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BOOK REVIEW: AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE
BY JAMES PATTERSON AND HAL FRIEDMAN

We hope you enjoy this book review by Nancy Eaton.



One morning Cory Friedman, five years old, woke up with the uncontrollable urge to shake his head. After many years of medication and several misdiagnoses, it was determined that Cory had Tourette’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder.

This book is an account of the most difficult time dealing with Cory’s illness, from age five to seventeen. The family had his blessing to tell the story through Cory’s own voice.

The story begins when Cory is driven to the hospital for help to treat alcohol problems. Alcohol seemed to be the only thing that would bring Cory some peace. Cory had been on at least fifty different medications and nothing seemed to help. In fact, it got to the point where one was not sure whether the illness was causing the symptoms or the many medications were bringing out weird side affects. The doctors believed they could help Cory with his problems. Once he and his family arrived at the building they saw a sign that read “Dressler Psychiatric Hospital”. Cory told his parents that a psychiatric hospital is a place for people who are insane and he did not belong there. He promised to quit drinking.

This was just the beginning of the many years it took his family to find help for Cory.

What really makes this book interesting is the way it is told from Cory’s point of view. The reader will get an inside view of how Cory felt when he had no control over things like when his teacher told him to write the word of the day on the blackboard and all of a sudden he wrote a bad word. He knew he should not have done it but could not help it. This made the other students laugh at what he did. He then made some silly faces and the students laughed even more. He realized it was better to have them laugh with him then at him. The reader will also get a thorough understanding of the torment that Cory’s parents went through over the years in trying to deal with this disease.

Hal Friedman, Cory’s father, met James Patterson in 1975 at an advertising agency where they were both writers. Hal kept James informed about Cory throughout the years. It wasn’t until Hal asked James Patterson to read an early draft he had written of Cory’s story that James realized how much torment the family had gone through. It’s almost beyond comprehension to think that after thirteen doctors and approximately sixty medications, Cory’s symptoms were still unchecked.

Once you start reading Against Medical Advice it will be difficult to put this book down. It has the short chapters that are typical in any James Patterson book. Although this is not one of James Patterson’s mystery books, you will find it just as suspenseful as a family tries to find an answer to the mystery disease that took control of their son.

REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, NANCY EATON


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