Despite the sadness with which I read it, I found myself smiling often, and laughing too, and came away with a sense of joy and hope, of being remembered for the love one shares and can share in Joe Hammond s book ensures that the love he s found will continue to be shared, into the future, with those closest to him and with all of us who read it.
A work of absolute genius heartbreaking and beautifully written Joe Hammond should have been a famous author years ago.
A Short History of FallingThe Diving Bell And The ButterflyWhen Breath Becomes Air When I read Joe Hammond s final article for the Guardian, it moved me to tears I immediately bought the book, on impulse, after discovering that he had died less than a month earlier I then questioned whether I had the strength to read it Truth be told, it lacks some of the poignancy of his final article but focuses in equal parts on his deterioration, his fears for the future of his family and his previous experiences which shaped his reaction to his impending demise and his strategies for coping with it.
If you are looking for a solution to death, you won t find it here but what you will find is the reassurance that, at least in some cases, it is possible to come to terms with it and find some peace behind the uncertainty.
It is a short story which for my taste, ends too soon but one can hardly complain as the same has to be said for the author s life.
It definitely bears reading than once and is a story which will stay with you long after the last page.
Beautifully written book.
His boys will be so proud of him when old enough to read this book.
Honest, and truely moving.
I couldn t put it down once I started reading.
The way gifts, blessings and tragedies are handed out in life seems random and often so unfair Joe and his family have had than their share of pain and sorrow and yet there is no room for self pity and anger in this most moving and uplifting story It is definitely a book about love, about love s victory and transcendence over even the cruellest of circumstances Joe s has a rare talent for imagery and expression which is infused by courage and humility I have never read a book which signposts the way to a good life and a better death than this one His story brings hope to the reader, even as it breaks the heart Everyone should read it and then try to live even a tiny bit like Joe does What a different world it would be.
It is impossible not to be moved after reading this book This amazing mans story is utterly heartbreaking but also incredibly uplifting The tragic, beautiful and ultimately triumphal message in this superbly written book will stay with me forever I feel like a better person for reading it.
Amazing is the first word that comes to mind Joe has written in a way that is so accessible, interesting, heartbreaking at times and yes, I also chuckled at times His writing explores the difficulties in his childhood, such detailed description of events and people that I felt I was there I am someone who was a bookworm as a child but as an adult unfortunately struggles to read and this book captured me and had me rooting for this fab family of four from start to finish This is not a woe is me book, it s not think positive book, it s just well written, no holds barred, exposing his whole self and a thread of wry humour throughout An enjoyable, engaging and insightful book and I sincerely thank Joe for writing it.
What a wonderful time I had reading this astonishing personal account I can t thank Joe Hammond enough for sharing his story, for his skillful and particular expression, for his vision and honesty A gem.
My heart literally hurts at the injustice of two lonely souls who finally found one another who will be ripped apart far too soon It s not fair, but the author doesn t allow himself any pityhe simply sees the joy in the present moment and I feel glad for him and his family that they can appreciate what they haveand not what they haven t I am sitting quietly holding your hand and smiling God speed x