Brian Doyle's memoir tells the harrowing story of his young son being diagnosed with a serious heart condition. Through a collection of essays, each touching upon some aspect of his experience, Doyle shows the absolutely horrifying reality of a parent on the brink of losing their child. His vulnerability and stark utter terror are palpable as he maneuvers through the medical system while reflecting upon his worthiness as a parent. As usual, Doyle's style is so quirky, amusing, and unlikely, you will be surprised to hear yourself bust out laughing while reading about such a serious subject. Bordering on poetic, The Wet Engine is a slim memoir that is so stunning, it will leave you heart sore, shaken, and breathless. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise, and live to be two hundred years old, or you can spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old.
The heart: it is known as the seat of the soul, the power house of the body, the essence of spirituality. No other bodily organ has so captured the imagination of human beings since the beginning of time.
This startling, genuinely unique book moves like a freight train through the scientific, emotional, literary, philosophical, and spiritual understandings of the heart -- from cardiology to courage, from love letters and pop songs to Jesus. The torment of Doyle's own infant son's heart surgery is the thread weaving the strands together, but the wisdom is for every person who seeks a more passionate life, in touch with the heart of God.
This wonderful book has two heroes: a small boy with a damaged heart, and a surgeon who knows how to repair the damaged hearts of small boys. Such heroes deserve a gifted poet to sing their songs. Brian Doyle is that poet. -Chet Raymo, author of Climbing Brandon: Science and Faith on Ireland's Holy Mountain
Read exclusive essays by Brian Doyle from 2010 and 2014