When mathematician Tom Andrews slips and breaks his ankle on an icy Ann Arbor street, it is no ordinary fracture: for Andrews, a hemophiliac, the fall begins a "bleed"-that is, the pooling of blood beneath the skin that can cripple a hemophiliac. During his agonizing hospital-bound convalescence, he is doped up on codeine, a drug that sends him spiraling into reveries about his disease and the way he'd combated it with the seemingly self-destructive pursuits of his adolescence. Yet there was a family illness that overshadowed even his: his brother's terminal kidney disorder. In order to get his parents' attention, Andrews threw himself into breaking world records (for hand-clapping), motorcycle racing, competitive skateboarding, punk rocking, and other foolhardy pursuits that only emphasized for him how, in his parents' eyes, he would always be "the healthy son." Unfailingly strange and intense, unremittingly witty, Andrews's book is a memoir that transcends its subject and becomes the story of man's desire to inhabit the world fully no matter what the cost.