I don’t like the cover for this book. It is different to what I have on my Kindle and I don’t like the other cover either. Why? It doesn’t do the book justice. It just doesn’t. I think I would have used the window painting from Room 302 as the cover- “The Walking Man”. Yeah. that would be perfect!
The book, though… Oh my!
“The Walking Man” is a book about Francis. A boy, who at the age of 16 ends up as a quadriplegic due to Myasthenia Gravis. Francis loses the use oh his whole body. He can speak though. And the fact that he can speak is what ultimately kills his mother. He is a mean motherf****r to his dear mother who takes care of his son with love.
The opening line from the book:
“I’m not suggesting that everyone should dive head first into the shallow end of a swimming pool, but being a quadriplegic isn’t as bad as you might think.
The book, essentially, is a full journey! From an ignorant, overeating quadriplegic to a walking man! The book is full of shocking moments taking place in the Leicester County Hospital, a mythical place with 7 star service to moments of unexpectedly hilarious outbursts. It’s a story of love and perseverence.
“Glad you’re happy, Miss Paddy,” I said in a faux upbeat tone. “What’s up?”
“Sworry, you have a rare disease,” she told me. “You’ve mwade my day. Fwirst time in my cwareer I twested somebody with a gweneralized myasthenia gwravis.”
“Well, gwood for you,” I said, with a hint of racist mockery, being a young and stupid product of an all-white town. “What about me?”
“Sworry,” she responded. “You’re, what’s the American word…”
“Yes, yes, fwucked.” She smiled. “You are fwucked.”
The hospital where Francis stays is full of entertaining, lovable characters with a few bad apples thrown into the mix. We meet Maria, who will become Francis’ love and his power of will! His love for Maria is something of a borderline obsession, but ultimately a thing that turns around a life of having given up to a life of “Yes, I can!”
It made me realize there’s an indescribable quality of radiance that few people have that is captivating in a dangerous way- for it forever displaces all thoughts of all others and leaves a man subject to a life of want.
Through the town’s volunteers and a close by correctional facility Francis meets a lot of people. Two of those become his confidantes and friends in the truest form. One of those men is Smitty. Smitty’s unwillingness to give up on Francis is heartwarming. Smitty’s optimism and faith in better things yet to come is just fantastic.
“First off, you need to lose one hundred pounds and then learn to walk again.”
“Hello, walk again?” I said. “It would be easier to find a cure for the cancer.”
“Bullshit,” Smitty said. “You need to walk again. You told me your spine isn’t severed. You said your fucked-up immune system crippled you. You need to unfuck your immune system and start walking.”
“Is unfuck even a word?” I asked my shockingly assertive ‘life coach’
Francis inherits some money after a relative dies and he decided to invest some money into Apple. Yep, the Apple… iPhones, computers, etc. This ultimately makes him a rich man. Because of his love for Maria and supportive friend Smitty, Francis starts to do research into his disease to find a way to become a walking man again. This read is just pure gold-dust! Snake poison and Aspartame!
There was no instant reaction to my first injection of Anti-me, but the next morning I felt funny. I had no idea what it was until Nurse Judy II entered my room to change my diaper and screamed, “Oh my God! Praise Jesus!”
“What is it?” I asked.
“Praise be the Lord,” the increasingly excited Nurse Judy said.
“God dammit, Nurse Judy, what is it?”
“Praise Jesus!” a now blushing Nurse Judy said. “You have an erection, and…it’s a big one!”
When you start reading this book, there’s a lot of things that might make you feel depressed, a lot of bad words are said, a lot of bad behaviour. But that’s the things of journeys. We need to make mistakes to learn from them, even if we are left with regret.
It’s a story about not giving up, a story about great friendship and awesome characters. It’s a story you cannot not read!