A young man recounts his struggle with multiple sclerosis.
When debut author Boulton woke up one morning and couldn’t feel his legs, he was alarmed but assumed his condition would quickly resolve itself on its own. After all, he was young (in his 20s), active and healthy. Physicians at his local clinic suspected MS, but they could offer little help as his symptoms worsened. Numerous doctor visits and tests later, he was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, a disease of unknown cause and without a cure. While the official diagnosis cleared up some of the confusion, it didn’t offer relief from the hard-to-treat condition. Fiercely independent, Boulton struggled to manage his symptoms on his own but was eventually admitted to the hospital, having lost the ability to move freely, see clearly, taste and even speak. Thus began his remarkable road to recovery. While the first weeks in the hospital were difficult, Boulton was determined to get better. Slowly, his condition improved, aided by the support of his family, girlfriend and friends. At a rehab clinic, he re-mastered the basic functions of daily life and, less than a year after his symptoms first appeared, was discharged. He was still fighting MS but was well on his way to recovery. Boulton’s tale of his battle with a mysterious illness is frightening, and his descriptions of his frustration, fear and anger as he gradually lost his health and his freedom bring that experience to life. The prose never scintillates, but Boulton’s smart, forthright tone makes him easy to root for. The book brims with details, sometimes mundane. But these facts also work to elucidate the challenges of adapting to life with a serious chronic illness. Detailed accounts, for example, of how long it takes to complete once-simple tasks, like showering, give a sense of how dramatically the author’s life had changed. Also welcome would be a few more facts about the nature of the disease itself, different treatments and Boulton’s long-term prognosis. But overall, this is a compelling story of a successful battle with a devastating illness.
An engaging personal account that raises awareness of a still mysterious disease.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)