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Mark Zupan has become the face of those with physical disabilities for two reasons 1 His role in the documentary Murder Ball and, 2 The fact that most of those with disabilites fall into his demographic young males who made poor decisions or were affected by someone else who did.Just as it s no accident that Mark takes over the big screen with his coarse and aggressive personality, it s not surprising that this book hits on a lot of levels.On the surface a dude with tats , a long goatee and a strong vocabulary of 4 letter words would seem to be the type of guy who would tell a macho and cold tale On the contrary, Zupe shows an incredible range of emotions and is brutally honest His personality, when all is taken into account, is refreshingly genuine.And so is his book the refreshing part enters when Mark shows you how, without the wheelchair, his life would ve been much less than it is I am lucky he says than once, Because this chair has allowed me opportunities than I would have had walking He is a world class athlete para Olympian and former DI soccer player, an interesting voice, and he created a great read that intertwines his story with the guilt ridden saga of the best friend whose negligence put Mark in the wheelchair.Shy away only if language and brutal honesty pierces your thin skin And while the writing is much less than perfect even barely publish able at times , the story overcomes its shortcomings. Finished this today It s one hell of a satisfying reads ever Didn t know biographies could so interesting This book almost converted me into a sports junkie From now on, I have new respect for athletes and I am pretty sure to be watching out for quad rugby, football and soccer Zupan s passion on sports and athleticism is most infectious I salute Zupan s no holds barred and poignant approach in the retelling of his story He tell it as it is without sugar coating anything or censorship I really felt like I am reading someone s diary Very intimate Although Zupan s somewhat a jock but he is certainly one with substance Just like Shapiro puts it in the afterword section, he seemed like little than a one note jock I totally agree with him Zupan is a very competitive guy, loving especially towards those he cares about, pretty smart and totally a go getter Plus, I am pleasantly surprise as to the countless times I find his words to be deeply profound He can be quite a funny guy too As he loves to inject funny quips throughout his book. I enjoyed the documentary Murderball so I expected to like this memoir by the movie s star Mark Zupan Unfortunately, it s just really poorly delivered in every way his co author must be a near novice because the writing style is simply elementary and Zupan s clearly not an actor or orator because his narration of the audiobook sounds completely unnatural Worst of all, I think the book is supposed to be about heroically overcoming obstacles, but I came away with exactly the opposite feeling about Mark and his experiences He too often says things like I m pathetic and Who would want to be with a guy in a wheelchair which I m sure every paraplegic thinks at some point, but probably doesn t say out loud, especially if they re trying to be a role model Worst of all, he idolizes his mother, putting her on a pedestal for giving him so much attention and care in the time immediately after his accident I can t be the only one who sees that SHE S THE REASON HE S IN A WHEELCHAIR His overly permissive parents let him and his teen friends drink in their home which VERY DIRECTLY contributed to the behaviors that put his best friend behind the wheel of a pickup and Mark in a freezing Florida canal I have no pity for people who abuse substances and or encourage others to do so, and I certainly can t put any of them on a pedestal. This book was one that I had to read for a Freshman college class I taught in 2010 I was eager to read it because I love memoirs and thought that this would be a very interesting one After reading the first half of the book, I had very mixed feelings Mostly I thought that while Mark was a funny guy, he was also a womanizer I m glad that the story from his perspective wasn t sugar coated, but at the same time I think it might be hard for some women to read this book without feeling very defensive toward him Also, I like how they didn t edit his language in the book I watched the companion documentary, Murderball, and how the book was written is exactly how he would speak in real life That being said, I could tell the parts that he wrote exclusively, and the parts that were collaborative efforts between him and his editor.The book really does give a fantastic outlook on permanent injuries, and his perseverance is unmatched I think that the book was very inspiring in ways, albeit slightly controversial I m glad that I read this and it made for interesting discussion in my class I just don t think it was my cup of tea. I got this book through BookMooch Thanks BookMooch giver I picked this book up, thinking I would just get started reading it, and the next thing I knew, I was halfway done and it was the middle of the night The same thing happened the next