Monday, October 06, 2008


Author:  James Patterson & Hal Friedman
Genre:  Non-Fiction
Published:  2008
Personal Rating:  4.25/5
Yearly Count:  131

From the inside cover:

One morning when he was almost five years old, Cory Friedman woke up with the uncontrollable urge to shake his head.  From that day forward his life became an agony of irrepressible tics and involuntary utterances.  Cory embarked on a thirteen-year odyssey of medication upon medication, treatment upon treatment-a constantly changing regimen that left him and his family feeling like guinea pigs in an out-of-control experiment.  It soon became unclear which tics were symptoms of his condition and which were side effects of the countless combinations of drugs.  The only certainty was that it kept getting worse.  Simply put:  Cory Friedman's life was a living hell.

Subjected to debilitating treatments and continuous ridicule, Cory became devastatingly aware of how he appeared to others.  With the love of his family and the support of a few steadfast teachers and medical professionals, he fought for his very life, and you will cheer his amazing successes.

Against Medical Advice is the true story of Cory's battle for survival in the face of extraordinary difficulties and a sometimes maddening medical establishment.  Written by James Patterson and Cory's father, Hal, with the relentless pace of a Patterson thriller, this is a heartrending story of one family's courage, determination, and ultimate triumph.

James Patterson's first non-fiction novel reads like a thriller. The short chapters, continuous action, and cliff-hangers start at the beginning and end at the conclusion. I was totally engrossed and fascinated by Cory's entire story.

Living with this medical condition gave Cory personal insight into the depths of despair that this debilitating condition can produce.  He shared, firsthand, the trials and tribulations that he encountered on a daily basis.  His goal was to give comfort and hope to those that are in similar situations.  Those of us that do not suffer from this medical condition can gather valuable knowledge, develop understanding, and show compassion towards those that do.

Against Medical Advice will be released on October 20, 2008.

Thank you, Miriam, from Hachette Book Group USA for sending me a copy.


  1. Joy,

    This sounds very interesting! It sounds like Tourette's syndrome. Do they disclose what the actual medical condition is?

  2. SO good to hear you liked this one. I saw something about it the other day and thought it looked quite intriguing, but even though I enjoy James Patterson's books I was concerned that his treatment of this wouldn't work. Glad to hear it did. Now I can put it on the TBR list.

  3. I've seen this book advertised on his website. It does sound quite good-definitely worth a read I would say. Great review Joy!

  4. Sounds like my kind of non-fiction! I love short chapter authors. :) Can you believe I've never read anything by Patterson? I have a few of his books on the shelf, but they are waaaaayyyyy in the back.

  5. Redlady ~ Yes, they do disclose the medical condition. The book was very interesting, especially hearing it from Cody's perspective.

    Suzi ~ His style did work - that's what really drove me to plow through it. FYI - About an hour after I posted this, I reconsidered my rating. That does happen on occasion and sometimes I change them. I would not rate it lower than a 4, but I don't think it quite deserves a 4.5. I still may change it.

    Dar ~ Yes, it's absolutely worth the read if you like children and true medical mysteries.

    Trish ~ Yes, I can believe it. I've only read a couple. :) I also love short chapters. I can't believe how much more I can get through in one sitting versus long chapters. It's such a mental game!

  6. Poor kid! And his poor family too. I can't even imagine having to go through that with a child.

  7. I wasn't sure what to think when I first heard James Patterson had written a non-fiction book. I love his style, and I love medical stories, but I just wasn't sure if they were going to work together. So glad to hear you think he pulled it off! I'm definitely going to be picking this one up!

  8. Oh, that sounds like a book I need to read. I have an in-law who went through that whole rigamarole of medical testing and a million different treatments. They even sent him to a psychiatrist, just to make sure it wasn't all in his head. Unfortunately, they never did figure out what was wrong and he still lives with it. Thanks for the review! I'll look for this one!

  9. Ladytink ~ It was mentally exhausting for all of them, but obviously Cory suffered the most.

    Debi ~ Cory is the narrator so it takes Patterson's voice out it. I became glued to it for a while.

    Bookfool ~ It's painful to watch someone suffer, especially loved ones. I hope your in-law has had some relief from whatever he suffers from.

  10. Anonymous9:31 AM

    Did you see the ad in today's NY Times? We're both quoted in an ad for this book.

  11. Bermudaonion ~ Yes, I was informed that it was coming out, but there was a typo in my addy, so I don't have the corrected version yet. I'll post it when I get it. Congrats to you! :)


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