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Lucky Man: A Memoir

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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 neur 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. The Michael J. Fox Foundation Michael J. Fox is donating the profits from his book to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which is dedicated to fast-forwarding the cure for Parkinson's disease. The Foundation will move aggressively to identify the most promising research and raise the funds to assure that a cure is found for the millions of people living with this disorder. The Foundation's web site, MichaelJFox.org, carries the latest pertinent information about Parkinson's disease, including: A detailed description of Parkinson's disease How you can help find the cure Public Services Announcements that are aired on network and cable television stations across the country to increase awareness Upcoming related Parkinson's disease events and meetings Updates on recent research and developments


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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 neur 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. The Michael J. Fox Foundation Michael J. Fox is donating the profits from his book to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which is dedicated to fast-forwarding the cure for Parkinson's disease. The Foundation will move aggressively to identify the most promising research and raise the funds to assure that a cure is found for the millions of people living with this disorder. The Foundation's web site, MichaelJFox.org, carries the latest pertinent information about Parkinson's disease, including: A detailed description of Parkinson's disease How you can help find the cure Public Services Announcements that are aired on network and cable television stations across the country to increase awareness Upcoming related Parkinson's disease events and meetings Updates on recent research and developments

30 review for Lucky Man: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    I have been meaning to read this for years, and finally came across a copy last week - I was determined to find it in store, I'm not sure why! What's funny is, while I know I would have enjoyed this book at any point in the years that was on my 'keep an eye out for this one' list of books, I think now was the perfect time for me to read it. It's well written, funny, insightful and refreshingly candid, which is what I expected really. I've always enjoyed Michael J. Fox; like so many of us I've wa I have been meaning to read this for years, and finally came across a copy last week - I was determined to find it in store, I'm not sure why! What's funny is, while I know I would have enjoyed this book at any point in the years that was on my 'keep an eye out for this one' list of books, I think now was the perfect time for me to read it. It's well written, funny, insightful and refreshingly candid, which is what I expected really. I've always enjoyed Michael J. Fox; like so many of us I've watched the Back to the Future trilogy over and over again, I like Spin City (and I'm not all that big on sitcoms) and I've seen a few very enjoyable episodes of Family Ties. So of course all of that was interesting to read about, but it was the way he covers his Parkinson's disease that really resonated with me. Without being too specific in a personal sense, as someone who has a chronic illness, there was a lot to relate to here. The disease and symptoms may be completely different, but there are many aspects of the emotional journey that are incredibly similar. Certain pages would jump out at me, perfectly describing things I have felt, feel or sense will one day be relevant. I would recommend this book both as a genuinely interesting memoir (what an incredible life!) and also as an insight into serious illness. The information about Parkinson's disease is important to read - and it was cathartic in an unexpected way. www.michaeljfox.org

  2. 5 out of 5

    East Bay J

    I saw a copy of Lucky Man in a thrift store for a buck. I think I would have passed up this kind of book if it were by nearly any other author, but I grew up with Fox, in a way. I watched Family Ties pretty religiously as a kid and Back To The Future made Fox my boyhood hero. Having read Lucky Man, I find Fox has become a hero to me as an adult as well. It’s not just the story of how gracefully (he might not agree with me there) and effectively he battled Parkinson’s and overcame so many challeng I saw a copy of Lucky Man in a thrift store for a buck. I think I would have passed up this kind of book if it were by nearly any other author, but I grew up with Fox, in a way. I watched Family Ties pretty religiously as a kid and Back To The Future made Fox my boyhood hero. Having read Lucky Man, I find Fox has become a hero to me as an adult as well. It’s not just the story of how gracefully (he might not agree with me there) and effectively he battled Parkinson’s and overcame so many challenges, either. It’s that he seems like a genuinely stand up guy, someone who, while making mistakes here and there, is a good person with a good heart. And the love he has for his family is beautiful and inspiring. I identified with and appreciated the parts where Fox talks about therapy, both his initial reluctance to go and his eventual dedication to it. I also liked reading about how he worked through his troubles and not only admitted to his mistakes but did something about them. That Fox wound up being an advocate and crusader for Parkinson’s research is appropriate and admirable. He’s used his celebrity to bring help to Parkinson’s sufferers all over the world and attention to Parkinson’s, which is one of the too few examples of a celebrity doing so. That Fox isn’t a writer, that his language is sometimes a bit forced, a little stilted, actually serves to make him seem more honest and genuine about what he has to say. Lucky Man is an amazing story, not of simple survival, but of triumph, success and inspiration.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lori Keeton

