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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 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.”


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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 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.”

30 review for No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    “With gratitude, optimism becomes sustainable.” Michael J Fox is the personification of The Giving Tree. Life just keeps taking . . . and taking . . . and taking from him, and all he does is GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! And, through it all, he stays positive! If anyone has the right to be ticked off about life and the hand they have been dealt, it is Fox. But he doesn’t complain. He meets every challenge with compassion and humor. He is truly amazing. If you feel like life has given you a raw deal, I think h “With gratitude, optimism becomes sustainable.” Michael J Fox is the personification of The Giving Tree. Life just keeps taking . . . and taking . . . and taking from him, and all he does is GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! And, through it all, he stays positive! If anyone has the right to be ticked off about life and the hand they have been dealt, it is Fox. But he doesn’t complain. He meets every challenge with compassion and humor. He is truly amazing. If you feel like life has given you a raw deal, I think hearing this story will help put everything into perspective. I admit that I tend to be a glass half empty type guy with lots of anxiety and crying over spilt milk. In the future, when I am facing adversity and want to lose my mind with frustration and anger, I am going to keep Fox’s story in mind to re-center myself. The format is several larger stories bookended by some mini anecdotes from throughout his life. It is interesting to hear tales from a young Alex P. Keaton all the way up to very physically sick man approaching his 60s. But I can still hear the boyish charm in his voice as he contemplates mortality, the passing of time, and how every day is a challenge. I was wondering if this would be a book only appreciated by someone with an interest in Michael J. Fox and a history of watching his movies and TV shows, but I think there is a lot to be found here for those who may not be familiar with Fox at all. I contemplated whether I would give this book 4 stars or 5 stars. The content blew me away, but I was on the fence about whether the delivery moved me all the way to 5 stars. After writing this review and reflecting, I think I will go 5 stars because I am realizing how much this book already has me thinking about it and contemplating how I can use what I have read to improve my approach to adversity.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    One of my top movies of childhood remains Back to the Future. Who would not want the ability to travel through time despite the ramifications that the movie trilogy presents. In fact, the seminal event of my life, the Cubs winning the World Series, is forever linked the second movie in this trilogy, earning the movies an everlasting special place in my heart. No I have not personally discovered time travel yet. If I did, I would go back to when the Cubs were cursed and prevent it from happening, One of my top movies of childhood remains Back to the Future. Who would not want the ability to travel through time despite the ramifications that the movie trilogy presents. In fact, the seminal event of my life, the Cubs winning the World Series, is forever linked the second movie in this trilogy, earning the movies an everlasting special place in my heart. No I have not personally discovered time travel yet. If I did, I would go back to when the Cubs were cursed and prevent it from happening, negating their cameo appearance in these movies. The Cubs aside, I also enjoyed the movie for the on screen relationship of its main actors. To this day, it is hard for me to separate the actors from their personas of Doc Brown and Marty McFly. I don’t know when I recalled knowing that Michael J Fox had Parkinson’s. He was first diagnosed in 1991 so it may have been lost in my youth. And kudos to him for taking part in Back to the Future Part III post diagnosis. Not to mince words, Parkinson’s sucks. I saw how Muhammad Ali received iconic status as much for coping with daily life with Parkinson’s as he did for being a prized boxer and civil rights activist. Over the last thirty years, Michael J Fox is known for having Parkinson’s (PD) as he is for playing the roles of Alex Keaton and Marty McFly. He has accepted his station in life in the only way that he can: with his optimistic outlook. I have read his other books about being an Incurable Optimist. No Time Like the Future, in homage to his now classic film, Fox takes readers down the road of what comes next. With his unique brand of humor and, of course, optimism, I knew that I would enjoy a bright light in an otherwise bleak year. Michael J Fox is now approaching sixty years old, which is the average life expectancy for someone with Parkinson’s. He hasn’t driven a vehicle for ten years, has run his Fox Foundation for twenty, and tries not to let his Parkinson’s define his life, even though that is now inherent in who he is. Fox has been married to his wife Tracy for thirty years and they have four adult children who remain devoted to them. He golfs with the likes of Harlen Coben and George Stephanopoulos and still enjoys family vacations in Martha’s Vineyard and the Bahamas, albeit with limitations. Michael J Fox is still attempting to live life as an optimist whereas many in his position would not. Yet, even he admits that being an optimist has its limitations. Two years ago he had a tumor removed from his spine. He had round the clock home care and has had to learn to walk with a cane. Golfing and acting: out of the question. Going to sporting events and concerts in a wheelchair: part of his new normal in life. Fox has come to the realization that only time he will see himself acting is on television. His new best companion is his dog Gus, although long time friends still come to visit him, rather than them engaging in physical activity. Fox sees that every day is a blessing even if it means physical therapy, doctors’ visits, and a cocktail of drugs to keep him on an even keel. After five decades in the public eye, Fox has come to terms with the hand he has been dealt and accepted it with grace and dignity, and attempts to remain optimistic despite all the pits and falls over the years. At least he knows that Alex Keaton and Marty McFly will remain after he is gone. The Fox Foundation has raised $1 billion dollars for Parkinson’s research. Fox believes that one day hopefully soon, hopefully in his lifetime, that there will be a cure. The next generation will reap the reward that people like Ali and himself gave toward advancing science. Each year, the foundation stages a gala and honors those who have given back to the foundation among the last year. Fox lists these people who also live with Parkinson’s as his heroes. He says that it takes a village to deal with him today, so I would be remiss not to mention his wife Tracy and his kids who have handled their loved one’s diagnosis like true mensches. Being the optimist that I am, I hope that Fox and Tracy will enjoy another thirty or so years of marriage that one day is free of Parkinson’s. 4 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ray Edwards

