Monday, November 21, 2022

Review: No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox

Genre: Biography/Memoir
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Released: Nov. 17, 2020
231 pages
About the Book:

A moving account of resilience, hope, fear and mortality, and how these things resonate in our lives, by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox.

The entire world knows Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the teenage sidekick of Doc Brown in Back to the Future; as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties; as Mike Flaherty in Spin City; and through numerous other movie roles and guest appearances on shows such as The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Diagnosed at age 29, Michael is equally engaged in Parkinson’s advocacy work, raising global awareness of the disease and helping find a cure through The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the world’s leading non-profit funder of PD science. His two previous bestselling memoirs, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up, dealt with how he came to terms with the illness, all the while exhibiting his iconic optimism. His new memoir reassesses this outlook, as events in the past decade presented additional challenges.

In No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Thoughtful and moving, but with Fox’s trademark sense of humor, his book provides a vehicle for reflection about our lives, our loves, and our losses.

Running through the narrative is the drama of the medical madness Fox recently experienced, that included his daily negotiations with the Parkinson’s disease he’s had since 1991, and a spinal cord issue that necessitated immediate surgery. His challenge to learn how to walk again, only to suffer a devastating fall, nearly caused him to ditch his trademark optimism and “get out of the lemonade business altogether.”

My Rating & Thoughts:    

First off I want into this book only knowing the basics of Michael J. Fox. I knew he was a very popular actor when he was younger and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a young age and has been living with it for almost 30 years. However as I did not grow up watching the shows he is most known for, most I have never seen, I didn’t have much of connection with him. I was loaned this book to read by a friend who really enjoyed it, but for it fell flat. I struggled with this one.   

The book focus on just a 2-year period of his life, he has back surgery to have a tumor removed and then falls shortly after and breaks his arm. He details his recovery process through both surgeries and how he felt during this time. The subtitle of the book says, ‘An optimist consider mortality’ but I didn’t feel like this I was reading from an optimist’s point of view, he came across as frustrated and depressed rather than optimistic. I was taken a back by the amount of curse words used throughout the book, even if you speak this way in everyday life I don’t feel there is a need to write this way. Parts did not seem to flow naturally and felt disjointed, there were times anecdotes were shared that I didn’t understand why they were added here. Overall, this book did provide an idea of what it is like to live with a movement disorder and having to think and plan through every physical motion and yet still experience a disconnect that leads to spasms and falls. This helped me understand why he came across as frustrated throughout the book. 

Favourite Quote: 
“Good things can come from bad things.”

(I borrowed a copy of this book from a friend; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

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