    This year I’ve decided to pick up more memoirs to read as it is not a genre I read very often. Celebrity memoir would be at the bottom of this category because the few I have indulged in have been less than impressive. However, the opportunity to read Michael J. Fox’s, Lucky Man presented itself and I am so very glad that I did. Fox presents his life in a way that you’d expect any young, aspiring, overconfident actor. I learned much about his early life in Canada and his beginnings in Hollywood This year I’ve decided to pick up more memoirs to read as it is not a genre I read very often. Celebrity memoir would be at the bottom of this category because the few I have indulged in have been less than impressive. However, the opportunity to read Michael J. Fox’s, Lucky Man presented itself and I am so very glad that I did. Fox presents his life in a way that you’d expect any young, aspiring, overconfident actor. I learned much about his early life in Canada and his beginnings in Hollywood before his rocket to fame with Family Ties and Back to the Future made him a household name and every young girl’s dream guy. Sadly, his lifestyle choices early on which were brought on and influenced by his new found fame, lead him into an addiction with alcohol, which was and wasn’t surprising. He takes us through many ups and downs, one of the ups being his marriage to his wife and fellow actress, Tracy Pollan. What an amazing woman she is for standing by him and getting him through so many tough times when he was dealing with his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis. Spending 7 years in secret trying to hide his tremors and live a life that was normal (as if PD didn’t exist), allowed him to realize that he was only hurting his family and himself. Naturally, Fox went through the stages of grief that one goes through when faced with death. To him, his diagnosis was a death sentence to his career. But it was necessary for him to undergo the stages in order to get to the acceptance that he could live his life and be himself just with Parkinson’s. One particularly poignant moment he wrote about was seeing his son, Sam, willingly accept his condition in such a childlike way. Sam didn’t dwell on any of the bad stuff that came with the disease. I’d conditioned myself to relate to the symptoms of the disease strictly as evidence of loss, of facility and freedom being taken away, but Sam’s reaction suggested other possibilities. His curiosity awakened my own. If my condition could provide an opportunity to communicate so honestly and intimately with my son, what else might it bring? What impressed me most about Michael J. Fox was his devotion to his family especially after his acceptance of help and realization that he could still be himself. He could continue to act and do his work he loved as well. He was experiencing much success with his tv sitcom, Spin City in the late 1990’s. It was during this time that Fox decided that it was time to let the world know about his illness. He was frightened about what the implications would be but found that much to his surprise, he was even more accepted and received in the public eye. What this confession did for his life and for the lives of the 1.5 million people (at the time) living with PD allowed them all to have a voice and be free to be accepted in the eyes of the world for their differences. This launched Fox’s advocacy for more federal funding for the research of a cure for PD. He has become the mouthpiece for people suffering with Parkinson’s Disease and considers himself to be a lucky man. There was no question that some people would view the news of my disease as an ending, but I was starting to sense that in a much more profound way, it was really a beginning.

  4. 5 out of 5

    C. (friends, please call me by name)

    I looked forward to fellow Canadian, Michael J. Fox’s memoir. His demeanour in interviews is always astutely off-the-cuff and hilarious, while clearly conveying intelligence. After all, public speaking and body emoting are his job. Old reviews stunned me by declaring low expectation of “a celebrity’s memoir”. If they said “they expected low quality writing from a bus-driver”, it would be a slur. A superb writer publishing his first book, can’t catch a break because of his profession. Many remark I looked forward to fellow Canadian, Michael J. Fox’s memoir. His demeanour in interviews is always astutely off-the-cuff and hilarious, while clearly conveying intelligence. After all, public speaking and body emoting are his job. Old reviews stunned me by declaring low expectation of “a celebrity’s memoir”. If they said “they expected low quality writing from a bus-driver”, it would be a slur. A superb writer publishing his first book, can’t catch a break because of his profession. Many remarked: “celebrities don’t write their books”; now tarnishing expectation with an opposite bias. Michael is simply a person who has become an author. I was dismayed 90% through, that animal-testing was mentioned as if it were okay. Testing is for volunteers; not for inducing disease on frightened critters. Everywhere else, I marvelled at Michael’s mastery. It is amazing, how he harmonizes eloquence and sharp, profound observations with “everyman” casualness. He writes the way he speaks, which is engaging. I was surprised by personal items he divulged and appreciated the staggered trail style, that guides us between his childhood and diagnosis, all the way to Esmé’s birth at publication time! This book would carry anyone away. It remains briskly in motion. This is Michael’s autobiography, thoroughly showing what it is like to have young onset Parkinson’s disease and we are rewarded with the fun stuff too. I cheered for Michael, as I visualised the glee of landing the “Back To The Future” role that means so much to my siblings and I. His revealing explanation of an actor’s career, environment, even their salary, is enthralling. Second to his history with my favourite films, was experiencing a description of his Dad’s videos, through the technical parlance of a professional actor and producer! Gosh, his knowledge is powerful; the way he sets-up those amateur clips.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diane in Australia

