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About this product
- DescriptionA gut-wrenching memoir by a man who was lobotomized at the age of twelve.Assisted by journalist/velist Charles Fleming, Howard Dully recounts a family tragedy whose Sophoclean proportions he could only sketch in his powerful 2005 broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered. In 1960, he writes, I was given a transorbital, or 'ice pick' lobotomy. My stepmother arranged it. My father agreed to it. Dr. Walter Freeman, the father of the American lobotomy, told me he was going to do some 'tests.' It took ten minutes and cost two hundred dollars. Fellow doctors called Freeman's technique barbaric: an ice pick-like instrument was inserted about three inches into each eye socket and twirled to sever connections from the frontal lobe to the rest of the brain. The procedure was intended to help curb a variety of psychoses by muting emotional responses, but sometimes it irreversibly reduced patients to a childlike state or (in 15 percent of the operations Freeman performed) killed them outright. Dully's ten-minute test did neither, but in some ways it had a far crueler result, since it didn't end the unruly behavior that had set his stepmother against him to begin with. I spent the next forty years in and out of insane asylums, jails, and halfway houses, he tells us. I was homeless, alcoholic, and drug-addicted. I was lost. From all accounts, there was excuse for the lobotomy. Dully had never been crazy, and his (t very) bad behavior sounds like the typical acting-up of a child in desperate need of affection. His stepmother responded with unrelenting abuse and neglect, and his father allowed her to demonize his son and never admitted his complicity in the lobotomy; Freeman capitalized on their monumental dysfunction. It's a tale of epic horror, and while Dully's courage in telling it inspires awe, listeners are left to speculate about what drove supposedly responsible adults to such unconscionable acts.
- Author BiographyAt twelve years old, Howard Dully was one of the youngest patients to receive an ice pick lobotomy. Today, he is a tour bus driver living in California. Former Newsweek correspondent and Vanity Fair contributor Charles Fleming is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Washington D.C. Serial Sniper and A Goomba's Guide to Life, and the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess and the novels The Ivory Coast and After Havana. He lives in Los Angeles. Johnny Heller has won two prestigious Audie Awards and has earned numerous Audie nominations. He has been praised for his adult, personal development, history, comedy, and children's book narrations. Named a Best Voice of 2008 and 2009, as well as one of the Top 50 Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile magazine, Johnny has earned almost twenty Golden Earphones Awards. Two of Johnny's audiobooks have been picked by AudioFile as Best Audiobook the Year, and he has won two Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards.
- Author(s)Charles Fleming,Howard Dully
- PublisherTantor Media, Inc
- Date of Publication31/10/2007
- SubjectAutobiography: Science, Technology & Medical
- Place of PublicationOld Saybrook, CT
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintTantor Media, Inc
- Out-of-print date04/02/2017
- Weight162 g
- Width172 mm
- Height165 mm
- Spine24 mm
- Narrator(s)Johnny Heller
- Format DetailsCD standard audio format
- Running Time540
- Edition StatementLibrary ed
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