PAT AND ROALD by Barry Farrell


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There is always a lingering twinge of embarrassment when the private adversities of public figures are sprung open for public examination, but Mr. Farrell, in recounting the disasters encountered by actress Pat Neal and her husband Roald Dahl, pries with taste, if such a thing is possible. In February 1965, Patricia Neal suffered a severe stroke involving an aneurism, hemorrhaging into the lobes of the brain which affect word recognition, speech and movements of the right side. Farrell, who had become acquainted with the Dahls at a Life interview, follows the dramatic and then painfully slow recovery, particularly that curious phase of rehabilitation in which Miss Neal, teased and bullied into effort by her writer husband, groped for the temporarily vanished connotations of spoken words. The most subtle and perhaps most difficult phase of the recovery was the regaining of her own ""personality"" and confidence and her return to acting. This is also a portrait of two attractive, talented, and resilient individuals who genuinely admire one another, and who had together weathered the death of their oldest child and the serious brain injury of another, Nealophiles will share Mr. Farrell's boggled admiration for the ""mahogany-voiced"", Presence; and stroke patients and their families may be aided by practical layman advice on rehabilitation. Fan fare with a medical plus.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1969
Publisher: Random House