Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot

( 5 )

Overview

Is it possible to find humor -- corrosive, taboo-shattering, laugh-till-you-cry humor -- in the story of a 38-year-old- cartoonist who's both a quadriplegic and a recovering alcoholic? The answer is yes, if the cartoonist is John Callahan -- whose infamous work has graced the pages of Omni, Penthouse, and The New Yorker -- and if he's telling it in his own words and pictures. But Callahan's uncensored account of his troubled -- and sometimes impossible -- life is also genuinely inspiring. Without self-pity or ...
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Overview

Is it possible to find humor -- corrosive, taboo-shattering, laugh-till-you-cry humor -- in the story of a 38-year-old- cartoonist who's both a quadriplegic and a recovering alcoholic? The answer is yes, if the cartoonist is John Callahan -- whose infamous work has graced the pages of Omni, Penthouse, and The New Yorker -- and if he's telling it in his own words and pictures. But Callahan's uncensored account of his troubled -- and sometimes impossible -- life is also genuinely inspiring. Without self-pity or self-righteousness, this liberating book tells us how a quadriplegic with a healthy libido has sex, what it's like to live in the exitless maze of the welfare system, where a cartoonist finds his comedy, and how a man with no reason to believe in anything discovers his own brand of faith.

This is a irreverent account of life as a teenage alcoholic, and one ride into a Con Ed pole and then life as a quadriplegic.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"When people laugh like hell and then say, 'That's not funny', you can be pretty sure they're talking about John Callahan."

— P.J.,O'Rourke, author of Holidays in Hell

"Actually Callahan goes too far, and he'll take you with him.... He'll move muscles you don't know you have." — Roy Blount, Jr.

"John Callahan doesn't need feet to go far. He does it with guts, brains, fingers, and a wonderful sick sense of humor."

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Callahan, whose quirky and irreverent cartoons attract a national following, describes his life as a quadriplegic with mordant, relentless and utterly unsentimental humor. Even before the accident that left him paralyzed, Callahan was on a self-destructive trajectory. An adolescent alcoholic, a youth in rebellion against authority, including his adoptive parents and his church, the author had his life forever changed when at age 21 he became a quadriplegic. In the course of his long rehabilitation and his continuing struggles with alcoholism, his endurance was bolstered by self-directed humor. As his sense of himself reemerged, Callahan undertook a search for his birth mother and now enjoys a healing of the break with his adoptive parents and siblings. The 60 of his cartoons reproduced here illustrate his life in Portland, Ore., where he has ``twice the drive of the average able-bodied person.'' First serial to Mother Jones. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679728245
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/1990
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 727,169
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 5, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    You Wouldn't Think an Adopted, Alcoholic Quadreplegic Would Be Funny, But John Callahan Is.

    The sickest, squirm-inducingest, "I can't believe I'm laughing at this" cartoonist ever also tells one heck of an interesting story. From his anger growing up adopted to the frustration and exhileration of searching for his birth mother to his struggle with alcoholism to being paralyzed from the neck down in an auto accident to a string of dodgy caregivers, Callahan has experienced it all. And he also became a successful cartoonist when he can barely hold a pen. You would think his story would be as depressing as Oliver Twist's, Edgar Allan Poe's and Lou Gehrig's combined, but Callahan makes most of it hilarious. He's one of the most unusual characters ever to give rides to girls in his wheelchair. Callahan's story will stick with you after most biographies have been forgotten.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2008

    Callahan is Callus

    Callahan gives insight into the life of the disabled. This book helped me understand more about a family members quadraplegia. Great read, but not for the faint of heart.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2003

    Recovery must-read

    Comedy and tragedy are so comingled in Callahan's mind that there's no separating them, which may be why he knows so much about life. A good read for anyone, whether you're trying to get sober, trying to recover from a terrible injury, or just trying to make sense out of the world. You'll laugh till you cry and cry till you laugh.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2000

    A quick and easy read

    I read this book for a rehabilitation class. It touched on many issues such as life as a person who is disabled. It also brought a new light on the lack of empathy from our welfare department. The book shows many examples of how people treat individuals with disabilities. Callahan does a great job putting his experience into words.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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