    “The ten years since my diagnosis have been the best ten years of my life, and I consider myself a lucky man.” ~ Michael J. Fox This is Michael's first memoir. It was published about 4 years after he announced to the world his diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. By the time he told the world, he had already been dealing with it for 7 years. It is a memoir about Michael, not a book about Parkinson's Disease, but you will learn facts about PD, and the hard choices he had to make as he dealt with it. T “The ten years since my diagnosis have been the best ten years of my life, and I consider myself a lucky man.” ~ Michael J. Fox This is Michael's first memoir. It was published about 4 years after he announced to the world his diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. By the time he told the world, he had already been dealing with it for 7 years. It is a memoir about Michael, not a book about Parkinson's Disease, but you will learn facts about PD, and the hard choices he had to make as he dealt with it. The book covers his childhood, alcoholism, marriage, kids, TV/movie career, and the 10 years he had spent with Parkinson's Disease. He seemed to be very sincere, honest, and totally upfront, about his life. 3 Stars = I liked the book. I'm glad I read it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    Dec 21, 245am ~~ Review sometime after the sun comes up. 10pm ~~ In November I read an article about Michael J. Fox and his new book. I have long admired Fox for his courage and determination in coping with his Early Onset Parkinson's Disease diagnosis. Reading the article reminded me of the years (a long time ago) when the sitcom Family Ties was one of THE shows to watch. The character Fox played was someone I sort of loved to hate, but I never learned much about Fox himself at that time. So the Dec 21, 245am ~~ Review sometime after the sun comes up. 10pm ~~ In November I read an article about Michael J. Fox and his new book. I have long admired Fox for his courage and determination in coping with his Early Onset Parkinson's Disease diagnosis. Reading the article reminded me of the years (a long time ago) when the sitcom Family Ties was one of THE shows to watch. The character Fox played was someone I sort of loved to hate, but I never learned much about Fox himself at that time. So the Guardian article renewed my curiosity and I decided to order the new book. But of course me being me, I thought I would order a couple of Fox's earlier titles as well. So one visit to Amazon and another to Thriftbooks and I sat back to wait for Michael J. Fox to come back into my life. Lucky Man was the 2002 book in which Fox talked about his early life and the eventual discovery that he had an incurable disease. We get to meet him as a very confident toddler and watch over his boyhood years. I had to laugh at one point because he talked about hitting a hockey ball against the wall of a house they had just moved into. I thouhgt wait, hockey ball?! Hockey is played with a puck, dude! Of course I had to investigate and of course Fox wasn't kidding, he played with a hockey ball. Turns out there is a sport known as Ball Hockey, played on an indoor court with sticks and a ball and no skates. Moral of the story is never doubt a Canadian when he talks about hockey. lol Anyway, as we grow up with Michael, he finds his passion for acting and is certain that he will be a success. And of course he was. He went through his phase of brattiness afterwards, and had some rough years with drinking and not truly being a responsible adult. All of this is shared in a matter of fact, nobody's fault but my own kind of way which earned Fox even more of my respect. Of course he had plenty to deal with when he learned about the Parkinson's Disease. He hid it for years, wouldn't really accept the diagnosis, thought he could force his body into working properly again. And he hit rock bottom at a certain point: without the help of his wife and a very good therapist, who knows where he would be now. But he got the help he needed and fought for the acceptance he also needed. And since then he has become a spokesman, bringing Early Onset Parkinson's to the public's attention. Not in a sappy, poor little me way, but with the same dignity and strength that he now faces his life. And of course, with huge doses of humor. The saving grace for all of us who face battles with our bodies each moment of each day. The message here is the same from Fox and his Parkinson's as from me and my Ehlers-Danlos: You are not your condition. You are still you. Face each day with courage and humor, even the rough ones. Don't despair. Just do the best you can each day. Be gentle with yourself when you need to be and tough on your condition when it deserves it. Above all, be happy. Your life will be different, but YOU CAN DO IT.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Audiobook narrated by the author. Michael J Fox was barely thirty years old when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. At the height of his career, and with a young family, he kept that diagnosis a very closely guarded secret. But in 1998, seven years after his diagnosis, he publicly revealed that he had Parkinson’s, retired from his hit television show, Spin City, and began a new career as a spokesperson for research into Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders. This is his memoir in w Audiobook narrated by the author. Michael J Fox was barely thirty years old when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. At the height of his career, and with a young family, he kept that diagnosis a very closely guarded secret. But in 1998, seven years after his diagnosis, he publicly revealed that he had Parkinson’s, retired from his hit television show, Spin City, and began a new career as a spokesperson for research into Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders. This is his memoir in which he explains “The ten years since my diagnosis have been the best ten years of my life, and I consider myself a lucky man.” He is honest and forthright in describing his childhood, early career, missteps, alcohol abuse, successes, and failures. He’s also funny and self-deprecating at times. Fox narrates the audio version of the book himself, which really gives the listener a feeling of hearing his story person-to-person. However, the audio is an abridged version of the book. I had the text available and read it as well as listening to portions of the audio.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amos

    Loved Mr. Fox's life affirming, smile inducing, darkness repelling autobiography! Loved Mr. Fox's life affirming, smile inducing, darkness repelling autobiography!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    Another theme (besides medicine) that is popping up in my recent reading is Canada. I've read more books about Canada, Canadians and stories taking place in Canada. Michael J. Fox's memoir, Lucky Man, falls under both categories: medicine (for his thoughts on living with Parkinson's Disease) and Canada (born in Edmonton, Alberta). Lucky Man also qualifies as one of the best books I've read this year. Fox begins his memoir with his diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson's Disease but the book isn't j Another theme (besides medicine) that is popping up in my recent reading is Canada. I've read more books about Canada, Canadians and stories taking place in Canada. Michael J. Fox's memoir, Lucky Man, falls under both categories: medicine (for his thoughts on living with Parkinson's Disease) and Canada (born in Edmonton, Alberta). Lucky Man also qualifies as one of the best books I've read this year. Fox begins his memoir with his diagnosis of young-onset Parkinson's Disease but the book isn't just about living with PD but about all the ups and downs of his life and who he has grown as a person. He covers his childhood, growing up as a military brat on various bases throughout Canada, his closeness with his grandmother, and his interest in both rock and roll and acting. Of course the meat of the book is Fox's experience with PD (and the main reason why I wanted to read it, having known so many people with the disease). Fox writes with brutal honesty about his denial of the situation, using alcohol to deal with the news, and trying to use his medications to hide the tremors in his hands to keep his career going (while keeping the PD a secret). The book though, is not a sob story or a pity party Fox isn't asking for sympathy. The book seems to have been a form of personal therapy (from reading the Acknowledgements at the back of the book). That people want to read his memoir seems to both humble him and amaze him. If you are interested in the actor, or know some with PD, or both, read Lucky Man.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Peter Koevari

