November 07, 2014

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

Every year I try to set myself a goal to read 10 books.  A while back I started reading Michael J. Fox's autobiography.  It took me a bit of time to get through - not because the book wasn't good, just a busy life.  However, I'm pleased to say that I finished it off and it was a really interesting read.

You have to understand, as a child growing up in the '80s, I loved watching Michael J. Fox - Family Ties, all the Back to the Future movies and then later Spin City were all great favourites of mine.  The news of his Parkinsons diagnosis was shocking and saddening to the world over and so I was curious to learn more about the lesser known aspects of Fox's life.

So here's my short overview of the book.

You might be concerned that the focus of this autobiography would center too much on the Parkinson's diagnosis and aftermath but this is not the case.  Of course Parkinson's is sprinkled throughout the book but there is so much more to Fox's self-told story than merely his medical condition.  I thoroughly enjoyed learning about his life growing up in Alberta as an army brat, his struggles through school and his unlikely rise to fame.

The strategies he devised to cope with his new-found fame and fortune - from becoming a 'yes'-man to his fans and the tabloids to his unfortunate spiral into alcoholism - were completely unknown to me.  Similarly, the length of time he spent living with and the struggles of working with Parkinson's while keeping this information to himself and his family was amazing to learn.

For me, however, the most memorable part of the book was the opening chapter when Fox describes his first conscious recognition of his Parkinson's - the dancing baby finger on his left hand.  There is something in how he describes this moment that really stuck with me.

Overall, if you're also a fan of Michael J. Fox, you might want to give this one a read; it's a good autobiography, full of humour and warmth.

Book count 2014: 7/10