Shrinkage: Manhood, Marriage, and the Tumor That Tried to Kill Me
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Shrinkage: Manhood, Marriage, and the Tumor That Tried to Kill Me

4.8 12
by Bryan Bishop
     
 

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A New York Times bestseller!

An Amazon Best Books of 2014 selection

"If you're reading this, it means I'm already dead. Just kidding."

In 2009, at thirty years old, Bryan Bishop's life was right on track. Known to millions as "Bald Bryan," the sidekick and soundman on the record-setting podcast,

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Overview

A New York Times bestseller!

An Amazon Best Books of 2014 selection

"If you're reading this, it means I'm already dead. Just kidding."

In 2009, at thirty years old, Bryan Bishop's life was right on track. Known to millions as "Bald Bryan," the sidekick and soundman on the record-setting podcast, The Adam Carolla Show, his radio career was taking off. He was newly engaged. Then, he and his fiancée Christie were delivered a crushing blow when he was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma—an inoperable brain tumor. Suddenly Bryan's promising future was transformed into a grueling schedule of radiation and chemotherapy while facing his mortality.

In this poignant narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and hysterical, Bishop shares the surreal experiences of writing his will with the bravado of a pulp novelist, taking chemo in a strip club, and (technically) the closest he ever got to achieving his lifelong dream of a threesome—when a physical therapist had to show his wife how to bathe him in the shower during his weakened state.

Whether recounting his search for the most aggressive form of treatment, how radiation treatment jeopardized his ability to (literally) walk down the aisle or even smile for his wedding photos, or recalling the time his wife inadvertently drugged him in a pool in Maui, Bishop's inimitable voice radiates through his story.

As the author celebrates how treatment shrunk his tumor and gave him a new lease on life, Shrinkage reveals the resilience of the human spirit—and the power of laughter—during even the darkest times.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/30/2014
In his debut, Bishop, sidekick on The Adam Corolla Show, turns the story of his inoperable brain tumor into a comedic memoir of illness, courage, despair, and hope. Not long before Bishop's wedding, a doctor told the thirty year old that he had "six months to a year" to live. Though this may not seem like an ideal jumping off point for an amusing book, much of its charm is in the humorous prose (on being conceived despite his mom being on contraception: "This can only mean I am the Chosen One"). Bishop never pulls punches, and writes openly about the doctors (and others) he detests most and why, the stressful issues that came between his wife and parents, and even the humiliation of soiling himself. Still, whether he is being serious or funny, the heart of the book lays in his battle with cancer, which, though it causes him to lose his mobility, voice and masculinity, never causes him to lose hope. It is this unflinching positive spirit of survival, as well as the steadfast strength and devotion of his wife Christie, that proves true the old adage—comedy is tragedy plus time. The book provides a relatable and informative look at cancer treatment that will benefit anyone who is or knows someone living with the disease. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-02
Radio personality Bishop, aka "Bald Bryan" from the Adam Carolla Show podcast, depicts his battle with an inoperable brain tumor. In 2008, surfing a wave of personal and career success in radio, the 30-year-old author began experiencing troubling health issues beginning with numbness in his lips and tongue and a lack of coordination. He would consume a beer or two and become extremely drunk. For five months, he kept quiet regarding his symptoms. Finally, Bishop confided to the love of his life and live-in girlfriend, Christie, that something was wrong. Initially given six months to live, Bishop began radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Combining humor with the stark reality of his situation, Bishop shepherds readers through his life following the bleak diagnosis. From being fitted for his radiation mask to his bachelor party in Las Vegas, a comical trip to a sperm bank, his wedding and honeymoon in Maui, the author chronicles both the highs and lows of his journey through the disease. "Things started to get significantly worse after our honeymoon," he writes. "For the next month, my symptoms worsened almost by the day." The author adroitly weaves his family story and professional exploits into the tale of his illness, and he also mixes in the personal touchstones of his journey, including the playlists he used during his treatment; photos; a list of his greatest regrets; and down-to-earth advice for those facing this serious illness ("Tumor Tips"). Bishop recounts the pressures on his new wife, the financial stress the couple faced and his guilt over a family breach spawned by the emotional stress of his illness. A candid recounting of this funnyman's navigation across cancer's rocky terrain and his trek back to health. Bishop's narrative brings a much-appreciated dose of human warmth to a dark and scary place.
From the Publisher

“Told in dude-style prose just waiting to be filmed by Judd Apatow…Bishop writes powerfully about the frightening reality of his disease and the desperate search for treatment. Occasionally he offers a 'Tumor Tip' that gives advice in refreshingly plain, readable language…Scene after scene is both sad and funny.” —The Washington Post

“If ever there was a book that combines laugh-aloud humor and heartbreak, Bryan Bishop's Shrinkage is it. It will grab hold of you and it won't let go.” —T. C. Boyle, New York Times bestselling author and PEN/Faulkner Award winner

“Since none of us is getting out of this alive, we are all measured, in a way, by the prospect of that mortality. Bryan Bishop has faced his ultimate truth with wit, compassion, honesty and art, providing the rest of us with what we need most--inspiration.” —Ken Burns, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Filmmaker

“In his debut, Bishop, sidekick on The Adam Corolla Show, turns the story of his inoperable brain tumor into a comedic memoir of illness, courage, despair, and hope…Still, whether he is being serious or funny, the heart of the book lays in his battle with cancer, which, though it causes him to lose his mobility, voice and masculinity, never causes him to lose hope. It is this unflinching positive spirit of survival, as well as the steadfast strength and devotion of his wife Christie, that proves true the old adage--comedy is tragedy plus time. The book provides a relatable and informative look at cancer treatment that will benefit anyone who is or knows someone living with the disease.” —Publishers Weekly

