ISBN #: 978-1463749552
Page Count: 212
Copyright: February 16, 2012
(Taken from back cover)
Now It's Funny: How I Survived Cancer, Divorce, and Other Looming Disasters is a modern hybrid, on one hand a page-turning medical thriller, and on the other a hilarious romp through the mind of a man bedazzled by fatherhood and midlife. What makes it so different from other "illness" memoirs is that it reads like a movie: in its frenetic pace, its intensity, and its improbable and relentless humor. In the same way that A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius was grounded in a cancer story, Now It's Funny ... transcends its medical milieu and introduces a fresh new voice into the realm of non-fiction to tell a heartfelt story about a father's search for meaning and his undying devotion to his sons.
Having watched my father battle lung cancer, I was filled with certain trepidation when I got into the details of Mr. Solomon's story. Seems I can't get away from this awful illness. However, having said that, this is a different kind of cancer story. This is a survival story, a survival of all things gone wrong, and not giving up. To sum up Mr. Solomon's mindset; "Heroism on a daily basis is the hardest kind. Today I'm going to be a hero to myself; brave, focused and strong." This may be the wisest mantra I have ever heard when facing cancer.
While he faces his battle with cancer, Mr. Solomon's humor remains intact. One of my favorite laugh-out-loud moments was an alliteration on broccoli, "your lovely leaves are lobed like lyres." With an incredible balance, he faces illness, divorce, and 9-11 with deep insight and great patience, while never wandering far from the basic truth: He could die.
Having been asked "how do you feel?" so many times, 9-11 gives him a worthy explanation that I can honestly say describes my feelings when I learned of my father's illness. "I feel I've become a witness to a world I once felt a part of ... Where do I apply for parole, or a pardon, or whatever else gets you out of this mess and gives you a second chance, or a reprieve, or a break? ... How can I go back in time and just shift the whole world into reverse for a few seconds so I can prepare and make a move?"
This is an excellent book for anyone dealing with cancer, in any form. Honest, unapologetic, and haunting.
*A physical copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.