Read 22 nonfiction books in 2022.
5/22 Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox
A funny, highly personal, gorgeously written account of what it’s like to be a 30-year-old man who is told he has an 80-year-old’s disease. Life is great. Sometimes, though, you just have to put up with a little more crap. — Michael J. Fox In September 1998, Michael J. Fox stunned the world by announcing he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — a degenerative neurological condition. In fact, he had been secretly fighting it for seven years. The worldwide response was staggering. Fortunately, he had accepted the diagnosis and by the time the public started grieving for him, he had stopped grieving for himself. Now, with the same passion, humor, and energy that Fox has invested in his dozens of performances over the last 18 years, he tells the story of his life, his career, and his campaign to find a cure for Parkinson’s. Combining his trademark ironic sensibility and keen sense of the absurd, he recounts his life — from his childhood in a small town in western Canada to his meteoric rise in film and television which made him a worldwide celebrity. Most importantly, however, he writes of the last 10 years, during which–with the unswerving support of his wife, family, and friends — he has dealt with his illness. He talks about what Parkinson’s has given him: the chance to appreciate a wonderful life and career, and the opportunity to help search for a cure and spread public awareness of the disease. He is a very lucky man, indeed.
Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox is a beautifully written memoir – his first, published in 2002.
If you’re under 40, you *might* vaguely know the actor from Back to the Future or Spin City but for me, Michael J. Fox is a celebrity I grew up with and loved in the 80s/90s!
I learned so much about his Canadian childhood, bewildering his parents with his precociousness and his absolute determination to succeed – and all the better if he could play music and meet girls too. He was driving to Hollywood when he was 17 to go on auditions and his natural talent kept him working steadily until he landed Family Ties.
This is a detailed and thoughtful look at a lucky man who is so grateful for his success and has been given so much yet wouldn’t trade his diagnosis because it enabled him to make real and positive changes in his life. (I don’t think I would have handled being handed the disease of an 80-year-old with such grace and humor.)
“I am no longer the person described in the first few pages of this chapter, and I am forever grateful for that. I would never want to go back to that life — a sheltered, narrow existence fueled by fear and made livable by insulation, isolation, and self-indulgence. It was a life lived in a bubble — but bubbles being the most fragile constructions, are easily destroyed.”
His wife and kids are his whole world and it was an honor to get such insight into his experience as a Hollywood heartthrob to his marriage and drinking problems to his initial Young Onset Parkinson’s diagnosis and how he hid it/managed it for seven years. He also shares when he knew it was time to stop hiding and then later when it was time to stop acting.
About the Author:
Michael J. Fox began his career as the lovable Alex P. Keaton, the star of the popular sitcom Family Ties. Since then, his career has been a nonstop success story, with blockbuster movies like Back to the Future, The Secret of My Success, Doc Hollywood, and the lead voice in Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He retired from his award-winning role on Spin City. Michael has won numerous awards, including four Golden Globes, four Emmys, two Screen Actors Guild awards, GQ Man of the Year, and the People’s Choice award. He is the author of two books, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up. He actively lobbies for stem cell research around the country and is very visible in raising money for Parkinson’s research with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
What do you think about this book? Do you have a favorite Michael J Fox character?
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