Wow. I This story is absolutely inspiring.

Running from the Mirror captivated me from the very start, as it detailed the life of a young boy who experienced cruelty at the hands of his classmates because of his appearance.

This book completely revolutionized my perspective on what it feels like to be ostracized and judged for something you have no control over.

Beautiful, beautiful book. And
Oct 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Those who enjoy memoirs about people who have overcome the most dire of circumstances will be moved by Running from the Mirror. A particularly inspiring read, the book chronicles the devastating events the author experienced as a newborn and how they set the stage for the rest of his life.

His face and his parents gone, Howard Shulman is turned over to the state, becoming a ward of New Jersey for the next eighteen years. During that time, he undergoes nearly a hundred operations to try to reconst
Jessyca Garcia
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-life
Running from the Mirror by Howard Shulman is a memoir about Shulman’s life. When Shulman was just a newborn baby he contracted a staph infection that ate his face off. His parents did not want to deal with a child that had so many health issues so they gave him up for adoption. This is his story about growing up different and looking for a place to belong.

I thought Running from the Mirror was an interesting story. At times I felt really sorry for Shulman and wanted to give him a giant hug. Other
Darlene Quinn
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have read few memoirs. However,after meeting Howard Shulman at the Southern California Writers Conferences and hearing a bit of his story, I picked up a copy of Running from Mirrors. I knew a little about the amazing story of how Howard came into the world as a normal healthy baby before a staff infection attached his face eating away his nose, lips and upper eyelids. I also knew that his parents had left him at the hospital and he became a ward of the state. I even knew he had become a drug d ...more
Patricia Wilkinson
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Howard Shulman's raw honesty in how he describes growing up the monster kid at the mercy of an experimenting doctor and the opportunities he grasps to survive as a young adult (not all of them legal) brought tears to my eyes, caught my breath, and occasionally provoked a guilty grin. I'm not going to lie. Sometimes this is a painful read, for example, when he describes one of his Frankenstein-like surgeries:
"A large nine-by-eight-inch patch of skin was excised from my chest and shoulder, the gr
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Running from the Mirror: A Memoir by Howard Shulman takes the reader on a journey with a man who has lived a unique life and tries to find meaning in it.

Being abandoned by his birth parents as an infant due to a staph infection that damaged half his face, Howard was left with a sense of lost. He was ridiculed and looked down upon for years for something that he could not control. Enduring several surgeries to reconstruct his face, Howard tried to find his way in life. He met some amazing people
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Although life handed Howard a bushel of lemons he eventually worked his way through and made lemonade. An inspiring true story not just for those that are physically disfigured, but for everyone because everyone has those "why me" moments. I'm positive that Howard's story has changed me in a positive way. Thank you Howard for sharing your story.

FTC stuff; I received this book as a contest prise through a Goodreads Firstreads contest.
Julie Haigh
Moving, memorable, an amazing memoir.

I love medical memoirs and snapped this book up about 18 months ago when it was on special offer. Fancy having this incredible book on my kindle all that time and not knowing how great it was going to be! This was a very varied, moving and emotional book. Memorable, and a truly remarkable memoir.

Howard Shulman was born perfectly normally, however his face was invaded by a staph infection at just 3 days old. His parents abandoned him due to his disfigurement.
Natalie Wood
Aug 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Three days after his birth in July 1961, American baby Howard Shulman developed a bacterial infection that devoured half his face.

But far from taking him home to start to heal and nurture, Shulman’s distraught parents abandoned him by signing him over as a ward of the State of New Jersey, believing falsely that he would be adopted.

Instead, he was placed in good-hearted foster care and became the patient of a cold-mannered, cack-handed surgeon who went on to perform scores of operations upon hi
251 Things To Do
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written book on the life of Howard Schulman. A life that is truly unique and demonstrates the strength that Howard has developed throughout from the many setbacks, pain, and challenges he has had to face. Born abandoned as an infant for having a misconfigured face due to an infection, otherwise super healthy and intelligent being, his biological parents are the scums of society for doing that to a child and leaving him to die. If it weren't for the system, caring loving people, he wo ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an UNCORRECTED PROOF from Library Thing last May. My biggest regret is that I didn't get serious about reading it until recently. This book is good therapy for anyone thinking their circumstances are beyond hope. I was initially intrigued by the description of the book, but I found so much more in the pages. I cheered on the author through every travail, holding my breath at some of them, and had to fight the urge not to skip ahead and read the ending. I lost that fight, but still bac ...more
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a part of Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

One word can only describe this book. Wow. I don't read many autobiographies so maybe I'm a bit biased, but this book absolutely blew me away. Howard's storytelling skills are a perfect balance of humor and insightfulness. While reading I felt I was there through the ups and downs and I could relate to his frustrations in life even if the experiences weren't the same. The complexity and myriad of stories that are weaved into this b
Karen Jensen
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first and the last part of this memoir are definitely its strongest. In the first part, Shulman tells the story of how he was abandoned by his parents shortly after birth. This part also includes the portrayal of his foster family. The last part begins after the death of his foster mother and his decision to find and get in touch with his biological mother. These two parts are heartwrenching and compelling.