    Michael J Fox tells a compelling story of how it’s possible to maintain optimism in the face of certainty that there is always adversity to come. This book is well-written, paced like a Harlan Coben suspense novel, and even though I already knew most of the story, it was full of surprises. As a person with Parkinson's myself, it was amazing to see how skillfully Michael conveys the reality of having this disease without spending too much time (for “civilian readers”) dwelling on the details. He do Michael J Fox tells a compelling story of how it’s possible to maintain optimism in the face of certainty that there is always adversity to come. This book is well-written, paced like a Harlan Coben suspense novel, and even though I already knew most of the story, it was full of surprises. As a person with Parkinson's myself, it was amazing to see how skillfully Michael conveys the reality of having this disease without spending too much time (for “civilian readers”) dwelling on the details. He doesn't write to make himself look good, he writes to make himself tell the truth. And the truth is powerful, without being preachy. I won't spoil the experience for anyone, but I will say the way he ends this book is the most perfect grace note I could've imagined. Thank you Michael, for reminding us all to keep looking to the future.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    Michael J Fox has had a very successful career in film & television, & being diagnosed with Parkinson"s Disease at the age of 29 did not deter him. He has continued to work & has set up a foundation for Parkinson's research which has raised huge amounts of money. In this new memoir Fox looks at his work, his travels, his family & coping with a disease that can be physically & mentally exhausting. I knew only a little about PD & one chapter in the book really brought home the day to day strugles h Michael J Fox has had a very successful career in film & television, & being diagnosed with Parkinson"s Disease at the age of 29 did not deter him. He has continued to work & has set up a foundation for Parkinson's research which has raised huge amounts of money. In this new memoir Fox looks at his work, his travels, his family & coping with a disease that can be physically & mentally exhausting. I knew only a little about PD & one chapter in the book really brought home the day to day strugles he has to deal with. In it he describes how he walks from his New York apartment to the gym, which is housed in the basement of the building. It's a short walk down stairs, out of the building & around the corner & down into the gym. This previously simple walk is now a major journey, & is then followed by an hour of physical therapy. The way Fox describes the walk is both heartbreaking & uplifting at the same time. There is a surprising amount of humour in the book & I love how Fox describes making a surprise visit to his 90 year old mother. He was careful that when they hugged his Parkinson's & her fragility didn't combine to make them both fall to the floor & suatain any injuries. There are times when even Michael J Fox's eternal optimism leaves him. At one point he tries to cope with Parkinson's, a spinal condition & a broken arm. Any of these would be difficult enough, but all three together was devastating. No Time Like The Future is a book that shows how someone can deal with the worst & keep hoping for the best. It's an inspiring read & I highly recommend it to anuone.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    Dec 25, 2020, 645pm ~~ Review asap. Dec 26, 2020, 730pm ~~ The latest book by Michael J. Fox, this was published in November 2020 and has an epilogue dated August 2020, in which Fox comments briefly on the scariest topic of the year, the pandemic and how it has affected his life. But long before we get to those pages, we see how early onset Parkinson's disease has changed the author's life during the twelve years since his last book was published. And you know, as if a incurable disease is not en Dec 25, 2020, 645pm ~~ Review asap. Dec 26, 2020, 730pm ~~ The latest book by Michael J. Fox, this was published in November 2020 and has an epilogue dated August 2020, in which Fox comments briefly on the scariest topic of the year, the pandemic and how it has affected his life. But long before we get to those pages, we see how early onset Parkinson's disease has changed the author's life during the twelve years since his last book was published. And you know, as if a incurable disease is not enough to deal with, Fox had other scary events to deal with, especially in 2018. A tumor on his spinal cord. A fall which caused a horrendously fractured left arm. And of course the continuing deterioration due to his disease. In this book he allows the reader closer than ever to seeing just how this condition transformed him. Reading about the daily struggle can be a little overwhelming. More so for a person without any chronic condition of their own to cope with, I imagine. For myself, I recognize a partner in spirit. Fox would understand my own efforts to get through each day the same way I understand his. Underlying causes are different, but the need to pay attention to so many things that normal people