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Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See

by

Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See Cover

 

Staff Pick

Crashing Through is the remarkable story of Mike May, one of only a handful of people to gain sight after being blinded in an accident at age three. Robert Kurson (of Shadow Divers fame) does a wonderful job depicting both May's extraordinary life up until the surgery and the fascinating and surprising changes that vision brings. I literally talked about this book to my friends for weeks.
Recommended by Tessa, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his critically acclaimed bestseller Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson explored the depths of history, friendship, and compulsion. Now Kurson returns with another thrilling adventure — the stunning true story of one man's heroic odyssey from blindness into sight.

Mike May spent his life crashing through. Blinded at age three, he defied expectations by breaking world records in downhill speed skiing, joining the CIA, and becoming a successful inventor, entrepreneur, and family man. He had never yearned for vision.

Then, in 1999, a chance encounter brought startling news: a revolutionary stem cell transplant surgery could restore May's vision. It would allow him to drive, to read, to see his children's faces. He began to contemplate an astonishing new world: Would music still sound the same? Would sex be different? Would he recognize himself in the mirror? Would his marriage survive? Would he still be Mike May?

The procedure was filled with risks, some of them deadly, others beyond May's wildest dreams. Even if the surgery worked, history was against him. Fewer than twenty cases were known worldwide in which a person gained vision after a lifetime of blindness. Each of those people suffered desperate consequences we can scarcely imagine.

There were countless reasons for May to pass on vision. He could think of only a single reason to go forward. Whatever his decision, he knew it would change his life.

Beautifully written and thrillingly told, Crashing Through is a journey of suspense, daring, romance, and insight into the mysteries of vision and the brain. Robert Kurson gives us a fascinating account of one man's choice toexplore what it means to see — and to truly live.

Review:

"Blinded in a childhood accident, Mike May never hesitated to try anything — driving a motorcycle, hiking alone in the woods, downhill skiing — until the day, when May was 46, an ophthalmologist told him a new stem-cell and cornea transplant could restore his vision. As Esquire contributing editor Kurson (Shadow Divers) relates, the decision to have the surgery wasn't easy. May, always a 'pioneer in his heart,' had never really felt he was missing anything in life. The surgery also had a few risks: the restoration of sight might only be temporary; the immunosuppressive drug was highly toxic; May might never adjust to the changes having sight would cause. Previously, patients had become depressed, their lives ruined because, while it might seem strange to sighted people, these patients found that the idea of vision was better than the reality. May went forward, only to find that, even though his eye was now perfect, his brain had forgotten how to process visual input. Fascinated by colors and patterns, he had difficulty discerning facial features, letters, even men from women. How May adjusts to his medical miracle, living with the disappointments as well as the joys, makes for a remarkable story of courage and endurance. Correction: The price for Rickles' Book: A Memoir by Don Rickles and David Ritz (Reviews, Apr. 2) is $24." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Mike May was just 3 years old, a curious little kid, when he found a jar with some powder in it, added water, and caused a chemical explosion that destroyed his vision. His family took him several times for corneal implants in his one remaining eye, but they never worked. He was told he would never see again. But his feisty mother made sure nobody cut him any slack. There were to be no schools for... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

The bestselling author of "Shadow Divers" returns with a riveting story of exploration, mystery, and the discovery of an unknown world--this time about one man's incredible odyssey from blindness into sight.

About the Author

Robert Kurson earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, then a law degree from Harvard Law School. His award-winning stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, and Esquire, where he is a contributing editor. Crashing Through is based on Kurson’s 2006 National Magazine Award-winning profile in Esquire. He is the author of Shadow Divers, and he lives in Chicago.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400063352
Subtitle:
A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See
Author:
Kurson, Robert
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Subject:
Specific Groups - Special Needs
Subject:
Eye
Subject:
Blind
Subject:
May, Mike
Subject:
Blind -- United States.
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070515
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.72x6.41x.97 in. 1.27 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Biographies
Languages » Deaf Studies » Being Blind and Deaf

Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See Used Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Random House - English 9781400063352 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Crashing Through is the remarkable story of Mike May, one of only a handful of people to gain sight after being blinded in an accident at age three. Robert Kurson (of Shadow Divers fame) does a wonderful job depicting both May's extraordinary life up until the surgery and the fascinating and surprising changes that vision brings. I literally talked about this book to my friends for weeks.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Blinded in a childhood accident, Mike May never hesitated to try anything — driving a motorcycle, hiking alone in the woods, downhill skiing — until the day, when May was 46, an ophthalmologist told him a new stem-cell and cornea transplant could restore his vision. As Esquire contributing editor Kurson (Shadow Divers) relates, the decision to have the surgery wasn't easy. May, always a 'pioneer in his heart,' had never really felt he was missing anything in life. The surgery also had a few risks: the restoration of sight might only be temporary; the immunosuppressive drug was highly toxic; May might never adjust to the changes having sight would cause. Previously, patients had become depressed, their lives ruined because, while it might seem strange to sighted people, these patients found that the idea of vision was better than the reality. May went forward, only to find that, even though his eye was now perfect, his brain had forgotten how to process visual input. Fascinated by colors and patterns, he had difficulty discerning facial features, letters, even men from women. How May adjusts to his medical miracle, living with the disappointments as well as the joys, makes for a remarkable story of courage and endurance. Correction: The price for Rickles' Book: A Memoir by Don Rickles and David Ritz (Reviews, Apr. 2) is $24." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling author of "Shadow Divers" returns with a riveting story of exploration, mystery, and the discovery of an unknown world--this time about one man's incredible odyssey from blindness into sight.
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