Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Review: “It’s Not Yet Dark”*

“I was once invisible.  I moved among you, invisible in my disguise. Now I am difference made manifest” (p. 2).

It’s not often that you start a book and finish it the same weekend.  It’s also not often that you find a book that makes you laugh, cry, think, question, and wonder, all at the same time. 

Once I started reading “It’s Not Yet Dark,” I couldn’t put it down.  I didn’t want it to end, even though we all know what the ultimate end to the story will be.   

In 2008, Simon Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS).  He was given three to four years to live.  That was nine years ago.  In that time, he has lost the ability to use his arms and legs.  He can no longer breathe on his own and relies on mechanical ventilation – a lifesaving technology that he almost wasn’t allowed to have because of his diagnosis. 

But he has also gone from having two children to having five.  He has continued his career as a film director.  And he has written this book.   

Simon Fitzmaurice wrote “It’s Not Yet Dark” by using eye-gaze technology.  I can’t even imagine the time and effort that went into it, but the result is truly amazing.  It’s written from the heart.  It’s a labor of love. 

It’s a feat.  Because the book is rich, lyrical, honest, and poignant.  The author faces his mortality head on because it is his reality.  And it really is all our reality, but for some it is more real than for others.

It is clear that while the author’s body has broken down, his mind has gotten sharper.  I can’t explain it, but the way the story is pieced together, it’s impossible to put it down.  It’s written with an honesty and a clarity that many people never develop. 

But the feeling I got from the book, my evaluation of it, isn’t coming from the fact that the author is fighting an incurable, degenerative disease.  It’s because the writing is that good.  It is one of the best books I have read in a long time. 

“It’s Not Yet Dark” will be available for purchase on August 1, 2017.  It can be purchased on Amazon

There is also a documentary of the same name, which you can learn more about by visiting: https://www.itsnotyetdark.com/.  I really hope that I get a chance to see the film.   

This review isn’t doing this book justice because I just can’t say enough about it, and my best advice is for you to go ahead and read it yourself.      

Do me a favor.  Do yourself a favor.  Even if you have only the time in one weekend, read this book.   

“But that was before.  This is after.  Never before had I felt that split, but now a fault line has opened between our past and our present, and there is no going back.  ” (p. 2).

* I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  However, the review presented here is solely based on my personal opinion of the book. 

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