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The Villains Who Snapped My Spine

The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir by A. H. Nazzareno recounts the experience of the health crisis that the author suffered, which culminated in 2021. The book begins when he is admitted to the Boston hospital for surgery in June. As he prepares to undergo the operation, he wonders how long he has left to live. The following chapters switch back and forth from his time in the hospital to descriptions of several previous events the author refers to as “villains.” Showing these snapshots of various points in the author’s life over the preceding ten years provides insight into the past to help the reader understand what contributed to bringing him to this current point in his life.

The author of this memoir has a unique and interesting writing style filled with unexpected and often amusing descriptions and metaphors that I enjoyed reading. I liked that he avoided using typical cliches and found original ways to describe events and express his feelings throughout his experience dealing with what he eventually learns is a rare medical condition. The introduction to the book provided hints about the significant event that affected the author’s life, and these hints had me interested in continuing to read to find out exactly what happened. I liked the hopeful tone at the end of the book, especially given the author’s uncertain prognosis.

There were sections of the book that were a little hard to follow for me because the narrative did not always progress in chronological order and jumped forward or backward on the timeline in several places or went off on seemly insignificant tangents. I would have liked a little more clarification at the very beginning of the book, when the author was being admitted to the hospital in Chapter One, as to the details of the surgery he was about to undergo to better understand why he had such a grim view of the outcome. Without this information, I found my focus pulled away from what was happening in the present to wonder about the things that had not been fully explained. It wasn’t until later chapters, after the author went back to describe some of the previous events in the past, that the reader finally learns what had led up to that moment.

The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir is a personal account of rare nervous system diseases and what life is like living with this condition. The author is candid, and readers will get to know him and develop an understanding of the life-changing impact this has had on him and others with similar conditions.

Pages: 191 | ASIN : B09ZF1GJTD

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