Whether you're a fan of his music, or not. I just realized, that goodreads seems to have deleted my review of this book, that I wrote after I first read it. My opinion hasn't changed though, it is a marvelous story and beatifully written. I met Edwyn Collins and his wife Grace Maxwell in , when he performed at a small festival in Vienna, where I was working as the photographer. They both were the most kind people and when Grace told me about Edwyns strokes and the book she had written about it, I was compelled. Seeing him perform was I just realized, that goodreads seems to have deleted my review of this book, that I wrote after I first read it.
Seeing him perform was absolutely breathtaking.
When my father in law suffered a heart attack and had two successive strokes two months ago, the prognosis of the doctors was rather bleak. He won't wake up from the coma and if so, he'll most likely be a longterm nursing case, they said. I started reading "Falling and Laughing" as a reminder that doctors say some things, but the turnout can be very different also. I am lucky to say, that this was indeed the case with my father in law.
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After 33 days in the coma, he woke up and despite being weak and unable to move his left arm and leg yet , he is doing quite well. He did not suffer aphasia or any other speaking impairments and is quite good humoured. Maxwells book is a beautiful reminder of the powers of the mind. Her account shows how much she loves her husband, without shying away of admitting that the was sometimes short-tempered and overwhelmed.
She is wonderfully honest, with a great sense of humor. I am really delighted, that Edwyn will be back for a concert in Vienna this fall. I come to this book as a confirmed Edwyn Collins fan. In December I witnessed a wonderful set from Edwyn at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that was very emotional for me.
Falling & laughing : the restoration of Edwyn Collins / Grace Maxwell - Details - Trove
I was smiling, singing, dancing and cheering, all with tears in my eyes. To cap it all, on that day Teenage Fanclub were Edwyn's backing band. Needless to say, I have meant to read this book for some time.
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This book provides fascinating insights into the UK National Health Service the stuff the NHS does well and not so well ; how Edwyn recovered from his stroke; Edwyn's post-stroke therapy; the love of a wife and mother for her family; and, ultimately, the joy of being alive and Edwyn's determination to bounce back from a devastating illness. Grace Maxwell is very eloquent, and I come away from this book feeling that I know more about her, in particular her formidable and engaging personality. What is very clear is just how much she loves Edwyn and how she was, and continues to be, totally committed to their life together.
Edwyn and Grace are also surrounded by an amazing group of friends and family who enrich this book. I do wonder how much I would have enjoyed what is, in essence, a detailed and honest account of the effects of a serious illness on the patient and his loved ones, if that patient were not Edwyn Collins. My sense is that I would still have found it interesting, moving and worth reading. That said, as an Edwyn fan, I would also have liked more about life before Edwyn's stroke.
There are a few chapters that cover this area but I would love to read more. This is a bit unfair as it is not the purpose of this particular book; still perhaps Grace Maxwell might consider another book that covered the pre-stroke years in more detail? I am so pleased that this book has such an uplifting ending. Edwyn and his family endured a dreadful ordeal and "The Restoration Of Edwyn Collins" is nothing short of miraculous. Through a combination of Edwyn's determination, the support of his family, especially Grace, and the help of countless specialists, Edwyn is back performing, writing, drawing and working.
I recommend this book for fans and non-fans alike, and hope one day to be reviewing a second biography that covers the pre-stroke years. What do you say Grace? In the 's, when I was mumblefish years old, I loved this record called 'Rip It Up' by Orange Juice, and over the years I've sung it over and over again, always trying to imitate the unique voice of Edwyn Collins - for 'tis he who was the lead singer.
Decades later, I'm perusing the books in the sale in York Library and I come across this book and I think to myself - I wonder what Edwyn's been doing all this time? Well now I know. According to his partner not that I have any reason to doubt her In the 's, when I was mumblefish years old, I loved this record called 'Rip It Up' by Orange Juice, and over the years I've sung it over and over again, always trying to imitate the unique voice of Edwyn Collins - for 'tis he who was the lead singer.
FALLING AND LAUGHING by Grace Maxwell
According to his partner not that I have any reason to doubt her he has been making music, apart from this one spell where he had a stroke and nearly died. It was great reading about Edwyn's time with Orange Juice and about his personality and interests back then. It was lovely getting to know what he did and how he did it. The one ironic thing, considering that it was one of the few things I knew Edwyn for, was that 'Rip It Up' never got a mention in the book.
Perhaps there's a story here that Grace didn't want to think or talk about. Who knows? Well, probably Edwyn does - but that's another thing. In fact, that's the only thing missing from this book - Edwyn's voice. He hardly gets a word in, considering this is a book about him.
In that sense it feels like an unauthorised biography. I've got a lot of time for people that fight their way back from something like this. In fact, sometimes I catch myself thinking how jealous I am that I don't have something to fight my way back from.
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But then I clap my mental hand over my thoughts, just in case someone up there is listening and decides to make my 'dream' come true, and I remind myself that I have a shy and retiring personality, and that that's enough to fight against all by itself. So, the book is entertaining, because it's about someone I admire, it's interesting because I like reading about people who fight against the odds, and it's nice because it brings back so many memories - some good, some bad; and memories are friendly things.
Apr 24, Natalie rated it really liked it. I thought this was a going to be more of a music biog with reference to Edwyn's health but in actual fact its an emotional transcript from the wife of a stroke victim watching helplessly as her husband tries to re-create his life. I loved it. Grace Maxwell is a fantastic writer - funny, charming and honest - and I hope she realises that her husband isn't the only talent worth celebrating in her family.
Highly recommended but if its a history of Scottish indie pop you are looking for then go else I thought this was a going to be more of a music biog with reference to Edwyn's health but in actual fact its an emotional transcript from the wife of a stroke victim watching helplessly as her husband tries to re-create his life. Highly recommended but if its a history of Scottish indie pop you are looking for then go elsewhere. View 2 comments. I would give this three and a half stars if I could. Powerful and emotional, I recommend it to anyone interested in the mysterious workings of the brain.
Jan 29, Pip Lincolne rated it it was amazing.
A brilliant, sad and hopeful book. Simply and beautifully written. So glad I read it. Jan 20, Keith Astbury rated it it was amazing.
By the time the book finishes he isn't just doing these things again, he is back singing in public. A moving and humbling read x.