Below is the review I gave to Brain Tumours for Dummys by Daniel Lewis. Due to the nature of amazon's review policy, I kept any hint of knowing the background to this author out of it. I did not know Dan, but one of his nieces has been my youngest daughter's best friend since Reception year - they are now at college(!) - and through that link I have got to know a few of the family. I have known of his battle with this tumour for a while, usually via the Facebook updates from his sister and it was through her I also discovered he had written a book. Sadly Dan passed away recently and I finally got round to purchasing his story. I wish I'd bought it sooner. Everything I say below is an honest opinion, regardless of the small link I have to the family. I would urge anyone to read it. It puts so many of life's problems in perspective and makes you appreciative of what you have.
It also brought to mind an old friend of mine, and one of my husband's childhood friends, who also succumbed to a brain tumour at the age of only 29. We still keep in touch with his Mum and even now, see how much of a loss he is to her and always will be. To witness a parent losing a child at any age is tough.
This book was written before Dan lost his battle but it is not depressing, despite the subject matter. He has provided an honest account of how he coped and there is much in there that might help anybody else going through the same sort of thing; not least all the addresses and organisations which offer support listed at the back. There is also much to raise a smile. I know the family are proud of him and, having read this, rightly so.
Brain Tumours for Dummys by Daniel Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Powerful and Moving
A raw and honest personal account. Despite the horrors of living with a brain tumour, Dan writes with an inspirational and entertaining style. He shares the lows of radiotherapy with the highs of becoming a father of triplets, the ignorance and selfishness of neighbours from hell with the undeserving love and loyalty of family. His is a story that deserves to be shared.
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Last week's entry to Microcosms 107 became, to me, an unexpected Judge's Pick. I'm always surprised when a story of mine gets placed, always think that others have done it better, and so am always appreciative of any kind comments or support that come my way. The story used the intro to Rammstein's Sonne as a framework. The video follows after the story if you want to check it out.
Elements: Arrogant Teen; Rock Concert; Horror
He saw them looking. Eyes flicking in his direction. Small smiles. Wanting to be noticed, to become the One. Jay suppressed a self-satisfied smirk. Attention was a small price to pay for a free ticket to see his favourite band; the girls had invited him. He didn’t notice Fran standing at the back of the group. He certainly didn’t remember how he’d humiliated her, the pretend date, the shared photos of her alone at the diner. His attention was on the stage. The countdown began.
Jay watched the lead singer, noted moves he could copy.
Fran moved closer.
Torches flamed against the backdrop. Jay ignored those around him.
Fran took another the step. The girls around her followed, giggling. A coven.
The drums rolled thunder, drew him in further. Jay was the lead singer, the girls his backing band.
They were behind him now.
Flame erupted from keyboards, guitars, drums.
The girls fanned out around him.
No longer present, Jay allowed the pounding metal to take him away from everything.
Fran whispered something in his ear.
Jay felt a light fluttering at his cheek. Ignored it.
The circle was complete. Fran spoke and the others responded. Call and response, each time with fire as their backdrop.
Fire soared over the crowd. Jay looked on in awe.
Fran ignited her own flame.
Guitars scraped through him, their jagged edge commanding his attention.
The coven took Fran’s fire, spread it between them.
On stage, glittery embers started to shower down from above. Jay yearned to be up there, absorbed by flame.
Fran read his mind. Saw his dreams. She was only too happy to comply, to fulfil his wish.
A writer - I think that says it all.