Okay, so picture this ...
You're twenty years old, a perfectly normal, perfectly average college student having the time of your life studying abroad when you're suddenly diagnosed with leukemia. You're not even sure how to spell leukemia, much less understand how badly it's already screwed up your insides. You are beyond exhausted, barely able to stay awake throughout the day. Not to mention all the unexpected bleeding from unusual places. And you can't look up anything online, can't easily reach out to family and friends because this is 1990, well before cell phones or social media. Buckle up. You're in for a bumpy ride.
Well, lucky for you, it's actually my bumpy ride. The truth is, things would get much, much worse. This is the story of seemingly endless obstacles – emotional and physical, logistical and medical, in hospitals and even in local bars – on my way to decades of lasting health. Yeah, I know. Lucky for me.
10% of all proceeds will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Concept/Idea: Brown presents a compelling journey from pre-diagnosis to recovery that movingly explores the impact of leukemia on a young person's life. Frequent unexpected humor provides refreshing levity. Readers battling their own diagnosis--or other overwhelming circumstances--will value Brown's candid insights.
Prose: Brown's voice is immediately distinctive and inviting, with a clear and easy storytelling style.
Originality: While memoirs of surviving disease are plenty, Hundred Percent Chance stands apart through its genuine humor and unflinching portrayal of both the physical and psychological struggles that accompany a diagnosis of disease. Brown avoids inspirational platitudes, instead demonstrating the need for perspective and perseverance in the face of illness.
Execution: Every person Brown introduces, whether their role is significant or small, will leave a memorable impression on readers. This memoir's focus on the tiny moments that ultimately shape and define a life, are particularly poignant and engrossing.
Date Submitted: October 03, 2019
Brown frequently strays into medical minutiae, but it’s clear that his knowledge of clinical terms is hard-won, and readers who are personally familiar with AML will nod along. It’s surprisingly easy to walk the hospital corridors with Brown as he recounts adjusting to his new situation, often interjecting unexpected humor into the dreariness of his grueling medical marathon. He thoroughly evokes the curious mix of tedium and terror that is the life of an oncology patient.
Even three decades after his diagnosis, Brown’s perspective remains entirely about survival, without time or energy to seek meaning in illness or look beyond the personal. There are few references to his illness’s effect on his family or the difference health insurance made to his situation, and anyone looking for deep insights into how surviving cancer changes one’s approach to life should look elsewhere. Brown’s clear-cut prose and chronological storytelling keep the focus on the circumstances of his diagnosis and treatment, making his memoir truly a patient’s tale.
Takeaway: Cancer patients and their families will appreciate how Brown’s memoir highlights the stark reality of battling leukemia and the extraordinary determination to survive.
Great for fans ofWhen Breath Becomes Air.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B
Brown’s straightforward, unpretentious writing style is compelling and brutally honest. The use of present tense, first person, amplifies the effect. His wry sense of humor is both endearing and heartbreaking...Regardless of one’s personal experience with cancer or critical illness, these pages relate an essential human experience: the struggle to survive against the odds. This universal theme will resonate with almost any reader.
Robert K. Brown's medical memoir Hundred Percent Chance is larger than life without trying to be....While the content of the book is raw, brutal, and honest, it is Brown's lively, rebellious attitude -- and understanding that he was lucky to go into remission so quickly and to receive such excellent care -- that makes this book a triumph.... Hundred Percent Chance is an inspiring, provocative memoir about dealing with cancer that maintains its sense of humor when the going gets rough
A realistic, in-your-face honest and down-to-earth memoir about the rigors of treating and surviving cancer, handled with both intimacy and concern.
Brown’s writing is lively and lyrical, with moments of intense description offset by humorous ones ... An intense, deftly composed cancer narrative.
Robert takes the reader inside the world of AML - an unexpected journey of diagnosis, treatment, and survival of a subset of AML that he was not supposed to survive. But, he did. . . within these pages you'll discover and come to understand Robert's mindset. Simply, but painfully it was: I will survive. No questioning, no heroics - just, I'm going to live. Hundred Percent Chance: A Memoir is an opportunity to live and feel the fear, the discouragement, the pain, the exhaustion, the struggle, the determination, the elation of surviving a monster.
Brown has a gift for weaving life arcs in and out of his writing. He captures the urgency of an unforeseen emergency as nimbly as the grinding march of a long, degrading chemo run. Important characters in his battle are allowed to shine and then recede as people often do in our lives. His story is presented in a dynamic flow of scene and feeling rather than an abrupt hopscotch from one square to the next. Hundred Percent Chance is both honest and present in its struggle, its naiveté and its determination.
The writing is gorgeous, almost lyrical, and it captures the voice of a young man in the '90s, one filled with strength and eloquence. Hundred Percent Chance: A Memoir evokes powerful emotions in readers -- hope and despair, joy and frustration, love and pain -- but the throbbing life within the protagonist, a life that permeates the narrative, will keep readers turning the pages.