    As a child, I was a huge fan of Michael J Fox... and let's face it, anyone who was a child of the 80's would remember his biggest hits. Back to the future, Family Ties... In all of this, I had absolutely no idea of the struggles and pain that he went through. But this book is not a depressing read, even if your heart will tug at the words written within its pages. No, this is inspirational. In the words of Fox, if he was approached by someone that said the could take him back to before he got Par As a child, I was a huge fan of Michael J Fox... and let's face it, anyone who was a child of the 80's would remember his biggest hits. Back to the future, Family Ties... In all of this, I had absolutely no idea of the struggles and pain that he went through. But this book is not a depressing read, even if your heart will tug at the words written within its pages. No, this is inspirational. In the words of Fox, if he was approached by someone that said the could take him back to before he got Parkinsons and cure him, he would tell them to get lost. I admit, that in many chapters of this book... I formed tears. Michael J Fox, you are an amazing human being! When I think of your story, what you've been through, and what you have had the strength to share with others... I feel like this: The strength, humility, courage, and inspiration in this book are beyond words. Read it, as soon as you can.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Clausen

    Why did I pick up this book? 1) I needed some optimism in my life. 2) I loved Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future and Spin City. The book, like the man, is often charming. There is a lot of wit and humor here. At times, there is also a lot of honesty. But I have the feeling that most of the honesty has been left on the cutting room floor. Such is the downside to an autobiography written by a mainstream actor with an image to protect. The public persona cannot fall away completely to explore tru Why did I pick up this book? 1) I needed some optimism in my life. 2) I loved Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future and Spin City. The book, like the man, is often charming. There is a lot of wit and humor here. At times, there is also a lot of honesty. But I have the feeling that most of the honesty has been left on the cutting room floor. Such is the downside to an autobiography written by a mainstream actor with an image to protect. The public persona cannot fall away completely to explore true pain. And where is the story without the pain? (I have a feeling those moments are only shared with his therapist.) In that way, biographies can sometimes be better than autobiographies. The book, too, has a scattershot focus. At times, the book is weighted towards dealing with his Parkinson's Disease. Sometimes it deals with the idea of "luck" in life. Other times it deals with growing up and maturity. Other times, it gives a taste of the anecdotes of fame. I feel like a lot of this uneven weighting had to do with permission to tell certain stories and the need to preserve relationships. Thus, there is a public relations benefit in not being completely honest and open. (Again, the therapist knows...and could probably write a more honest biography.) That's not to say the book is completely dishonest. There is an attempt to share moments of pain in his life. I have no doubt that factual details are correct...but in order to be 100 percent honest, one has to make oneself 100 percent vulnerable. I never get a sense that Mr. Fox feels comfortable with this...(but he does admit that he is in therapy.) There is also a tendency in the book toward "Mikesplaining". Instead of telling stories with scenes and dialogue and rich detail, there is a tendency for Mr. Fox to try to explain what's happening to him instead of showing us what's happening to him. Perhaps, again, this is his preference toward privacy and caution limiting what he can write and not write. It's no "I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings"...but if you don't mind a little bit of the Lifetimeesque to your approach to life and tragedy, then this book is perfectly fine. But "Great Scott" what about his relationship to Christopher Lloyd? There has been a grevious error in the book. An omission that can only be explained by the existence of time-space paradox. In order to correct this error, I will have to take the Delorian back to 2002, the year this book was published. "Roads...where I'm going...they still use roads..."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lena

    I don't generally read celebrity memoirs, but when I became curious about Parkinson's Disease, Michael J. Fox's Lucky Man was the first book that popped into my head. I picked it up in the hopes that it would give me a better idea what to expect when I visit a dear friend with the disease this summer. Best known for being the star of Family Ties and the Back to the Future movies, Fox was living a life that most people can only dream of when he was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease at I don't generally read celebrity memoirs, but when I became curious about Parkinson's Disease, Michael J. Fox's Lucky Man was the first book that popped into my head. I picked it up in the hopes that it would give me a better idea what to expect when I visit a dear friend with the disease this summer. Best known for being the star of Family Ties and the Back to the Future movies, Fox was living a life that most people can only dream of when he was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's Disease at the age of 30. Though the book begins with the day he awoke, hung over, to find his pinky finger trembling uncontrollably, it quickly jumps back in time to trace the events in Fox's life that lead up to that day. A significant portion of the book is spent detailing Fox's family and childhood, his start in acting, and the years of his explosive success. These sections are interesting in their own right, as Fox writes with insight and humor about this privileged part of his life. His insight is no less sharp as he discusses how he met his diagnosis with aggressive denial and became a full-blown alcoholic before he finally was able to pull himself together and deal with his disease. Though this book is much more about Michael J. Fox than it is about Parkinson's Disease, I did learn enough about it and the challenges PD patients face to better understand my friend's condition. Now an advocate for Parkinson's research, Fox is a truly inspiring optimist. I believe him when he says he wouldn't take any of it back, that his Parkinson's diagnosis forced him to confront himself in a way nothing else could and ultimately resulted in him learning how to live a much more satisfying life despite his disability. This alone makes the book worth reading, even for those who haven't been touched by PD or know who Michael J. Fox is.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leslynn

