2017-05-12 10:52 pm Updated by Admin

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The Finch in My Brain: How I forgot how to read but found how to live



By: Martino Sclavi(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Science & Nature

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (17 May 2018)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: The Finch in My Brain: How I forgot how to read but found how to live

'Whenever I see Martino I am reminded of how little I know about life and death compared to him. How we don't know what is within us or what may lie on the other side. I hope it's as magical and beautiful as this book.' --Russell Brand

When film producer Martino Sclavi began experiencing intense headaches, he attributed them to his frenetic lifestyle. As it turned out, he had grade 4 brain cancer and was given 18 months to live. After undergoing brain surgery - while awake - Martino found he had lost the ability to recognise words.

His response was to close his eyes and begin to move his fingers across the keyboard to write this, an account of life before diagnosis and since. Defying all predictions Martino is still very much alive, words read out to him by the monotone of a computerised voice he calls Alex. But he must now live in a new way.

This book - that he has written but cannot read - charts the effects of his experience: on his relationship with his young son, his marriage, his work and with himself. In the wake of his illness, everything must be reconfigured and Martino is made to question the habits, dreams and beliefs of his old life and confront the present. What he finds is strange and beautiful.

Searching for the words between life and death, Sclavi shows that with determination and a subtle, persistent sense of humour, it is possible to change the story of our lives.

'The Finch in my Brain is a memoir of startling originality, entirely devoid of self-pity. It's a love story, a meditation on mortality and a humorous rumination about adventures in the film world' (Penny Woolcock) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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  • By Moth on 18 August 2017

    I loved this book, from cover to end, which wonderfully isn’t a real end. The man still lives.That’s not really a spoiler, because the book is only in a small part about cancer. Sclavi catches the surreality of his world being totally spun on its head. Sclavi’s story is joyous, philosophical, multi-leveled and very very funny. His ego plays no small role in it. It made me think about so many things I wasn’t really aware of - how being able to read shapes our lives, and how we place hierarchies on certain types of intelligence. Martino in no way becomes stupid by having a huge chunk of brain removed and losing access to his first language, words. I have often thought that words aren’t our best form of communication, despite being our most depended upon and Sclavi proves this, by living brilliantly without the ability to recognise them or remember them.It is a peculiar book, I repeatedly forgot it was written by a man who can’t read or remember words, until he lets what he has forgotten, be forgotten and the story hiccups, or Sclavi has a little chat with his computer, which he relied on heavily to make the book, and we find the high-tech helper was often as ridiculously useless as obliging.The sad note to the story is his wife, who’s voice reminds us that underneath all this there are certain types of suffering that are harder to heal still.

  • By alvise on 29 July 2017

    Clever, touching, deep and funny.It made me laugh, cry and think about many aspects of life.P.s. I wouldn't be surprised to see a movie adaptation of this book soon.

  • By Ms. Emma Bassett on 31 August 2017

    An inspiring tale of the ups and downs of living with a brain tumour.

  • By susan george on 28 July 2017

    A picaresque novel about disability that is so life-affirming that even as the author writes about how he cannot read what he has written because of a huge hole in his brain, you just marvel at his adventures and determination to survive. Sclavi, an independent film producer and screen script writer makes you cinematically visualize his adventures from his opting out of the reading of a nearly finished script for Russell Brand to his arrival at the Emergency Ward in an L.A. hospital, then to an exclusive research center in Bethesda and finally to a hospital in the centre of Rome - each with different approaches to the medical problem and different philosophies of inclusive vs exclusive care. Sclavi illuminates the dramatic medical problem with light wit, while forcing himself (and the reader) to re-think priorities. The people you meet in the book are not only his family but also the local neighborhoods where he shops and learns to re-orientate himself. En passant he notes that few people (especially the doctors) rarely consider his own contribution to his wellbeing - the meditation, diet and non-smoking.

  • By Hugh A on 14 July 2017

    Martino approaches his brain tumour diagnosis with curiosity, humanity, anger and humour in this profound book. Exotic locations combine with precise detail as he tells of the ongoing trauma and uncertainty he faces. His intellectual approach is balanced by his emotions as a husband and father and so I found the book to be both challenging and emotionally engaging. I have no hesitation in recommending this book and indeed would urge anyone with an interest in fighting the tyrant that is cancer and taking back control in the face of adversity to read "The Finch in my Brain."

  • By Ms. S. Ainslie on 8 July 2017

    I really loved this book, I was completely captivated by Martino's story and loved the magical language that created an incredible visual way of telling us his story that moved back and forth in time. A very unique, poignant and yet also with humour a story told about resilience and humanity.

  • By gerardo de luzenberger on 3 July 2017

    I have just finished to read this book. An incredible and authentic story, a great lesson of "presence", ability to live the "here and now" with humour, simplicity and elegance. A story of passion, love, resilience. A book that has deeply moved me. A great lesson of life!!!

  • By Eleanor on 6 July 2017

    Martino's book is not only an incredible story, but written with by a mind that can't recognise words. It is brilliantly structured, eloquently written (in his second language no less) and tells the tale of illness, recovery, travel, relationships, fatherhood and living with a hole in your brain. Truly inspiring and totally gripping. Hilarious and heartbreaking. A must read!

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