Adeptly navigating between elegy and celebration, fear and determination, confusion and clarity, DeBaggio delivers an exquisitely moving and inspiring book that will resonate with all those who have grappled with their own or their loved ones' memory loss and with death.With his first memoir, Losing My Mind, Thomas DeBaggio stunned readers by laying bare his faltering mindAdeptly navigating between elegy and celebration, fear and determination, confusion and clarity, DeBaggio delivers an exquisitely moving and inspiring book that will resonate with all those who have grappled with their own or their loved ones' memory loss and with death.With his first memoir, Losing My Mind, Thomas DeBaggio stunned readers by laying bare his faltering mind in a haunting and beautiful meditation on the centrality of memory to human life, and on his loss of it to early-onset Alzheimer's disease. In this second extraordinary narrative, he confronts the ultimate loss: that of life. And as only DeBaggio could, he treats death as something to honor, to marvel at, to learn from.Charting the progression of his disease with breathtaking honesty, DeBaggio deftly describes the frustration, grief, and terror of grappling with his deteriorating intellectual faculties. Even more affecting, the prose itself masterfully represents the mental vicissitudes of his disease—DeBaggio's fragments of memory, observation, and rumination surface and subside in the reader's experience much as they might in his own mind. His frank, lilting voice and abundant sense of wonder bind these fragments into a fluid and poetic portrait of life and loss.Over the course of the book, DeBaggio revisits many of the people, places, and events of his life, both in his memory and in fact. In a sense, he is saying goodbye, paying his respects to the world as it recedes from him—and it is a poignant irony that even as this happens, he is at the height of his remarkable descriptive powers. In his moments of clarity, his love for life's details only grows deeper and richer: the limestone creek where he has fished for years; his satisfying and lonely herb farming days; the goldfish pond his son designed and built in his backyard in honor of DeBaggio's passion for "any hole in the ground with some liquid in it"; the thirty years in his beloved home in Arlington, Virginia; his early career as a muckraker; the innumerable precious moments spent with his wife and son; his belated grief over his parents' deaths....
|Title||:||When It Gets Dark: An Enlightened Reflection on Life with Alzheimer's|
|Number of Pages||:||240 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
When It Gets Dark: An Enlightened Reflection on Life with Alzheimer's Reviews
This Is Mr. DeBaggios second book about his descent into the darkness that is alzheimers disease. Both books are raw, honest tellings of(his)trying to push back at the effects of the disease and embrace a life, a mind, that he does not want to lose.
Thomas DeBaggio was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 1997; he was 57. He died in 2011. He wrote two books talking about his condition, Losing my Mind, published in 2002 and When it gets Dark published a year later. I read the two books in the order in which they were written and because of this I find myself biased in favour of the first book but mainly because I read it first. The books cover the same ground. Both are in fact autobiographies but not of anyone especially famous—unless you’re into herbs, then DeBaggio’s name is well known—but of an ordinary, decent bloke who just happened to get some bad news from his doctor one day.DeBaggio’s life is actually quite interesting—he grew up in interesting times—and as such listening to him talk about his life and his deaf cat isn’t unpleasant although having no interest in gardening whatsoever the long passages talking about dirt didn’t do much for me. Where his first book is “better” than this one is in its structure. In When it gets Dark he utilises a chronological structure and so he doesn’t really get into the affect Alzheimer’s has on his life until about a hundred and fifty pages in which is fine unless you’ve read the first book and keep remembering bits and bobs. The first book doesn’t follow a chronological structure and so it takes one longer to get to know the guy behind the words but it also presents—this was his intention—a more realistic impression of what a life with Alzheimer’s is like, at least in the early stages. It’s a harder read but a better one.In both books he inserts his day-to-day thoughts into the flow of the text, little aphoristic statements, observations, poetical notes. What comes clear quite quickly is that the language with which he has to communicate his losses is rather clichéd: fading, crumbling, slipping. This is not his fault. Go to any funeral and you’ll see the same happen. People don’t know what to say and so they fall back on well-worn expressions: I’m sorry for your loss, He was a good man, He’s in a better place now. That said DeBaggio does his damndest to present a brutally honest picture of his mental state despite the fact his text has had all the typos fixed and that does mask the effort that must’ve gone into this work; an appendix with an uncorrected page would’ve been appropriate. Although written later than the first book this second one doesn’t reveal a great deal more; he hasn’t moved on that far. I would recommend buying Losing my Mind rather than this one and certainly not both.
i have no idea how to rate this book. i didn't like it, but not because it didn't have some wonderful language in it, and i get that the free-flowing style reflects the author's struggle with his disease. as a reader, it sometimes did give me a sense, perhaps, of what it might be like to have the disease, by not knowing what or whom he is talking about. the last few pages, where he describes more about what it feels like to have alzheimer's, especially what it's like to have it when one is in a group of people, was interesting. the author has a beautiful way with words. i don't think i have a better idea of what it is like to live with alzheimer's than i did before, though.
Interesting to read something written by someone who actually has the disease. Well written despite his decline over the course of the book.