    Michael J. Fox is an iconic actor from my childhood, and this book totally blew my mind! At first, I could not believe that he had written this himself, but the comedic timing and self deprecation left me in no doubt and turned that thought right on its head. Once I'd gotten over that skepticism I was overwhelmed by the heart-warming, honest and no-bullshit telling of his struggle. He was open about personal tragedy, his relationships, his battle with PD and alcohol in a way that no memoir or au Michael J. Fox is an iconic actor from my childhood, and this book totally blew my mind! At first, I could not believe that he had written this himself, but the comedic timing and self deprecation left me in no doubt and turned that thought right on its head. Once I'd gotten over that skepticism I was overwhelmed by the heart-warming, honest and no-bullshit telling of his struggle. He was open about personal tragedy, his relationships, his battle with PD and alcohol in a way that no memoir or autobiography I'd ever read has been -- and I lapped it up! Give me the real truth, the hard shit without sugar-coating to 'spare my feelings' and I'll know who you really are. The fact that, even while living with such a debilitating disease as PD, he continued with his outstanding work ethic in order to ensure that his family were well-cared-for and that he received the creative joy out of life which every human strives for, was absolutely inspiring. If I wasn't a fan before, I certainly am now. This book is motivating and well worth the time -- Read it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rob Caroti

    I had some trouble getting into this book. I don't particularly like his writing style (Fox wrote it himself), however once I got into the meat of the story I enjoyed the book. He talks about his early life (did you know he was Canadian?), his experience in California as a struggling actor and then all the success that Family Ties and Back to the Future brought. It was pretty moving to hear how much of a mess his personal life had become due to all his professional success and the complete turna I had some trouble getting into this book. I don't particularly like his writing style (Fox wrote it himself), however once I got into the meat of the story I enjoyed the book. He talks about his early life (did you know he was Canadian?), his experience in California as a struggling actor and then all the success that Family Ties and Back to the Future brought. It was pretty moving to hear how much of a mess his personal life had become due to all his professional success and the complete turnaround once he finally acknowledged his disease. This book made me think a lot about my mom's experience with early onset Parkinson's and the symptoms I see when I go home to visit. I never knew that so many Parkinson's patience try to keep it their disease hidden and worry about losing their job or being ridiculed. I think this is a good book for anybody interested in Michael J Fox or the experience of living with Parkinson's. It also may be helpful for anybody trying to turn their life around and re-establish priorities.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Holly Booms Walsh

    While this memoir is indeed the life story of Michael J. Fox, his rise to fame as an actor, and his struggle to accept and deal with Parkinson's Disease, his incredible writing takes it a step further. He elucidates on his relationships and motivations in such a way that I found many parallels to the demons that I battle in my life - which are nothing like Parkinson's Disease. His writing is thoughtful, funny, wry, and humble... all the things I'd have expected of him from his public persona. I While this memoir is indeed the life story of Michael J. Fox, his rise to fame as an actor, and his struggle to accept and deal with Parkinson's Disease, his incredible writing takes it a step further. He elucidates on his relationships and motivations in such a way that I found many parallels to the demons that I battle in my life - which are nothing like Parkinson's Disease. His writing is thoughtful, funny, wry, and humble... all the things I'd have expected of him from his public persona. I loved this memoir.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    I've known about Lucky Man for a long time but only just now finally read it. A dear friend of mine also has Young Adult Onset Parkinson's Disease, and he and his wife, who also have it, figure in the book. They were diagnosed 25 years ago. I have been with them through their journey and have seen and heard about what life with PD can be like. I appreciate the author's honesty about himself and his life, and his descriptions of his symptoms and treatment. He is working hard in so many ways I've known about Lucky Man for a long time but only just now finally read it. A dear friend of mine also has Young Adult Onset Parkinson's Disease, and he and his wife, who also have it, figure in the book. They were diagnosed 25 years ago. I have been with them through their journey and have seen and heard about what life with PD can be like. I appreciate the author's honesty about himself and his life, and his descriptions of his symptoms and treatment. He is working hard in so many ways to find a cure. If you know someone with PD, this is an excellent book to read to understand the human side of the disease.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up this book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find his writing style is much like his acting style: real, personable, and humorous. I've never been interested in the lives of celebrities (for instance, I was unaware of his partying days), and the few celebrity memoirs/books I've read have always left me dissatisfied and usually with a more negative picture of the person behind the characters I like. But Lucky Man had quite the opposite effect on I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up this book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find his writing style is much like his acting style: real, personable, and humorous. I've never been interested in the lives of celebrities (for instance, I was unaware of his partying days), and the few celebrity memoirs/books I've read have always left me dissatisfied and usually with a more negative picture of the person behind the characters I like. But Lucky Man had quite the opposite effect on me. I admire Fox more for the flaws he was willing to own up to and take responsibility for; I appreciate his ability to explain his actions without turning that explanation into an excuse; and I applaud the efforts he and his family have made to enjoy life instead of just live. Many celebrities use their fame to launch successful clothing lines or perfumes, or as an excuse to get away with things average people would never be able to get away with. I'm glad Fox isn’t squandering his celebrity in these ways, and I hope that his wise investment pays off.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nadia's Library

    Wow! Just wow! Honest, vulnerable, open, and completely human. A very sincere portrayal of his life, his trials and his ever constant struggle with it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Holly Kenyon

