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Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of…

Strong at the Broken Places: Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope

by Richard M. Cohen

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About: Cohen gets the stories of five people with chronic illnesses: Denise with ALS, Buzz with cancer, Ben with muscular dystrophy, Sarah with Crohn's disease and Larry with bipolar disorder.

Pros: The 5 people's stories are varied and moving.

Cons: Cohen does not let his subjects just tell their stories, which would have lead to a much better book as the five people profiled are very interesting, instead Cohen just seems to get in their way. A choice quote: "I'd rather hear this kid chew than listen to him talk about dying." While interviewing, He seems to try to get his subjects to say what he wants to hear and inserts far too much of his own struggle with MS and cancer as many statements begin with "When I..." instead of focusing on the person he's supposed to be profiling. His analysis of the five adds very little and includes such groundbreaking lines as "Cancer is no fun. Neither are diseases of the bowel." ( )
  charlierb3 | Mar 29, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060763116, Hardcover)

Strong at the Broken Places is the remarkable story of five ordinary people trapped in the complex world of serious chronic illness. In this intimate portrait, acclaimed journalist Richard M. Cohen probes lives of sickness as these individuals struggle to cope. In 2003, Cohen published Blindsided, a bestselling memoir of illness. The outpouring of support revealed to him that not only does the public want to hear from people who overcome the challenges of illness, but that in the isolated world of illness, there are people who want their voices to be heard. Strong at the Broken Places was born of the desire of many to share their stories in the hope that the sick and those who love them will see that they are not alone. Cohen spent three years chronicling the lives of five diverse 'citizens of sickness': Denise, who suffers from ALS; Buzz, whose Christian faith helps him deal with his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Sarah, a determined young woman with Crohn's disease; Ben, a college student with muscular dystrophy; and Larry, whose bipolar disorder is hidden within. The five are different in age and gender, race and economic status, but they are determined to live life on their own terms. Intimately involved with these patients' lives, Cohen formed intense relationships with each, talked to their families and friends, and shared joy, even in heart-breaking setbacks. Though each individual's illness wreaks havoc in a different way, Cohen shows how their experiences are strikingly similar and offer lessons for us all--on self-determination, on courage in the face of adversity and public ignorance, on keeping hope alive, and on finding strength and peace under the most difficult of circumstances. We are strong at the broken places, stronger than we think. In sharing these inspirational and revealing stories, Cohen and his fellow warriors against illness offer a chorus of hope.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A testament to living with chronic illness presents the experiences of five individuals who have battled such conditions as ALS, Crohn's disease, and bipolar disorder, offering insight into how their diseases have affected their lives and personal relationships.… (more)

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Tantor Media

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