are barely aware of? That is the same for us both. The inside front cover actually sums it all up better than I can: 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. I have a comment to make about the physical book itself. When I first opened it I saw that the endpapers had a surprising (to me) design on them: a repeated pattern of a dozen or so different line drawings. There is a park bench, a dog, golf clubs, a television set and others. At first I didn't understand why they were there. Most books these days don't have this kind of detail in the construction. The endpapers are either merely blank or at best with some sort of floral or abstract design. But these little images turned out to be significant in the author's life; another way to invite the reader in. Now I see those designs and I know exactly what they symbolize. It was, in my opinion, a brilliant piece of bookbinding. Mr. Fox, after reading your three books, all I can say is thank you for having the courage to share. You are my hero. Be safe, and thanks for the lemonade.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    When you think of Michael J Fox what do you think of? For me, a child of the 80's it is Alex P Keaton in Family Ties, Marty McFly in the Back To the Future films and Scott Howard in Teen Wolf. He is an actor that I have always admired and loved to watch anything that he is involved in. At age 29, Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and his life changed forever. In this book he talks about his struggles with the disease as he gets older. He is an incredibly optimistic man but some of th When you think of Michael J Fox what do you think of? For me, a child of the 80's it is Alex P Keaton in Family Ties, Marty McFly in the Back To the Future films and Scott Howard in Teen Wolf. He is an actor that I have always admired and loved to watch anything that he is involved in. At age 29, Michael was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and his life changed forever. In this book he talks about his struggles with the disease as he gets older. He is an incredibly optimistic man but some of the things that he has been through in his life would get anybody down. On top of the PD he also had a tumor removed from his spine and has recovered from many bad falls where he has broken bones. He is a family man, married for more than 30 years to Tracy Pollan and has 4 kids who are his world. His work with the Michael J Fox Foundation, raising money for Parkinson's research is also a big part of his life. He talks about his limitations, what he can do, and that he never gives up. And he is not at all bitter. His humour and outlook on life is inspiring, what a strong man. I loved reading about his friendship with one of my favourite writers, Harlan Coben, and his attempts to play golf. Learning his thoughts on various film and TV roles that he has played was another interesting part of this book. I loved this book, it was inspiring and motivational. At 59, he has no plans to slow down his life or career - good for him. Thanks so much to Hachette Australia for sending this book my way.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Michael J Fox has written a few books. However, this one is the first one I've read. He has such a positive message of getting through each day, even when the burdens are great. I'm not sure I could do it. This book had that same positive vibe. He has purpose and he knows it. It is greater than his trials. That is a message that I admire. I also loved the title. It fit his story so well. I also enjoyed the titles of his chapters. He is personable and genuine in the telling of his story. So 4 sta Michael J Fox has written a few books. However, this one is the first one I've read. He has such a positive message of getting through each day, even when the burdens are great. I'm not sure I could do it. This book had that same positive vibe. He has purpose and he knows it. It is greater than his trials. That is a message that I admire. I also loved the title. It fit his story so well. I also enjoyed the titles of his chapters. He is personable and genuine in the telling of his story. So 4 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Learned some things about Michaels life - the ups and downs, his family. Learned the struggles that Parkinson's Disease brings and the degradation of health through life. Even tough Mike went through depression he has an overall positive attitude and happy go lucky laid back outlook like it is what it is lets move on. I was hoping to get long lasting insights or perspective afterwards but didn't. I didn't know he was born and raised in Canada :) Loved Back to the Future, Homeward Bound (voice of Cha Learned some things about Michaels life - the ups and downs, his family. Learned the struggles that Parkinson's Disease brings and the degradation of health through life. Even tough Mike went through depression he has an overall positive attitude and happy go lucky laid back outlook like it is what it is lets move on. I was hoping to get long lasting insights or perspective afterwards but didn't. I didn't know he was born and raised in Canada :) Loved Back to the Future, Homeward Bound (voice of Chance), and Teen Wolf

