Stronger

( 12 )

Overview

When Jeff Bauman woke up on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 in the Boston Medical Center, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs, the first thing he did was try to speak. When he realized he couldn't, he asked for a pad and paper and wrote down seven words: "Saw the guy. Looked right at me," setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history.

Just thirty hours before, Jeff had been at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon cheering on his ...

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Stronger

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Overview

When Jeff Bauman woke up on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 in the Boston Medical Center, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs, the first thing he did was try to speak. When he realized he couldn't, he asked for a pad and paper and wrote down seven words: "Saw the guy. Looked right at me," setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history.

Just thirty hours before, Jeff had been at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon cheering on his girlfriend, Erin, when the first bomb went off at his feet. As he was rushed to the hospital, he realized he was severely injured and that he might die, but he didn't know that a photograph of him in a wheelchair was circulating throughout the world, making him the human face of the Boston Marathon bombing victims, or that what he'd seen would give the Boston police their most important breakthrough.

Up until the marathon, Jeff had been a normal 27-year-old guy, looking forward to moving in with Erin and starting the next phase of their lives together. But when his life was turned upside down in ways he could never have fathomed, Jeff did not give up. Instead he faced his new circumstances with grace, humor, and a sense of purpose: he was determined, no matter what, to walk again.

In STRONGER, Jeff describes the chaos and terror of the bombing itself and the ongoing FBI investigation in which he was a key witness. He takes us inside his grueling rehabilitation, and discusses his attempt to reconcile the world's admiration with his own guilt and frustration. And he tells of the courage of his fellow survivors. Brave, compassionate, and emotionally compelling, Jeff Bauman's story is not just his, but ours as well. It proves that the terrorists accomplished nothing with their act of cowardice and shows the entire world what Boston Strong really means.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

On April 15th, 2013, Jeff Bauman had a very simple plan: He would stand near the finish line and cheer on his girlfriend and her two friends as they finished the Boston Marathon. Just a day later, the victim of the first of the two bombs had no legs. In this unforgettable memoir, this courageous young man writes about happened during those dark days, including his brief, telling encounter with Tamerlan Tsarnaev just moments before the attack. Even more gripping is his account of his recovery and the support system that grew around him.

From the Publisher
"Bauman's moving story illustrates what he believes: 'We are better than cowards with bombs...We are stronger.'"—People Magazine

"A moving demonstration of how strength of mind and character helped one man stand tall despite the loss of his legs."—Kirkus

Library Journal
11/15/2013
Bauman's life changed dramatically when a bomb exploded at last spring's Boston Marathon, severing both of his legs. Since then, his upbeat, determined attitude has been an inspiration to people worldwide. To be published on the first anniversary of the event; expect huge media (so far, Bauman has given few interviews). With a 250,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-18
One man's account of life before and after the Boston Marathon bombing. While Bauman waited near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, he happened to notice a man in the crowd: "There was something off about him….He had on a hooded jacket that seemed too heavy, even on a cool day. The thing that really struck me, though, was his demeanor. Everyone was cheering and watching the race….Except this guy….He was all business." Bauman had just looked into the eyes of Tamerlan Tsarnaev a few seconds before his pressure-cooker bomb exploded, taking Bauman's legs with it. With the help of Witter (co-author: Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy, 2013, etc.), Bauman recounts his story of that day and the months that followed as he worked through excruciating pain, surgeries and rehab. He struggled with anger and depression at what had happened to him and the unexpected and sometimes-unwelcome focus of thousands of strangers. By losing his legs but remaining optimistic and upbeat in front of the cameras, he became a symbol of hope, and he adroitly addresses the emotional push and pull of wanting to be strong for others while feeling weak and extremely vulnerable inside. He leaned heavily on new friends and his girlfriend, Erin, a woman he had broken up with a few weeks before the marathon took place. Gritty details of how his life changed after the bombing intermingle with inspiring moments of throwing the first pitch at a Red Sox game or waving the flag before a Bruins hockey game. Although he lost his legs and his life is permanently changed, Bauman refuses to let those circumstances hold him back. A moving demonstration of how strength of mind and character helped one man stand tall despite the loss of his legs.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455557332
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 1,054,999
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Bauman was an ordinary 27-year-old when a bomb took his legs at the Boston Marathon. A photograph taken at the scene and his vital role in identifying the bomber made him the face of the tragedy, but his determination, humor, and positive attitude has since inspired millions.
Bret Witter has co-authored eight New York Times bestsellers. His books have been translated into over thirty languages and sold over two million copies worldwide
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    A very inspiring book and a unique view into what happened one y

    A very inspiring book and a unique view into what happened one year ago. An uplifting story that will make you laugh and tear up all at the same time. A quick read: started at 6PM last night and finished by 10AM this morning! #bostonstrong