night I thought I would just read a chapter or maybe two, but I couldn t put it down until I finished it.Mark Zupan writes like he s talking, which makes this book exciting and easy to read I really enjoyed reading his honest telling of his accident and recovery.There was a lot of detail of how he did basic things like eliminate waste and have sex during his recovery, but less detail about how he does such things in his current day to day life Am I weird to want to know that stuff I thought there would be details of the love story between him and his girlfriend how they met, how they got together, how their sex life works out , but instead, the reader gets details about his romance with quad rugby.All in all, this is a great addition to both the genres of memoir and disability literature. I tried really hard not to like this book Required reading sucks and I put if off as long as humanly possible And I d probably give this a 3.5 if I could But I can t So I rounded up for good writing style.I know this book was supposed to inspire me, but it didn t I felt sorry for him, yeah, but it s one of those cautionary tales as he put it I m not going to get so drunk I m passed out in the bed of my friend s truck I know the consequences of drinking, so I felt this was sort of wasted on me.Actually, I felt sympathy for his friend Igoe than I did him Igoe was the one who caused the accident and had to live with himself after that No one wanted to talk to him about his feelings Everyone whispered behind his back Who cared about poor Igoe His crippled his best friend But the dude had so much to deal with, I couldn t not feel bad for him.Anyway, glad that s over I m planning on reading whatever I want from now on Until the next required assignment. College Soccer Star Mark Zupan Had Been Out Drinking One Night And Had Passed Out In The Back Of His Best Friend S Pickup Truck When His Friend Got In The Driver S Seat, Decided To Take The Truck For A Spin, And Accidentally Crashed It Thrown Into A Canal And Stuck In Frigid Water For Fourteen Hours, Mark Was Finally Rescued And Learned Soon After That He D Broken His Neck He D Most Likely Be A Quadriplegic And Spend The Rest Of His Life In A Wheelchair, Doctors Told Him At First Mark S Only Goal Was To Walk Again When That Proved Impossible, He Fell Into The Depths Of Anger And Despair, Retreating From The World And The People Closest To Him But Love, Friendship, And A New Sport, Quad Rugby Aka Murderball , Helped Mark Create A New Existence That S Truly Exceptional Gimp, The No Holds Barred Memoir Of A Paralympic Athlete And The Star Of The Academy Award Nominated Documentary Murderball, Is An Inspiring, Defiant, And Revealing Celebration Of Spirit And Will That Confounds Readers Prejudices By Offering Proof That A Guy In A Chair Can Still Do Amazing Things Have Sex With His Girlfriend, Party With His Friends Even Crowd Surf At Pearl Jam Shows My wife got hurt with a spinal cord injury a little than a year ago I started reading all the books I could to learn from others what the capabilities and possibilities are for her Mark shows in his book how he proceeds forward even though life is give him a hard process to push through.We moved out of our state to South Florida to attend the Center for Neuro Recovery in North Palm Beach We found out that this is one of the best centers in the country for exercise, recovery and independence My wife has been here a little than seven months and is at her strongest ever and is able to take steps once again It s amazing to see her perseverance and dedication It s people like my wife, mark and others that make all the positive examples for people with spinal cord injuries I wish everyone the best in their personal journeyhttp www.centerforneurorecovery.com Zupan was my hero during that brief month I was obsessed with Murderball I work with people with disabilities, and I show it often as a source of inspiration But, reading this made me think less of him I am not a fan of life stories written by two people There were times when I definitely doubted the source of the wording Also, he came off a bitfratish Pearl Jam obsessed, hot chick gettin , star high school athlete The end was redeeming enough, I guess There was not enough about the things I truly wondered about during the movie Information about his girlfriend, how the team got along, where they all came from, his college professor s reaction to his injury None of it was there The whole book left me feeling like much of his charm came from Dana Shapiro s graceful editing Meh. Honest, gritty, in your face writing from the star of the Academy award nominated documentary Murderball The book isn t a pity party and Zupan isn t portayed as a courageous person with a disability Don t read the book if details about sex, bodily functions, and the shenanigans of college jocks make you squeamish I was grossed out a few times, laughed a few times, and whether he wanted me to be or not, I was definitely inspired Its a fairly concise book, good readability, with nice size print I recommend this book By the way, I was able to meet Mr Zupan at a conference last year April of 2009 He was really nice, and I told him how much I enjoyed his book.