Tuesday, April 05, 2011

My Lobotomy by Howard Dully

Howard Dully was 12 years old when he was given a lobotomy. He was 56 years old when he found out why. The four decades in between tell a story of profound love and compassion. In 1960, Howard's father and stepmother delivered him into the hands of the man who had invented the 'ice pick' lobotomy. Expelled from the mainstream medical community, his once-popular procedure now a grisly medical relic, Dr Walter Freeman was eager to turn this temperamental 12-year-old into a submissive boy - especially after hearing the terrible lies his stepmother told about him. Howard, told he was going into the hospital for tests, was instead given electro-shock treatments and a transorbital lobotomy. It took him 40 years to recover. Howard Dully's escape from that dark place is a voyage of enormous hope and universal appeal.

I rather adored and was completely terrified by this book. It's written in a truly charming style that really helps you connect with the characters and the time. Well, as much as is possible, because as I've said before, it's really hard to imagine living in other times, in a life so different from your own. I would recommend this book as an interesting look at an interesting time, realising that as recently as 50years ago, things were medically and socially accepted norms were quite different.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Sheesh. I don't know if I could handle reading that.

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