Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Song Without Words: Discovering My Deafness Halfway through Life

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Posted March 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer


    Gerald Shea's 1913 SONG WITHOUT WORDS: DISCOVERING MY DEAFNESS HALFWAY THROUGH LIFE makes for pleasant, informative reading. I think of it as a "didactic memoir."  The author uses his own six plus decades of living in the USA, Saudi Arabia, France and elsewhere  to probe varieties and degrees of deafness.  ***  
    Born hearing, young Shea, without himself or anyone else noticing, at age six lost most of his middle and upper tonal hearing rage. The causes were, apparently, simultaneous attacks of chicken pox and scarlet fever. That his hearing was severely impaired was first noticed and proven during a medical examination a quarter century later!  ***  
    Astonishingly to more reader and reviewer than one, Gerald Shea, despite his severe and undiagnosed handicap, had navigated his way successfully through primary school, prep school, Yale University and Columbia Law School. The only two people even to come close to helping him discover his deafness had been two young women: girl friends in high school and in college. ***  
    Shea was in his 30s when he discovered that he was very, very deaf. He has spent the rest of his life coming to terms with that, eventually leaving his lucrative law practice for a less hectic, demanding life style.  ***  
    As he moves chronologically through his hearing-impaired decades, Gerald Shea lays out for us his self-created methods for coping with hearing sounds but not words coming at him from all directions. His hundreds of examples of "decoding" speech are perhaps the most compelling parts of his narrative.  ***  
    In addition, however, we learn much of the anatomy of the human ear, its connection to the brain, the history of deafness, the science and the education associated with deafness, hearing aids, cochlear implants, signing languages, the life of Helen Keller and much, much more.  ***  
    SONG WITHOUT WORDS is a good, instructive read. That a severely impaired but unusually intelligent and articulate person could go many years without becoming aware of his deafness is hard to believe. But there it is.  -OOO-

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1