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alicia Groscost

    This was my first book by Mr. Fox. I'm not sure why I picked this one up. I know him from Back to the Future, but I was a kid then and my dad was always trying to force me to watch movies he liked...so I immediately refused. The book was quite interesting and you learn a lot about his life and how he approached the second leg of his career. He seems like a genuinely nice person and has been able to maintain such a positive outlook and has a real drive to live life. I wish him all the best. This was my first book by Mr. Fox. I'm not sure why I picked this one up. I know him from Back to the Future, but I was a kid then and my dad was always trying to force me to watch movies he liked...so I immediately refused. The book was quite interesting and you learn a lot about his life and how he approached the second leg of his career. He seems like a genuinely nice person and has been able to maintain such a positive outlook and has a real drive to live life. I wish him all the best.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    It took me fully half of the book before I was fully invested in his story. It took me awhile to sort of "get" his humor and understand where he was really coming from, but ultimately, I felt again that I was sitting with a friend -- who wasn't asking for pity or anything really, but just making sense of his own life and his own circumstances and sharing the insights. You have to like MJF. And now I admire him, too. It took me fully half of the book before I was fully invested in his story. It took me awhile to sort of "get" his humor and understand where he was really coming from, but ultimately, I felt again that I was sitting with a friend -- who wasn't asking for pity or anything really, but just making sense of his own life and his own circumstances and sharing the insights. You have to like MJF. And now I admire him, too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    As a teenager of the 80's, Michael J. Fox is a cultural touchstone of my life. His medical diagnosis served as some sort of cautionary tale to my generation. And his grace in the decades since has been an inspiration to people across the globe. Apparently I let my imaginary subscription to Us Magazine lapse, because I was unaware that Mr. Fox had suffered serious medical traumas unrelated to, but complicated by, his Parkinson's in recent years. He shared these details along with the fears, uncert As a teenager of the 80's, Michael J. Fox is a cultural touchstone of my life. His medical diagnosis served as some sort of cautionary tale to my generation. And his grace in the decades since has been an inspiration to people across the globe. Apparently I let my imaginary subscription to Us Magazine lapse, because I was unaware that Mr. Fox had suffered serious medical traumas unrelated to, but complicated by, his Parkinson's in recent years. He shared these details along with the fears, uncertainties, and regrets that plagued him along the way. He shared all of this with candor and honestly--and was able to be quite funny. Spoiler alert: he's still an optimist. When I read one of Fox's memoirs, they appear to reveal the person he truly is. (I have no way of judging in reality.). But the man revealed is a pretty likable guy. A major celebrity who's been married to the same woman for 30+ years, and who speaks of her, his four children, and his entire extended family with such love. I had the pleasure of seeing him speak a few years ago, a reunion with his Back to the Future co-stars, and later solo about his foundation work. I cannot express the kindness with which he spoke to fellow Parkinson's patients during the Q & A. To everyone, actually. He is a truly inspiring man. Not because he was Alex P. Keaton, but because he's Michael J. Fox. Any time you have a chance to spend a few hours with him, whether in a theatre, on the pages of a book, at a fundraiser, or listening to an audiobook, I encourage you to take it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barry

    I’m not a big reader of celebrity memoirs, and I would likely have never picked this up had it not already been laying around the house. It was a birthday gift for Belinda, but she hadn’t yet started to read it. One afternoon while she was out, on a whim I began reading the introduction, and after thirty pages I was hooked. I have always liked MJF, so I really shouldn’t have been surprised that he would still be so likable, or his writing so entertaining and clever. Thoroughly enjoying myself, I I’m not a big reader of celebrity memoirs, and I would likely have never picked this up had it not already been laying around the house. It was a birthday gift for Belinda, but she hadn’t yet started to read it. One afternoon while she was out, on a whim I began reading the introduction, and after thirty pages I was hooked. I have always liked MJF, so I really shouldn’t have been surprised that he would still be so likable, or his writing so entertaining and clever. Thoroughly enjoying myself, I decided to keep reading, but I knew that Belinda would be annoyed if she discovered that I had already read her book before she had (I suppose she doesn’t like to read used books?), so I had to read it in short secretive segments. And without a highlighter. This was tricky, and not a little frustrating. Despite thus being a somewhat risky read, I found it to be very enjoyable—at turns funny, poignant, and informative. And as an orthopedic surgeon, I found his personal reflections of dealing with the daily struggles of a progressive neurological disorder with other occasional acute surgical problems to be enlightening as well. I wouldn’t want to give the impression that this wonderful book can be summed up by a couple of quotes, but I’m still going to drop in a couple of lines that I enjoyed— and might someday use myself: “Parents with multiple children are often asked if they have a favorite. I always say, ‘Yeah, whichever one I’m with.’” “If you don’t take risks, there’s no room for luck. I took a chance. I got lucky.” I’m sure I would have had more great quotes to relate if only I had been able to mark them with a highlighter. But alas... Overall, I would rate this book as highly recommended. I really liked it. Oh, I almost forgot to add... please don’t tell Belinda that her book is now thoroughly used.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    We listened to the audiobook version of the new book by Michael J Fox “No time like the future: an optimist considers mortality” yesterday. The audiobook was read by the author which is always one of my favorite things. Michael is truly a funny guy. He discusses his health scares with PD - Parkinson’s disease and the tumor he had on his spine that had to be removed. The author discusses very real health problems with a lighthearted humor that draws you into his story. Michael leaves you with an We listened to the audiobook version of the new book by Michael J Fox “No time like the future: an optimist considers mortality” yesterday. The audiobook was read by the author which is always one of my favorite things. Michael is truly a funny guy. He discusses his health scares with PD - Parkinson’s disease and the tumor he had on his spine that had to be removed. The author discusses very real health problems with a lighthearted humor that draws you into his story. Michael leaves you with an inspirational message at the end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about facing mortality while living life optimistically!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Stoolfire

