The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. This is a memoir with a difference: seventeen encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal to us a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. Having the first chapter be so terrifyingly horrific sets you up for failure as the following chapters fell short of such an impressive opening. Maggie O'Farrell is a miracle in every sense. Her neurological damage from the early brain infection leaves her with a poor proprioceptive sense, which sometimes contributes to enhanced risks but often makes her more wary and proactive in sussing out dangers.
The realisation of our own mortality and the fact that there are no limits despite the moments when contradictions hit us like an earthquake. I read to the end because it was a book club book but was rolling my eyes after the 4th near death experience. It is a book to make you question yourself. Some stories will break your heart, some will make you question her choices, and a couple others will absolutely give you the creeps. They will take up residence inside you and become part of who you are, like a heart stent or a pin that holds together a broken bone.
Longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2018 I Am, I Am, I Am is Sunday Times bestseller and Costa Novel-Award winner Maggie O'Farrell's electric and shocking memoir of the near death experiences that have punctuated her life. I was a little worried to begin with that this book would be morbid and difficult reading but O' Farrell manages to keep it upbeat and while there were times my heart strings were tugged and I felt tears prickling, there were other times I smiled and felt uplifted and this is due to the author's exquisite prose. Shocking, electric, unforgettable, this is the extraordinary memoir from Costa Novel-Award winner and Sunday Times bestselling author Maggie O'Farrell. They took me down memory lane, where I plucked my close calls out for closer examination. Infertility is also discussed briefly throughout after this chapter, but not enough to warrant a trigger warning in my opinion. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots.
The way my brain is wired, your sentences are electricity: both jumpy sparks and smooth rivers of fire. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. They are not rare; everyone, I would venture, has had them, at one time or another, perhaps without even realising it. It made me think about how a mere second can make a difference between life and death. How else could she pull this off? She's such a great writer. The things she shares, private moments, secrets she had held close, but now share. The first chapter was to effective to grip you in the book.
It was about her many near death experiences. She has a style of pulling you in the book, move you with all the emotions she put in there. I often found myself reflecting on the vulnerability of human life. Unlike most memoirs, it doesn't have a linear trajectory but that didn't inhibit my reading experience, if anything, it enhanced my enjoyment. Life is meant to be lived, despite the odds and the setbacks. I imagine that sometimes we may not even be aware of all of them. Overall, I did enjoy this read and will probably be quoting the first chapter of this book all year because damn that has to be the best opening chapter to a book I have read in a long time.
This is a mesmerising read. A different take for sure as she recounts the near death experiences she has encountered in her life. Also, one final comment: I love, love, love the cover. Your several scary hospital stories are super sad, and I feel for you because I know one of them will be with you forever. I will never forget this book.
I am glad I finally picked it up this weekend. Hoping others see beyond the surface to the wonder her daughter is, so poignantly told. And then it hit me—as I was reading, I knew that you would survive in the end. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. The tone is hopeful, and invites us instead to focus on the joy and adventure of this life we have been given. Her latest book is totally different as it's a memoir that is quirky, interesting, honest, revealing and vivid.
And what would you stand to lose? It would have been a long lunch, for sure! I found the use of near misses to be an interesting way for the author to describe her life story as she certainly has had a stroke of bad luck, or as the author would prefer to put it unbelievably good luck since clearly she survived all these possible attempts on her life. Longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2018 I Am, I Am, I Am is Sunday Times bestseller and Costa Novel-Award winner Maggie O'Farrell's electric and shocking memoir of the near death experiences that have punctuated her life. And what would you stand to lose? Matchy-matchy: My head, your language. No more courses, no more curricula, no more exams for me. However, appearances are deceiving, and the seemingly enjoyable chapter sunk deep into heart as I realized how heavy a subject it really was! The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive.