Friday, June 1, 2007

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

Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See
By Robert Kurson
Random House Publishing Group
Reviewed by Heather F.

As I walked down the hall the other day at work, I abruptly decided to see if I could make it back to my office with my eyes closed – to walk as if I was blind. I would call upon my other senses; touch and hearing in particular, to help me maneuver down the hall without hitting something. Luckily no one was in the hall, as it was quite embarrassing when I promptly ran into the wall. Walking blind was not as easy as I thought it would be. I could not tell where sounds were coming from. Touching the wall worked great - until I ran out of wall. And my brain fought with me, the fear of walking into doors, people or walls made it hard work to keep my eyes shut.
Why did I decide to try this strange experiment? I recently read Robert Kurson’s latest book Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See. I previously read Kurson’s excellent book Shadow Divers and knew as soon as he had a new book out that I would have to read it. I expected a lot, as Shadow Divers remains one of my favorite non-fiction reads and was a thrilling ride of a book – and I was not disappointed.
Crashing Through tells the story of Mike May; downhill skier, former CIA agent, entrepreneur, inventor, family man, and blind, since the age of three. Blessed with a mother who would not take no for an answer, May was never allowed to let his blindness be a handicap. He never let it slow him down and never let it hold him back – he rides motorcycles, drives cars, and travels by himself. He even holds records in downhill skiing. So, when he discovered there was a revolutionary new way for select blind people to regain their sight, and that he was an excellent candidate for the surgery, he did not let any of his misgivings – and there were many – to hold him back.

Robert Kurson has written a moving and inspirational story about one man’s extraordinary determination to be true to himself. This remarkable journey filled with suspense, romance, and courage, plus insight into the human brain, is a must read for any who have struggled with the desire to make something more of themselves.

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