    I need to read more of Michael J. Fox's books. He writes with such hope. I also appreciated seeing how close to the present it comes given that he even talks about his cameo in See You Yesterday. I need to read more of Michael J. Fox's books. He writes with such hope. I also appreciated seeing how close to the present it comes given that he even talks about his cameo in See You Yesterday.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    I grabbed this one when it showed up on my library's website due to nostalgia. I'm probably dating myself but I loved watching Family Ties and loved the teen movies that the author did in the 80's. Seeing this book I thought it would be an interesting read, more so knowing that he has Parkinson's and was diagnosed early with it. I knew he disappeared from acting for a while, but then came back and did some things, remember watching those, knew about his foundation for PD, but it was a very gener I grabbed this one when it showed up on my library's website due to nostalgia. I'm probably dating myself but I loved watching Family Ties and loved the teen movies that the author did in the 80's. Seeing this book I thought it would be an interesting read, more so knowing that he has Parkinson's and was diagnosed early with it. I knew he disappeared from acting for a while, but then came back and did some things, remember watching those, knew about his foundation for PD, but it was a very generalized knowledge. This book was more how his life has evolved since the PD, how hard the simple things are, how even though it's taking things he loves, like acting and golf, you attitude will make a difference. I think that in this time of covid the message is more important, sure you can focus on why things are bad or you can look to the what you have.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Martin

    What a good guy, and a damned good writer too. I’m ashamed to say how surprised I was at that, but really, most celeb autobiographies are drivel. This most assuredly is not. Poignant and funny and real, it was nice to spend a few hours in his company, to put myself in his shoes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    “I try not to get too New Age-y. I don’t talk about things being ‘for a reason.’ But I do think that the more unexpected something is, the more there is to learn from it. In my case …” 2018 was annus horribilis for Michael J. Fox. In this book he tells it all. Eventually. First, he gives a hundred plus pages of backstory, with flashbacks inside the flashbacks. No trivia is too small to include. Some humor. My rating started at four stars, sank quickly to three, and bounced off two several times. “I try not to get too New Age-y. I don’t talk about things being ‘for a reason.’ But I do think that the more unexpected something is, the more there is to learn from it. In my case …” 2018 was annus horribilis for Michael J. Fox. In this book he tells it all. Eventually. First, he gives a hundred plus pages of backstory, with flashbacks inside the flashbacks. No trivia is too small to include. Some humor. My rating started at four stars, sank quickly to three, and bounced off two several times. Three may be a gift, but … it isn’t a bad book. (Look for it on clearance.) “I’m not sure it ever did, but especially now, my work as an actor does not define me. The nascent diminishment of my ability to download words and repeat them verbatim is just a ripple in the pond.” Shifting tenses throw the reader out of the flow. It’s almost as if he cut-and-pasted material from several sources, then no one proofread the result. Pointless meanderings to fill pages? Like Seinfeld, a lot of talk about nothing. Note to self: Don’t stand next to MJF. He’s a lightning rod for disaster. “Risk is part of who I am; it is encoded in my DNA. Teens lack a fully formed prefrontal cortex; they can’t reliably assess risk. I was the poster boy for this developmental delay.” Plugs for his eponymous foundation appear every twenty pages. After vowing he’s not Hollywood, he gives directions to his sidewalk star. And tells you which magazines he’s on the cover of. “Have I oversold optimism as a panacea, commodified hope? Have I been an honest broker with the Parkinson’s community? My optimism is suddenly finite.” Lots of name dropping. I guess Hollywood/New York folks feel the need to remind you how well connected they are. Golf? Bhutan? Africa? A tattoo? Diary of an overachiever who can’t come to grips—no matter what he says—that he isn’t. “As for the future, I haven’t been there yet. I only know that I have one. Until I don’t. The last thing we run out of is the future. Really, it comes down to gratitude. … I can be both a realist and an optimist.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Cox

    Celebrity memoirs are not usually my thing but I found this book to be warm, funny and most of all, inspiring. I picked it up after hearing Michael J. Fox interviewed by Terry Gross. He wrote the book after going through a series of health and physical challenges that nearly broke him. His story resonated with me. Fox has spent decades making lemonade from lemons vis a vis Parkinson's Disease. He faced a difficult spinal surgery and rehab with courage and positivity. He was on the road to better Celebrity memoirs are not usually my thing but I found this book to be warm, funny and most of all, inspiring. I picked it up after hearing Michael J. Fox interviewed by Terry Gross. He wrote the book after going through a series of health and physical challenges that nearly broke him. His story resonated with me. Fox has spent decades making lemonade from lemons vis a vis Parkinson's Disease. He faced a difficult spinal surgery and rehab with courage and positivity. He was on the road to better days when he fell and shattered his arm. This final blow forced him into asking the big questions. He faced his mortality and called into question his optimistic world view. He reflected on whether the optimistic mindset is merely a blithe way of going through the world to avoid the harsh realities of life. Ultimately, Fox regained his optimism, but a more realistic and sustainable variety. Fox's descriptions of the punishing and unrelenting process of rehab were spot-on. I read this book four months into a hellish rehab of my own. The amount of pain and labor that goes into regaining one's ability to walk is incalculable. The head game is fierce. Walking is underrated and it's a miracle. I can't imagine doing this work with the added burden of Parkinson's. The way Fox has managed to take what life has handed him, make the best of it, learn from it, create something good of it, all while acknowledging the unfairness of it, the uncertainty of it, and remain aware of the blessings in it, truly amazes me. I strive to be more like him.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ruthanne Johnston

    What a man! Dealing with progressive Parkinson’s for thirty years, diagnosed before he was thirty and at the height of his career, he continues to look forward and challenge himself to the limit at almost 60! He has a loving wife and four wonderful children and he appreciates them and loves them all. But there are down times and he describes them frankly in this book. Times when he feels like a burden; times when he can’t do all the things he wants because of the progression of his disease. Each What a man! Dealing with progressive Parkinson’s for thirty years, diagnosed before he was thirty and at the height of his career, he continues to look forward and challenge himself to the limit at almost 60! He has a loving wife and four wonderful children and he appreciates them and loves them all. But there are down times and he describes them frankly in this book. Times when he feels like a burden; times when he can’t do all the things he wants because of the progression of his disease. Each loss of function is a reminder to him of what is surely to come. And yet, being Michael J. Fox, he goes to rock concerts. He goes on safari to Africa! He heads the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. He struggles through rehabilitation after removal of a spinal tumor and, again, from a fall at home that shatters his arm into pieces. And yet he faces each set-back with his lifelong good humor. He is a hero, though he would deny that. But to anyone with a physical disability, he is a hero. He certainly is for me!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathy McC

    I have enjoyed all of Michael J. Fox's books and this is, for me, the best one. He is brutally honest showing his vulnerability. Luckily, however, his optimism and wit does remain. What a wonderful human! "My brain and my body are barely on speaking terms. Every movement, every command, everything that should be reflex, is a negotiation between Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi. (I don't have to tell you which one is the brain.) "My fascination with vintage TV has something to do with the fact that I I have enjoyed all of Michael J. Fox's books and this is, for me, the best one. He is brutally honest showing his vulnerability. Luckily, however, his optimism and wit does remain. What a wonderful human! "My brain and my body are barely on speaking terms. Every movement, every command, everything that should be reflex, is a negotiation between Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi. (I don't have to tell you which one is the brain.) "My fascination with vintage TV has something to do with the fact that I decide when I want to be in that world, and not the present. I slip into another reality. My time had not begun, and therefore it hadn't begun to run out. And like the performers in those old shows, someday I will survive myself in reruns."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Michael J. Fox is an amazing and inspiring person. I just thought this book was so boring. I need to go back and read his earlier books.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Diane Law

    Moving, reflection-provoking and humbling. Yet humourous as well. I listened to the audible version where Michael J Fox narrates it himself.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Michael J Fox describe what his life has been like and all that he’s been through in the last three years after a serious fall and his Manhattan home apartment. It was made all the more scarier because only four months earlier he had spine surgery to remove a t tumor that could’ve left him paralyzed. He’s been through a lot since his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease at age 29 and these last three years has pushed him even harder and had revealed even more inner I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Michael J Fox describe what his life has been like and all that he’s been through in the last three years after a serious fall and his Manhattan home apartment. It was made all the more scarier because only four months earlier he had spine surgery to remove a t tumor that could’ve left him paralyzed. He’s been through a lot since his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease at age 29 and these last three years has pushed him even harder and had revealed even more inner strength and resolve. As a person who has been dealing with a degenerative disease , I admire his strength and since of humor to get through tough days. This book is also a tribute to the love and support of his family, mainly his wife Tracy. It’s obvious the love they share and respect they have for one another. Fox has an amazing support team and even though he struggles every day it’s clear he has a wonderful life. It’s very encouraging with a positive message that I’m sure will help a lot of people in similar situations, myself included.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Juliana

    This is my first Michael J Fox book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I chose to listen to the audiobook and fully appreciate and admire Fox for narrating his own book. While his speech isn't the clearest, it really elevates his story. You can hear the clear deprecating humor of his as well as his frustration when he talks about his spinal surgery recovery and other injuries. His determination to be independent while still needing others is so interesting to read about. He talks about learning to liv This is my first Michael J Fox book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I chose to listen to the audiobook and fully appreciate and admire Fox for narrating his own book. While his speech isn't the clearest, it really elevates his story. You can hear the clear deprecating humor of his as well as his frustration when he talks about his spinal surgery recovery and other injuries. His determination to be independent while still needing others is so interesting to read about. He talks about learning to live with the Parkinson's, his foundation that helps others, and various roles he's had since being diagnosed. It's a small look into Michael J Fox's life that is delightful and bittersweet to read about. It's wonderful to hear about his support system and his ability to make fun of himself even in the darkest moments. Highly recommend this book to anybody who is a fan of him.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Greg Zimmerman

    Like Michael J. Fox, my dad fought Parkinson’s disease for nearly 30 years. And like Fox, my dad suffered just an absurdly unfair number of health calamities (the man barely had one calamity-free week since the Reagan Administration). And also like Fox, my dad couldn’t help but remain almost irrationally optimistic. It’s hard to fathom, really. But it’s amazing perspective. This book is about a particularly difficult year in Fox’s life, during which he has surgery to remove a spine tumor and the Like Michael J. Fox, my dad fought Parkinson’s disease for nearly 30 years. And like Fox, my dad suffered just an absurdly unfair number of health calamities (the man barely had one calamity-free week since the Reagan Administration). And also like Fox, my dad couldn’t help but remain almost irrationally optimistic. It’s hard to fathom, really. But it’s amazing perspective. This book is about a particularly difficult year in Fox’s life, during which he has surgery to remove a spine tumor and then falls and shatters his arm not too long after. Even so, he remains optimistic (there are of course a few lapses into anger and despair, because of course there are) and this book is an explanation of how he does it. It’s a fantastic read — self-deprecating and just filled to the brim with goofy dad jokes — another thing Fox and my dad have in common. Loved this. Inspiring!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    Five stars because Michael J Fox is the definition of resilience. Like a young Alan Alda, he’s funny, clever, smart, extremely likable and so insightful. I HIGHLY recommend listening to him read his own words. I prefer that with any memoir but especially this one. So many quotable lines.. and funny ones. Laughed out loud when Keith Richards makes an appearance and calls him “Foxy” lol

  27. 4 out of 5

    Melba Muscarolas

    Michael J Fox's latest book was my first one, but I've already started his first book Lucky Man. He writes with humor, humility, and compassion. He has an amazing story and I learned about Parkinsons and so much more ... how to navigate the ups and downs of life, illness, and aging. There's a chapter about his visit to Bhutan and India that I thoroughly enjoyed having visited both countries I found his descriptions wonderful. Also his writing about golf was insightful and so enjoyable. He is suc Michael J Fox's latest book was my first one, but I've already started his first book Lucky Man. He writes with humor, humility, and compassion. He has an amazing story and I learned about Parkinsons and so much more ... how to navigate the ups and downs of life, illness, and aging. There's a chapter about his visit to Bhutan and India that I thoroughly enjoyed having visited both countries I found his descriptions wonderful. Also his writing about golf was insightful and so enjoyable. He is such an amazing force with his foundation and I was humbled to get a glimpse of what it must be like to live his life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    In Michael J. Fox's latest memoir, he shares life updates from hIs 50s, including family, career, friends (many as famous as he) and of course, his decades-long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He is honest, interesting, self-deprecating, introspective and inspiring. Aging and mortality are subjects that everyone must face as time marches on, and Mike is no exception, but with added challenges -- and losses -- from PD. A worthwhile read from an immensely likeable and relatable star. In Michael J. Fox's latest memoir, he shares life updates from hIs 50s, including family, career, friends (many as famous as he) and of course, his decades-long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He is honest, interesting, self-deprecating, introspective and inspiring. Aging and mortality are subjects that everyone must face as time marches on, and Mike is no exception, but with added challenges -- and losses -- from PD. A worthwhile read from an immensely likeable and relatable star.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ricky McConnell

    Good book, nothing special. Reading about his battle with Parkinson's and other health issues makes me appreciate my health when it is going good. He is definitely a fighter and is human just like the rest of us. This would be a great read for anyone who is suffering from Parkinson's , or who has family who is. For those of us who grew up watching him on tv, you will enjoy this book as well. The book values strong family ties, good doctors, and has lots of empathy in it. Good book, nothing special. Reading about his battle with Parkinson's and other health issues makes me appreciate my health when it is going good. He is definitely a fighter and is human just like the rest of us. This would be a great read for anyone who is suffering from Parkinson's , or who has family who is. For those of us who grew up watching him on tv, you will enjoy this book as well. The book values strong family ties, good doctors, and has lots of empathy in it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    It is definitely not typical of me to request the latest run-of-the-mill celebrity memoir while it's still on-order at the library, but this one intrigued me. My grandpa has had Parkinson's for a couple decades and the concept of this one, coming to terms with mortality as an optimist, sounded interesting. Overall though it is kind of a typical "celebrity with a medical condition" memoir. I don't say that to be insensitive, but it is what it is. The ease of accessing world-class medical care and It is definitely not typical of me to request the latest run-of-the-mill celebrity memoir while it's still on-order at the library, but this one intrigued me. My grandpa has had Parkinson's for a couple decades and the concept of this one, coming to terms with mortality as an optimist, sounded interesting. Overall though it is kind of a typical "celebrity with a medical condition" memoir. I don't say that to be insensitive, but it is what it is. The ease of accessing world-class medical care and name-dropping celebrity doctors and friends and of course the universal experience of having to cut short a vacation on Martha's Vineyard. However, I still did feel I learned a lot about what it is like to have advanced Parkinson's. If it is that difficult for Michael J. Fox with all his money and influence, we can gain a pretty clear picture of how bad it must be for non-celebrities. And I definitely don't discount what he has been able to do for Parkinson's research - it sounds like when a cure is found, it will at least be partly due to the work he has done and the money he has helped raise through his foundation. This book, as do most celebrity memoirs, suffers from kind of a poor narrative structure. The timeline is not really established and little vignettes are inserted to keep things "light" that don't always fit into the storyline, if there is one. Also he jumps back and forth between present and past tense which didn't work well, since his present tense was not actually supposed to be in the present, just the way it was written. However I still found this a worthwhile read. And I thought that Chapter 21, All Things Considered, was so good that it made up for any issues in the rest of the book. It mainly covered how his deterioration has finally made him come to terms with truly retiring from acting. I really liked his thought that gratitude is the opposite of fear. The randomly inserted vignette about the short-lived Michael J. Fox Show was out of place on the narrative timeline but so powerful - he mentions how networks were fighting over the show but as soon as they started filming it became obvious that the network execs were like "Oh crap he actually has real Parkinson's and not just a lil tremor!?? This is too much to deal with. Shut 'er down." I think that small story will stick with me more than anything else in the book. It was a very stark contrast to how his "people" - his family and his best friends stick by him and actually walk the talk of supporting him as his Parkinson's makes everything more difficult. The image of his golf buddies (none other than political operative turned television personality George Stephanopoulos and best-selling novelist Harlan Coben, of course) wait for him to load his tee about 20 times until the ball actually stays in place at each hole was quite touching and powerful. I don't know if I'd recommend it unless you like this style of slightly fluffy, slightly poorly written celebrity memoir, or if you are a big fan of Michael J. Fox or very interested in learning about Parkinson's. I'm sure there are better books by non-celebrities out there about the Parkinson's experience. It was a quick read though, and overall a few bits will stick with me.

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