    What a fantastic book. A very intimate and personal memoir of a brilliant actor and an inspiring man. Michael J. Fox does not hold back, he is brutally honest about himself; from a youthful ego to the ravages of the Parkinson's disease. It is brilliantly written. He is an intelligent and witty writer who takes good care of your emotions as he steers you through the roller-coaster of his life and his own emotions. As well as providing endless laughs, regaling the reader with marvelous anecdotes, What a fantastic book. A very intimate and personal memoir of a brilliant actor and an inspiring man. Michael J. Fox does not hold back, he is brutally honest about himself; from a youthful ego to the ravages of the Parkinson's disease. It is brilliantly written. He is an intelligent and witty writer who takes good care of your emotions as he steers you through the roller-coaster of his life and his own emotions. As well as providing endless laughs, regaling the reader with marvelous anecdotes, it is at times truly heart-breaking. His recounting of the physical difficulties he was left with after the recreating of the Johnny B. Goode scene in BTTF2 due to the symptoms of Parkinson's already taking their unknown toll on his young body. His futile attempts at denial for so long, before the whole-hearted acceptance and the beginning of the most rewarding time of his life, to date. What the book also does is to offer a fascinating look in to film and film-making. There are some hard cold facts about being an actor as well as an insight into the psychological truth of the profession. The insider information in to film shoots and the behind the scenes gossip is really rather eye-opening at times! Even as one who works in the business myself I found these sections compelling reading! Inspiring from the off, though to the very final page.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Fox’s memoir incorporates both his Hollywood fame and experience with the disease that struck him as a young twentysomething: Parkinson’s. He writes gracefully of the denial and turmoil that rocked his world upon receiving the diagnosis, and how ultimately acceptance (“I was still me just me plus Parkinson’s”) has set new, healthier parameters for his life, hence his self-designation as a lucky man. Fox now uses his fame to raise awareness and funding for a Parkinson’s cure, one that many scient Fox’s memoir incorporates both his Hollywood fame and experience with the disease that struck him as a young twentysomething: Parkinson’s. He writes gracefully of the denial and turmoil that rocked his world upon receiving the diagnosis, and how ultimately acceptance (“I was still me just me plus Parkinson’s”) has set new, healthier parameters for his life, hence his self-designation as a lucky man. Fox now uses his fame to raise awareness and funding for a Parkinson’s cure, one that many scientists believe possible with sufficient financing. For someone who acquired so much so easily, Fox has also learned much the hard way. I admire his commitment to education. He obtained a GED well into adulthood, often speaks at convocations, and writes incredibly well. His use of George Bernard Shaw’s quote is apropos: “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kasa Cotugno

    There has always been something intrinsically likable about Michael J. Fox, and this generous autobiography gives some clues to his immense appeal. Charisma doesn't just happen. Part of it arises from the blessing of having such confidence and self assuredness from an early age, from strong family connections, continuing with his wife Tracy and their kids. Family Ties, indeed. From my first exposure of him in a show I wasn't watching on a regular basis, I knew he had IT, whatever that may be. Hi There has always been something intrinsically likable about Michael J. Fox, and this generous autobiography gives some clues to his immense appeal. Charisma doesn't just happen. Part of it arises from the blessing of having such confidence and self assuredness from an early age, from strong family connections, continuing with his wife Tracy and their kids. Family Ties, indeed. From my first exposure of him in a show I wasn't watching on a regular basis, I knew he had IT, whatever that may be. His account of his disease, its genesis and what he has done to bring attention to it, is presented without whining or self pity. His choice to appear in tv shows playing against type (not mentioned here, but stints on The Good Wife and Rescue Me along with a hilarious bit on the Stephen Colbert show), only enhance him in my eyes. I fairly devoured this in almost one sitting. Highly recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    I don't know why, but I expected this book to be funnier and less introspective than it turned out to be. Now that I think about it, a book about one's discovery that they have Parkinson's disease isn't a laughing matter and is most definitely cause for deep reflection. I guess the fact that Michael J. Fox has always played witty, somewhat cynical characters led me to expect that from this book which I know is silly considering he's an ACTOR! At any rate, it was a refreshing look into how a publ I don't know why, but I expected this book to be funnier and less introspective than it turned out to be. Now that I think about it, a book about one's discovery that they have Parkinson's disease isn't a laughing matter and is most definitely cause for deep reflection. I guess the fact that Michael J. Fox has always played witty, somewhat cynical characters led me to expect that from this book which I know is silly considering he's an ACTOR! At any rate, it was a refreshing look into how a public figure handled a very private matter and how a debilitating disease actually led to his finding peace and freedom and fulfillment. Great message... and I like the person he's become due to Parkinson's disease better than who he was before.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Stringer

    This book was fantastic, inspirational, engaging, you name it. I don't know if Michael had a shadow writer or not. If not, then he could certainly have a future as a writer. He knows how to communicate with words. This story, which covers his career both before and after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, was gripping and I would recommend it to anyone, not just those suffering in a similar way to him. The attitude he has developed (I say 'developed' because it's clear he wasn't able to This book was fantastic, inspirational, engaging, you name it. I don't know if Michael had a shadow writer or not. If not, then he could certainly have a future as a writer. He knows how to communicate with words. This story, which covers his career both before and after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, was gripping and I would recommend it to anyone, not just those suffering in a similar way to him. The attitude he has developed (I say 'developed' because it's clear he wasn't able to view it this way at first) towards his illness is inspiring and will make anyone think twice before they settle for misery over optimism.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jillaire

    I listened to the audio book read by Michael J. Fox himself. I've always been a fan and have admired his public advocacy work for Parkinson's, and it was really great to learn the back story of his rise to fame, his diagnosis, and his family life. He understandably wasn't ready to make his disease public right away, and listening to him go through the transformation from hiding it to finally testifying before Congress while off his medication only built my admiration for him. He also benefited f I listened to the audio book read by Michael J. Fox himself. I've always been a fan and have admired his public advocacy work for Parkinson's, and it was really great to learn the back story of his rise to fame, his diagnosis, and his family life. He understandably wasn't ready to make his disease public right away, and listening to him go through the transformation from hiding it to finally testifying before Congress while off his medication only built my admiration for him. He also benefited from a family (grandmother, parents, siblings, and wife) who kept him grounded--mostly. I would recommend this, especially as an audio book. Note: There is a bit of swearing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Funny, honest, engaging, real....if, for some reason, you need yet another reason to love Michael j. Fox listen to this audiobook. He reads it and you really feel like you're just sitting around having a beer with him. Love love love! Funny, honest, engaging, real....if, for some reason, you need yet another reason to love Michael j. Fox listen to this audiobook. He reads it and you really feel like you're just sitting around having a beer with him. Love love love!

  26. 4 out of 5

    James

    Growing up, Michael J. Fox was sort of like my big brother, being a couple of years older than me. If I was a character on FAMILY TIES, I would have been a classmate of Mallory’s. Such was the impact of that show (squeezed in between Cosby and Cheers) that I suspect everyone in my generation felt like part of the family. He was such a nice guy that everyone cheered for him. I think we all hoped for success like his, but speaking for my generation, there is one thought that I know we all share, t Growing up, Michael J. Fox was sort of like my big brother, being a couple of years older than me. If I was a character on FAMILY TIES, I would have been a classmate of Mallory’s. Such was the impact of that show (squeezed in between Cosby and Cheers) that I suspect everyone in my generation felt like part of the family. He was such a nice guy that everyone cheered for him. I think we all hoped for success like his, but speaking for my generation, there is one thought that I know we all share, that at fortysomething---we’re not THAT old yet. And certainly not old enough to have Parkinson’s Disease (PD), In case you didn’t know, this is a disease normally affecting patients in their 60’s. And Michael J. Fox has got it. This disease has been so powerful that it has taken over not only his life, but also his reputation, such that almost everyone knows him today because of his PD advocacy and not his stellar acting career. What I remember of Michael J. Fox was that he was Canadian. I thought he was from Toronto, but he was actually from Chilliwack (a tiny town near Vancouver). He became famous playing the lead character, Alex Keaton, in Family Ties during the 1980’s. While on the show, he made the three phenomenally successful BACK TO THE FUTURE movies, rocketing him to fame. After the TV show folded, he did a couple of moderately successful romantic comedies---THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS, DOC HOLLYWOOD---in the early 90’s, before starring in a string of bombs---THE HARD WAY, BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY, LIFE WITH MIKEY---that seriously dimmed his star. He made it back into the limelight with a supporting role in the fantastic AMERICAN PRESIDENT (with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning), from which he landed another TV role in the mid-90’s with SPIN CITY. Sometime near the end of 1998, he declared that he had PD, and shocked the world into recognizing this illness. After the turn of the millennium, he became too shaky to work in front of a camera, so he continued to work by using his distinctive voice for animated films like STUART LITTLE. This is the rough chronology of this biography, too. Still, until reading this book, little did I realize that Michael was like a clown, happy on the outside but sad on the inside. By the time he made his early onset PD public in 1998, he had been struggling with the disease for 7 years. This was through a period where his career almost crashed, where he was resurrected into a TV show, and had 3 kids. Also during this time, the father he looked up to died, he struggled with a drinking problem, he denied his PD because he could still control it through medication, and his marriage almost fell apart because he was in so much denial. Fox holds nothing back in this book. From his feelings about the disease, his wife Tracy Polland (the love of his life), his GED, his fans (we’re in here, and you’re out there, and frankly, we like it that way), and show business. He wrote the book without a ghost writer, and the honesty and candor is very moving. He directs the book, not exactly chronologically, through his early career, his successes, his failures, his denial, his therapies (alcohol, psychological, and medical), and his treatments (including a funny brain surgery scene). He uses flashbacks to both start new sections (such as, by his own admission, a predilection to make life changing decisions whilst on a beach) like where he decides to quit Spin City, then he carries on with his life story with feelings, the disease, its effect on him, his fears, his tricks to hide the disease, and the way people around him react and the way he wants them to react. Then there is another flashback, or another flashback during the flashback. This technique works really well because it tends to put the same subject on the same page, instead of in a strict chronology where a reader has to keep flipping back and forth. Throughout the book, his comedic timing is spot on, and the occasionally gallows humor is so funny that I laughed out loud. In telling his story, two things are immediately apparent. Fox did not earn his success just by his good looks. Here is a first rate creative talent. The flashback/cut in technique has been tried in other contemporary biographies, but few have managed to do it Fox’s charm and humor. At the first Spin City live show after his PD announcement, he went into the audience and someone asked how he was feeling. “Better than I look,” he responded. Then waiting just a moment, he continued. “And I don’t know about you, but I think I look pretty darn cute!” But more profoundly, and here the book really touched me, he shared how PD forced him to let go of his own life. Like many comedians, his control of the audience and their laughter was a drug. And he tried to use the same technique of controlling reactions when he found out about PD. His own insecurities made him afraid of their reactions. He was afraid that Tracy would leave him, that his son would be afraid for him, that his producers would fire him, that his audience would no longer laugh at him. His goal in life was to be free, and the more he tried to control others, the less free he became. What he found out was that the more he let go, and the less control he tried to apply to others, the more they responded to him, and the more they showed the better sides of their natures to him. And the more he let go, the freer he became. I was touched when he admitted that he could not deal with the illness by himself and started to seek Psychological help---and he describes, without any puffing, how that help balanced him out. His LUCKY GUY tag comes from this opening up, which Fox believes would not have been possible if it was not forced upon him by PD. He even talks about the lawsuit in the mid 90’s, when at the nadir of his career, some gold diggers tried to sue him because they found defects in a house that they bought from him. He described the agony of sitting through the trial (which he ultimately won) while trying to hide his disease from everyone. PD, or the Shaking Palsy, is the same disease that also afflicts Mohammed Ali and Janet Reno. The book talks a lot about PD, including its definition, diagnosis, prognosis, and ongoing research. Not really knowing anyone with the disease, I still learned a lot. Now, whenever my left hand trembles (one of the first symptoms), I wonder if I, too, am so afflicted. I was inspired by his maturity in dealing with the illness---like when he settled an argument between Barbara Walters and Tracy during the TV interview where he went public with PD. I also shed a tear (hey, I’m a modern guy) when he first told Tracy and she held him crying repeating “Through sickness and health…” over and over again. But the book also satisfies my inner gossip. It is generously studded with juicy factoids. Did you know, for example, that when Fox negotiated for his Alex Keaton role that he was such a starving actor that he couldn’t afford to have Pioneer Chicken because he needed the money for the bus fare. Or that Tracy Pollard only appeared in 7 episodes of Family Ties? Or that during a showing of Back to the Future, he sat next to Princess Diana, and couldn’t enjoy the movie because he needed to pee so badly? Or that, as a child, he owned a white mouse---which he later did the voice for in Stuart Little. Or, more seriously, the difference between Dopamine and L-Dopamine. The book is filled with these anecdotes to make it easier to get through the heavy demons and illness stuff. I am reviewing the audiobook, read by Michael himself. This is a smashing performance, and since he is talking about his own life, we can definitely hear the love in his voice when he talks about Tracy and his son Sam. There is a catch when he describes a scene where he gets Sam to help him stop his fingers from shaking. But the PD is there. There is a definite shaky undertone to his voice at many points during the performance. One of the symptoms of the illness is that it eventually takes speech away, too. So I just hope that this doesn’t happen too soon with Fox. In the end, I hope he is right, and that PD will be cured by the end of this decade (he tells the Executive Director of his research foundation that she should consider herself fired if she finds herself organizing a tenth anniversary dinner). If, as he believes, comedy is just tragedy plus time. Then I wish a happy ending (a comedy) upon him. I wish there was some way that I could give him more time. Because such an enlightened guy, such a lucky guy, deserves a sequel. A sequel where, in his own words, he gets to dance at his children’s wedding.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Listened to the audio book of this which is narrated by the author and I enjoyed hearing it in his voice. I found the second half much more interesting and engaging than the first and actually would have liked to hear more about his life post Parkinson’s diagnosis. I’ll always be a fan and I suspect that’s why I awarded as many as 3 stars to this book! I’m tempted to read his other later offerings now though.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clarence Reed

