Tim Laskowski’s first novel provides a unique insider’s look into the world of a brain-injured man in his mid-thirties. More than a decade before the novel opens, Robert Nyquist suffered traumatic injury in a rock-climbing accident near his home in Missoula, Montana. His once-bright future irrevocably lost, he is now writing this account of his present life as he starts Transitions, a new rehab program that promises to teach him the skills necessary to leave the group home to live more independently. Robert is aided in his ambitious endeavor to record his thoughts by a volunteer writing coach, Ellen, who encourages him to articulate his feelings and helps him to make his memoir intelligible. Telling his story causes Robert to explore and re-define his relationshipswith Lorna, another group home resident who is dying of multiple sclerosis and with whom he has established a sexual and emotional bond; with his parents, who are still struggling to accept their son’s disabilities; with his adolescent son John, whose very existence still fills him with uncertainty; and with his caregivers. Robert’s voice is that of a man desperate to achieve coherence and “appropriateness” in the midst of a swirling, confusing reality.
|Publisher:||Southern Methodist University Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.24(w) x 9.42(h) x 0.71(d)|
About the Author
The grandson of Polish immigrants, TIM LASKOWSKI grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, earning his B.A. in Social Work from Gannon University. He received his M.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and his Ph.D. from Ohio University. He has worked in a Christian peace center, done volunteer social service work in Ireland, and worked in Child Protective Services. He is the current president of the Montana chapter of VSA, a national organization that promotes art opportunities for the disabled. His fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in many literary venues. He is coauthor of A Race to Nowhere: An Arms Race Primer for Catholics. The father of a teenage son, Evan, Laskowski lives in Missoula where he is a case manager for physically disabled people.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Every Good Boy Does Fine: A Novel based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Robert was a bright and promising student and a good pianist, but that was before his accident. He fell while mountain climbing, and is now severely brain-damaged. Living in a group home, probably one of the best of its kind, he spends his days dependent on what he calls "paid caregivers." Now he is writing his journal, trying to put his jumbled thoughts on paper (on computer) with the help of Ellen, his volunteer writing coach. It is a painful exploration, for Robert has probably reached his maximum improvement. In his thoughts he is sensitive and articulate but few people can understand what he is saying. His mobility is limited. He needs help for the most basic activities of daily living. Although the care he receives is excellent, it is also demeaning. He talks about the artificially bright demeanor of those who work with him, but seldom have time to listen to him. Like other patients with closed head injuries he is often impulsive, easily loses his temper, and sometimes shows poor judgment. His feeble attempts to relate sexually are considered "inappropriate" by those around him. Author Tim Laskowski, who has worked with brain damaged patients for many years, explores the inner world of Robert with great empathy and sensitivity. He does this with extraordinary skill, without ever falling into sentimentality. His use of language is flawless, managing to hit just the right pitch for this difficult subject matter. And, if he doesn't completely understand the inner world, the suffering and small triumphs, of Robert's life, he probably comes as close as anyone could. This is a painful and difficult memoir, beautifully done. I recommend it highly. Reviewed by Louis N. Gruber
I wanted to like this book. I really did. However, This is honestly one of the worst books I have ever read. I bought it based on the reviews on another site. Looking back, I wish I had saved my money. Those reviews were obviously written by people who know the author (or were the author). I read that the author based the main character on one of his case studies from his work as a social worker. Really? Isn't that a violation of the patient's HIPPA rights? Did the author financially compensate the patient for using his life events? I'm going to guess not. Save yourself a couple of dollars and the cost of shipping and buy a different book. This one is dreadful.