[bookshare-discuss] Re: Fw: Blind Dynamo, Feverishly Curious, Risks Sight-Restoring Surgery

Hi, Shelley, 

I'm planning to order it, and can scan it. I also hope to go to the book
signing in Davis on May 29. I have to double check it but that's my plan. 

Sue Mangis 

-----Original Message-----
From: Shelley L. Rhodes [mailto:juddysbuddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 6:20 PM
To: bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; bookshare-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [bookshare-discuss] Fw: Blind Dynamo, Feverishly Curious, Risks
Sight-Restoring Surgery 

Would love to see this book on the site, but don't have the money for it.

Smile.

Please, someone?

Shelley L. Rhodes M.A., VRT, CTVI
and Judson, guiding golden
juddysbuddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Guide Dogs For the Blind Inc.
Graduate Alumni Association Board
www.guidedogs.com

More than Any other time, When i hold a beloved book in my hand, my 
limitations fall from me, my spirit is free.
- Helen Keller

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "BlindNews Mailing List" <blindnews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BlindNews@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 10:18 PM
Subject: Blind Dynamo, Feverishly Curious, Risks Sight-Restoring Surgery


Bloomberg News, USA
Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Blind Dynamo, Feverishly Curious, Risks Sight-Restoring Surgery

By Thom Weidlich

``Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure and the Man Who Dared to

See'' is published by Random House (306 pages, $25.95).

May 9 (Bloomberg) -- When Michael May, who had been blind since the age of 
3, was offered the chance to see again, the decision to go through with the 
operations wasn't an easy one. Success was pegged at only 50 percent. The 
procedures could backfire and rob him of what light perception he still had.

The required medicine could give him cancer.

Most important, May already enjoyed a full life -- career, sports, friends, 
a wife and two sons whose souls he knew if not their faces.

``Vision was not calling to May,'' Robert Kurson tells us in ``Crashing 
Through,'' his book about May's journey to sight. In the end, May's lifelong

curiosity seals the deal.

``I didn't do it to see,'' May says. ``I did it to see what seeing was.''

It's hard to believe a sighted person could do everything May has. 
``Crashing Through'' is about a man who refuses to recognize limitations.

The earlier, novelistic chapters alternate between May's coming of age and 
his deciding whether to undergo the operations. After the 1957 accident that

blinds him, his heroic mother (his alcoholic father lurks in the shadows) 
refuses to coddle the boy or even to place him in special classes. Growing 
up in California, he rides bikes, plays dodgeball, demands -- and gets -- to

be a crossing guard.

Driving, Skiing

As an adolescent, he takes spins on a motorcycle (by listening for 
approaching traffic) and in his sister's car (he doesn't get far). In high 
school he wrestles. After college he lives in a hut in Ghana. While pursuing

his graduate degree at Johns Hopkins, he works as the CIA's first blind 
analyst.

Months after learning to ski he qualifies for the Paralympics. He's timed 
going downhill at 65 miles an hour -- the fastest speed for a blind skier 
ever recorded.

And he becomes an entrepreneur. One of the book's subplots is his struggle 
to bring to market a global-positioning system to help guide the blind.

Given this background, his questioning the need to see is more 
understandable.

There were other reasons, too. Up to the year of May's decision, 1999, fewer

than 20 people who had been blind from childhood had had their vision 
restored. The results weren't always the made-for-TV movie one might hope 
for. The newly sighted often became depressed. One man complained that the 
world -- and his wife -- weren't as beautiful as he thought they'd be; he 
died at 54, not long after regaining his vision.

Though these stories give May pause, they can't defeat his optimism.

Colors, Faces

Yet as thrilling as May's new sight is, the book's narrative drive slows 
after the let-there-be-light moment. The main complication becomes his 
struggle to improve his vision. He does well with colors and motion, but 
faces and depth give him problems. He has to work at seeing, and he finds it

exhausting. Researchers who examine him confirm that the brain needs to 
learn to see at an early age. He will never be able to drive or to read.

``Crashing Through'' is beautifully written -- with some exceptions. The 
you-are-there dialogue can be stilted.

Then there's the moment May's bandages come off and he sees for the first 
time since childhood. Kurson, in his attempt to evoke what May felt, swings 
for the bleachers with three paragraph-length sentences -- of 14, 31 and 17 
lines respectively -- that end up only hurting the batter.

But the scene of May and his wife's departure from the doctor's office truly

is moving. He marvels at the reception- room carpet and his ability to 
find -- by sight -- the elevator button.

On a walk, one of his sons points out a red object. May refuses to believe 
it's a stop sign. He'd thought they were yellow.

``Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure and the Man Who Dared to

See'' is published by Random House (306 pages, $25.95).

(Thom Weidlich is a reporter for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are 
his own.) To contact the reporter on this story: Thom Weidlich in New York 
at tweidlich@xxxxxxxxxxxxx .

Last Updated: May 9, 2007 00:03 EDT


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=a9aRyGV9DTXQ&refer=muse

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