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Perry Muse
Morbid Thoughts & The Domino Effect
Perry Muse, author
Morbid Thoughts & the Domino Effect is filled with true stories that are entertaining, uplifting, inspirational, and educational. It is not just about my life’s challenges, but about learning how to become a student of my condition in my cancer battle. It is meant to help anyone else who may be fighting the good fight. Join me and experience a lifetime of learning to fly and learning to rise above.
Muse’s lively, life-seizing memoir builds, in its first half, to the author, a businessman and father, asking the hardest of questions: “And so, Doc, with all of your years of experience, what do you feel are my chances of making it ten more years?” The answer is devastating: 35%. Muse had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the doctors suspected that, despite treatment, it could spread into his bones. So Muse and his family embark on a hair-raising odyssey of surgeries, radiation, and trying to live as much as possible. He writes with welcome frankness about pain and fear, about facing “the dark shadow” that whispers the “morbid thoughts” of the title, about the family meeting where he and his wife, Nila, broke the news to their kids, about being moved to tears by Tom Petty on the radio.

There’s even some laughs: after an insurance settlement affords an opportunity for home improvement, Muse writes, “I looked at Nila and said, ‘Well, Nila, at least cancer bought us a fence.’” The memoir’s narrative is an exhaustive account of treatments and surgeries and periods of painful recovery, with Muse striving to strengthen “Mr. Skeleton” for the bone cancer that seems inevitable, and to get the most out of his days. He skydives, go-karts, sips Royal Crown; he exhibits tenderness describing his and Nila’s mixed family and a storyteller’s relish recounting the many crashes and injuries he’s sustained over the years, incidents that lead to excruciating complications after his diagnosis.

More a detailed record of an ongoing health crisis—and the author’s zeal to live and live well—than a traditional narrative memoir, Morbid Thoughts & The Domino Effect documents Muse’s state of mind and body, with photos of the family and pets he loves and also the wear and tear on his body. Readers touched by a prostate cancer diagnosis will find invaluable information, and anyone navigating health crises will find inspiration.

Takeaway: A detailed, tender account of facing a tough cancer diagnosis and seizing life.

Great for fans of: Robert K. Brown’s Hundred Percent Chance, Sheila M. Burke’s Bullsh*t to Butterflies.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A-
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-