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It takes a worried man : a memoir

by Halpin, Brendan.

Format: Print Book 2002
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Non-Fiction 362.1 HAL
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  362.1 HAL
"When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, I joked that I couldn't decide between alcoholism and overeating as a coping strategy. My wife suggested I write about it instead. She is always right. I couldn't write a cloying, sentimental story of inspiring courage, so instead I wrote what was real to me--fear, lust, annoyance, love, fatigue, resentment, existential terror, horror movies, alcohol, and country music. It's not pretty, but it is real. I hope you like it." This book is a horror story and a comedy, but, most of all, it is a love story. It is the story of what happens to a man who fears that his best friend might leave him forever. Feeling helpless, angry, and scared, Brendan Halpin sat down at his computer late at night or early in the morning and wrote. Pages poured out of him whenever something struck him as funny, whenever he was annoyed with a medical professional or family member, whenever he was terrified, and whenever he couldn't sleep--in other words, every day. What came out is sometimes painful, sometimes hilarious, but always honest--a journey into the head of a man whose wife is critically ill. This book will take you to the depths of fear and despair. It will also make you laugh until you feel sick. If that sounds contradictory, well, start reading.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "When Halpin's wife is diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer that has metastasized to her spine, he begins writing a journal. It's an emotional roller coaster--from pure physical exhaustion to the testing of his admittedly lukewarm faith--rendered in an honest, funny, touching account. Exposing his personal inadequacies and the fault lines in his relationships with parents and in-laws, Halpin gears up to support his wife and care for their four-year-old daughter. He includes running commentary on the soundtracks of his harrowing experience, veering from doleful country music to rock 'n' roll Christmas albums, as he goes through the initial diagnosis, treatment, and dealing with the minutiae of everyday life in the face of a fatal disease. Disappointed that no great spiritual transformation comes out of the experience, Halpin eventually accepts the mundane necessity of living life each day without dwelling on cancer. This is a poignant account with no answers and a probing look at how one individual copes with dire circumstances. --Vanessa Bush"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Halpin's memoir of his wife's struggle with breast cancer is a heartbreaking read. In the aftermath of tragedy, people will often say, "At least it happened quickly; at least there was no pain." Not so with cancer, even for survivors. Halpin, his wife, Kirsten, and their five-year-old daughter had just moved into their dream house and imagined a reprieve from life's difficulties. A biopsy forced them to face their worst fears: Kirsten's cancer was diagnosed as stage four. She was forced to confront her own death her survival chances hovered around 60% as well as the terrific pain and discomfort of treatment. Halpin, a high school English teacher in Boston, Ma., focuses mostly on his own struggles, his silence regarding his wife seems more respectful than self-involved. His eye is unflinching and honest as he observes the medical establishment's seeming indifference, satanic folksinging neighbors, family members too human to be totally selfless, supportive colleagues and, best of all, himself. Although cancer-survivor Kirsten is the true heroine of the book, Halpin is the loving "worried man" rallying behind her. By turns nauseatingly descriptive (the hose stuck through his wife's chest makes for especially queasy reading) and wickedly funny, this memoir of a husband's fight with his wife's cancer is an excellent though painful book for anyone facing similar situations. (Feb.) Forecast: If the statistics are any indicator (approximately one in eight women will get breast cancer), this book will find its way into the hands of many a husband. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Halpin, Brendan.
Shanks, Kirsten Conant -- Health.
Breast -- Cancer -- Patients -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Villard Books,2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 239 ; 21 cm
ISBN 0375507167
Other Classic View