    ReedIII Quick Review: Insightful personal story-style narration of Michael J. Fox's journey. Great for anyone interested in his journey especially related to his Parkinson Disease. ReedIII Quick Review: Insightful personal story-style narration of Michael J. Fox's journey. Great for anyone interested in his journey especially related to his Parkinson Disease.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Coleen

    Honestly, who doesn't like Michael J. Fox? Growing up in the 80's, I'll admit to having had a Hollywood crush on him as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties, and then being further infatuated watching him as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy. I know I wasn't alone, and I'm fairly certain I had a few magazine posters taped up on my wall as well. My infatuation faded as I grew older and I never did watch Spin City when he returned to television, but I know I shared America's sadness when he r Honestly, who doesn't like Michael J. Fox? Growing up in the 80's, I'll admit to having had a Hollywood crush on him as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties, and then being further infatuated watching him as Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy. I know I wasn't alone, and I'm fairly certain I had a few magazine posters taped up on my wall as well. My infatuation faded as I grew older and I never did watch Spin City when he returned to television, but I know I shared America's sadness when he revealed in 1998 that he had been battling early onset Parkinson's disease for the past seven years. In this, his first memoir, he details some of his growing up years, his breakout into acting and Hollywood, his marriage & family life, and eventually his Parkinson's diagnosis, as well as his emerging role as a spokesperson and voice for those attempting to increase research funding for the disease. It's a down-to-earth story and while it's probably not quite the best memoir I've read (this possibly being due to the fact that I listened to an abridged audio version), it's still quite good and definitely worth the read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    He's very personable, humble, funny, honest, and informative. A very readable and interesting memoir. Would have enjoyed it even if hadn't known of him via his celebrity. He's very personable, humble, funny, honest, and informative. A very readable and interesting memoir. Would have enjoyed it even if hadn't known of him via his celebrity.

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