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Boston

    As a bostonian this is a true inpiration

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2014

    Deeply Personal and Moving

    Jeff's first person account of his journey transformed by that April day in 2013 vividly transported me to that place as if I had been there myself. Seeing the event through his eyes, with all of the feelings he had going on for himself, was like having a conversation with my brother. Some parts are difficult to read and moved me to tears, mostly those parts that spoke of ordinary people who did extraordinary things to save other people's lives without fear of losing their own. While Jeff refers to the criminals as the cause of the tragedy that changed so many lives, his story is more of a testimonial to the many "helpers" that came forward to make a difference in his life and the lives of those forever altered. He is living proof of Nietzsche's enduring "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2014

    Started reading and could not put it down. This is the real stor

    Started reading and could not put it down. This is the real story of courage and strength and suffering that Jeff Bauman doesn't let the public see. From the photos in the hospital I thought he was happy and healing fast, in reality he was in constant pain and afraid. Lots of real life emotion and drama, family issues, fears, successes, vivid images. You want Jeff to be happy and healthy and successful because what happened to him was horrific and gruesome beyond words, and what he has had to endure would lead most people to dark depression. This book should be required reading for any person who suffers a traumatic injury and/or amputation because it lifts the curtain off rehab and tells it like it is. Good on you Jeff, well done, love the book and hope you write many more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Loved this book! So inspiring in unexpected ways. Engaging, quic

    Loved this book! So inspiring in unexpected ways. Engaging, quick read but stays with you in surprising ways. 
    Uplifting and worth every minute! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite Stronger by Jeff

    Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite

    Stronger by Jeff Bauman (with Bret Witter, as read by Jeff Woodman for Hachette Audio) is an emotionally affecting, patriotic, unflinchingly honest Everyman tale of the road back from unthinkable and senseless tragedy to a place of trust, forward-looking optimism and seemingly impossible reflective gratitude. As its title implies, Stronger is a purpose-driven narrative focusing on lessons learned and gifts received in the wake of overwhelming loss. The now-famous photo of Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair, missing both of his legs in the aftermath of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, became one of the most universally recognizable images in the world within hours of the tragedy and plunged Jeff into a public life for which he was neither prepared nor forewarned. To lose one’s legs is indeed a tragedy; to have to recover with the world watching is perhaps an even greater challenge. At the time of the Boston bombing which took his legs, Jeff Bauman was about as much of a ‘Regular Joe’ as one could imagine - working part time for a low hourly wage that barely covered expenses, on hiatus from college after a mixed success in freshman year, living in the moment, without a meaningful relationship, and struggling to find a productive place in an increasingly complex world. He was not a success, not a failure, and not moving forward. He was ‘just getting by,’ as so many do. His family was fiercely devoted to one another but dramatically dysfunctional, with opportunities for advancement and progress always seeming to be just over the horizon. Then, in one blinding moment, Jeff was forever separated from all that he had known. He woke up in a new world, with horrible injuries and the long road to recovery eclipsing all that he had known.

    Although Jeff Bauman’s recovery and long list of post-injury accomplishments are certainly remarkable, they are neither the focus nor the point of Stronger. The most remarkable feature of this narrative is its absolute commitment to honesty. The days when Bauman refuses to take the high road in his recovery process far outnumber his days of wisdom and vision, and he reports them just as they happened, warts and all. His honesty is a mirror, in which few of us reflect as being all that we could be. He is the quintessential modern anti-hero, called to adventure by circumstance and straining against his fate on every step of the journey. He responds exactly the way so many of us would - with anger, self-pity, self doubt, self-loathing, fear, regret, and a resounding ‘why me?’ sensibility. While honesty is the lens through which Stronger turns our vision inward, the key to its extraordinary power is that Jeff Bauman actively chooses not to respond with hatred - will not allow that emotion even to enter into the mix. This is the divine spark which ignites the reader’s imagination: this is the super-human aspect to Bauman’s hero journey that resonates and lingers long after the last page has been turned. We are inspired and indicted all at once by Bauman’s patent refusal to allow hate to color his response to such staggering loss, when so many of us would do exactly that. The conclusion of Stronger juxtaposes Bauman’s triumph in learning to walk on his new prosthetic legs with the 2013 Boston Red Sox victory in the World Series; here again, it is the unflinching honesty with which the narrative has been rendered that delivers such an ending from being maudlin or cloying. Would-be cynics are shown the door by the pure sweetness of an ending so happy that any attempt to scoff would place one decidedly outside of the human condition. 

    Jeff Woodman’s reading of Stronger for Hachette Audio effectively captures the ordinary aspects of Bauman’s personality and pre-bombing existence while revealing the extraordinary aspects of his character as it evolves through the narrative. He renders the text with the exact degree of intimacy required to make Bauman real for the listener, without ever falling prey to the actor’s urge to take center stage. Stronger by Jeff Bauman is a graceful, triumphant bow on a blood-soaked stage - the kind of cathartic curtain call that reminds us of the ageless miracle of human resilience in the face of senseless tragedy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Beautifully written story

    Jeff did an awesome job explaining his story.Well worth reading!!!!

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  • Posted May 9, 2014

    excellent book

    this book helps you understand the struggles of an innocent bystander
    who became a double amputee in a few moments. Its rather gritty at times but hard to put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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