Jeremy's Reviews > GIMP: When Life Deals You a Crappy Hand, You Can Fold -or You Can Play

GIMP by Mark Zupan
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's review
Jul 21, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: people-biography, coaching-education

Mark Zupan has become the face of those with physical disabilities for two reasons: 1.) His role in the documentary "Murder Ball" and, 2.) The fact that most of those with disabilites fall into his demographic: young males who made poor decisions or were affected by someone else who did.
Just as it's no accident that Mark takes over the big screen with his coarse and aggressive personality, it's not surprising that this book hits on a lot of levels.
On the surface a dude with "tats", a long goatee and a strong vocabulary of 4-letter words would seem to be the type of guy who would tell a macho and cold tale. On the contrary, "Zupe" shows an incredible range of emotions and is brutally honest. His personality, when all is taken into account, is refreshingly genuine.
And so is his book - the refreshing part enters when Mark shows you how, without the wheelchair, his life would've been much less than it is. "I am lucky..." he says more than once, "Because this chair has allowed me more opportunities than I would have had walking."
He is a world-class athlete (para-Olympian and former DI soccer player, an interesting voice, and he created a great read that intertwines his story with the guilt-ridden saga of the best friend whose negligence put Mark in the wheelchair.
Shy away only if language and brutal honesty pierces your thin skin. And while the writing is much less than perfect (even barely publish-able at times), the story overcomes its shortcomings.
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