My issue with the middle part of the book (except for the parts in which the writer r
Sandra Stiles
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, memoir
There are many words that could describe Howard Shulman. Pity is not one of them. After reading this story of courage and survival I feel like there are so many lessons we could learn from him. This is an inspiring and uplifting story. Bullied, unloved by his parents, Howard proves to us that no matter what the obstacles or how unsurmountable they seem they can be conquered. There is always room for hope. This is a story that should be read by everyone. What problems I have seem so small compare ...more
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This memoir is one of the best ones that I have read. Howard Shulman tells his story and makes us feel some very dark and sad feelings. He considered himself a monster and overcame every obstacle. Knowing that his family gave him up and that his face was disfigured carried much weight and sorrow. However, this story is not only about sorrow, it also gives you hope and inspiration. Because of all the odds that he went against and all of the obstacles that he overcame, he is truly an inspiration.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Appreciate the chance to read this book thanks to a Goodreads giveaway. Howard's journey is tragic to say the least and I hope the writing of his story has been cathartic for him. So many mistakes along the way could have left him permanently cynical but he has shown a powerful determination to succeed and find some happiness in his life. Personally, I found some of the language difficult to read, but he is writing a true version of events, so my feelings are unimportant in the grand scheme of t ...more
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I received this book through LT Early Reviewers; the title is Running From the Mirror, a much better title than Freak.

While I personally feel Mr. Shulman is a bit arrogant, I have to admit his life is fascinating. One would think he grows up, gets a job, gets married, haves kids...but his life definitely takes more twists and turns. It would be interesting even without his facial deformity (which did not seem to stop him one bit when it came to the ladies!).
Linda Kruse
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads contest and was very happy to read it. I love biographies that make you think 'what would I do in this situation'. I love books that make you think about another person's perspective in life. This book does both of those things very well. Howard Shulman does a great job letting you into his life from a very young age. While the story is tough to read, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to others to read as well. ...more
Carmen Gordon
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a giveaway, and I'm so glad I did. I found this memoir to be heartbreaking, inspiring, hopeful, determined, and in-your-face defiantly gritty. The author's writing kept me on the edge of my seat, feeling so appalled at what he had to go through, but anxious to see what happened next. I recommend this book to any adult reader who likes memoirs or just a really good read! ...more
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Without doubt, one of the most moving and memorable memoirs I have ever read. A disfigured man abandoned as a infant by his parents struggles to find love, acceptance, and meaning in his life. It is written with such depth and emotion that you can't help but feel his pain, suffering, and his joy. What an incredible person he became! Definitely a must read! ...more
anna dunkerson
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I could not put this book down once I began, it is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time, I shed a lot of tears reading this book, im so glad Howard had Ed and Shirl as parents, giving him unconditional love and guidance, without them his life may have ended very differently....
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book more then 5 stars!!! My favorite memoir to date. You will feel compassion to the core and your heart will have a special place for Howard forever. Loved it and love Howard and his perseverance.
Crystal Ellyson
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book as a early book review. I really enjoyed this book. It was very touching book. I found this book a learning experience.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a touching memoir of a boy shunned by society because of an infection. His pain becomes your pain. Get your tissues ready; you're in for a good hard cry at the injustices of our world. ...more
David Yu
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read book you don't want to pass up

This book got me from the start. The story was very gut wrenching but also very beautifully written. Highly recommended.
Esther Nussbaum
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down.
Opening up about all the ups and downs can't be easy, but it's all part of a journey, really well written journey.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Heart breaking at times but worth the read. Hard to put down.
Barry Payne
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book with so many interesting plots that was enthralled from start to finish!!
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"That I had the resources to help myself while so many others were caught in an endless cycle of hopelessness made me profoundly grateful."

A beautiful story of an amazing man. I knew I was going to love it and I was right, this is the kind of book that inspires and empowers. I felt grateful reading this book, and gratitude is key to living a fulfilled life.
I think what I learnt from this book is that everyone has a place in this world, but you need to work for it, and you are capable of get
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“Perhaps my story was never about my face but about the journey to arrive at a place of grace, which was far better than anything I could ever have imagined.” 2 likes
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