“A candid recounting of this funnyman's navigation across cancer's rocky terrain and his trek back to health. Bishop's narrative brings a much-appreciated dose of human warmth to a dark and scary place.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Bishop delivers a moving testament to the goodness of friends, family, and strangers during times of need.” —Booklist

“Bishop's …positive attitude remains intact…It's an attitude that no doubt can inspire others…[a] very engaging and uplifting book.” —San Antonio Express-News Review

“Bryan is smart and knows it. And wants you to know it. As you read this book you'll see just how sharp and clever he is.” —from the Foreword by Adam Carolla

“This is a must read for anyone with a pulse.” —Dr. Drew Pinsky, Loveline and Dr. Drew on Call

“Bald Bryan puts the can in cancer and the bone in boner!” —Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“Greatly supplementing the heartfelt...funny account that follows are Bishop's Tumor Tips--extremely useful nuggets of advice for anyone navigating a scary battle with a life-threatening disease.” —Penthouse

“Instead of giving up, Bryan found refuge in comedy. Within the page of Shrinkage, Bryan recounts several experiences of his treatment and recovery through a comedic lens while never losing sight of the stark reality of his diagnosis.” —Star & Lamp Review

“I laughed out loud and even shed a few tears. I learned something too: he taught me facts about having cancer that aren't in medical textbooks… the book speaks eloquently of the power of having good friends, and that, together with good chemotherapy, a sense of humor, love, determination and self-belief, it is possible to survive ordeals such as this while remaining uncompromisingly yourself.” —Lancet Oncology Journal

“Cancer is not funny. But...this book about Bryan's cancer is VERY funny. I'm so confused.” —Bobby Moynihan, Saturday Night Live

“Bryan is truly the most underrated of comedic sidekicks and talents in radio and new media. What makes Bryan's book even more special is his life journey, which will inspire all who read it.” —Maria Menounos, New York Times bestselling author and host of Extra

“Bryan's story is heartwarming, funny as hell, and as inspirational as they come.” —Jerry O'Connell, actor

“[An] insightful memoir of Bald Bryan who maintains his sense of humor and positive outlook on life while battling brain cancer. An honest, smart read...” —Natalie Coughlin, 12-time Olympic medalist swimmer

“Bryan's book gives the reader a glimpse into how to approach one of life's true nightmares with complete pragmatism and calm. This book is a must read.” —Jay Mohr, actor

“It's honestly brilliant.” —Teresa Strasser, bestselling author and host of The List

“As a fan of the show, I loved the insight into a time I only had glimpses of via the podcast. Expected it to break my heart a bit, didn't expect all the funny.” —John Cho, Harold & Kumar and Star Trek

New York Times bestselling author and PEN/Faulkner T. C. Boyle

If ever there was a book that combines laugh-aloud humor and heartbreak, Bryan Bishop's Shrinkage is it. It will grab hold of you and it won't let go.
New York Times bestselling author and host of Extr Maria Menounos

Bryan is truly the most underrated of comedic sidekicks and talents in radio and new media. What makes Bryan's book even more special is his life journey, which will inspire all who read it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250039842
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/29/2014
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,228,773
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

PROLOGUE

If you’re reading this, it means I’m already dead.

Just kidding. I’m not dead. (Spoiler alert.) I’ve just always wanted to say that. It’s one of three things I’ve always wanted to say with 100 percent sincerity but never had the right opportunity. The other two:

“I suppose you’re all wondering why I’ve summoned you here tonight” and . . .

“Can your casino please provide me with a security escort so I can safely transport my winnings back to my helicopter?”

Of those three phrases, you can clearly see why I chose the first one to start off this book. Although, it’s technically not the first time I’ve used that line. Or maybe it is. You be the judge.

When I was first diagnosed with brain cancer at age thirty, my fiancée (Christie) and I decided to make out a last will and testament. In a sad reflection of my (im)maturity, I cared far less for what was in my will than how it started out. I insisted that it start with the line “If you’re reading this, it means I’m already dead.”

This was comedy of the highest order to me. To Christie, not so much. But this gallows humor would, I believe, help me get through whatever challenges cancer was going to throw at me. So please bear that in mind as you read this book. If a joke seems morbid or twisted or in some other way irreverent, just remind yourself, “This is the guy who thought it would be funny to start his last will and testament with ‘If you’re reading this, it means I’m already dead.’ ”

Please, enjoy.

Meet the Author

Bryan Bishop has been the on-air sidekick for The Adam Carolla Show since 2006. What started as a syndicated morning radio show evolved into "The World's Most Downloaded Podcast," as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. He has also appeared as a contestant on Comedy Central's Beat the Geeks and on the syndicated game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Bishop was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Christie.

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Shrinkage: Manhood, Marriage, and the Tumor that Tried to Kill Me 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up the hardcover last weekend. This is a very well done book. There are quite a few laugh out loud funny parts, and also quite a few "I hope nobody is looking at me as I'm balling my eyes out" parts. Anyone who has been through cancer, or with a loved one will really relate to this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Both heartbreaking and hysterical!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read.  I laughed I cried.  Thanks  Bryan and Christie for telling your story. 
pmrbooks More than 1 year ago
fighting cancer ... well done
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even more of an emotional rollercoaster than I expected. Had me both laughing and sobbing uncontrollably. Charmingly honest. I could not stop reading.
lambiepie More than 1 year ago
HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!!! 5 Stars. One of the most enjoyable books I have read since "Wild"...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could not put this book down. An amazing story, thanks for sharing Bryan. Amazing humor & wit while dealing with a horrific batlle. Inspiring.
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