Thursday, January 1, 2009

Time on Fire by Evan Handler

My Comedy of Terrors

From Library Journal
Until he was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 24, Handler was a talented actor with a promising Broadway career and all the time in the world. But the bleak prognosis transformed time into "a concrete entity" not to be wasted. Resigning his understudy's role in Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues, Handler checked himself into New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, embarking on a five-year battle to get a second chance at life and time. Adapted from his successful off-Broadway one-man play, Time on Fire recounts with grim humor Handler's hellish journey through the land of the sick: insensitive doctors; experimental chemotherapies sometimes worse than the illness; awkward sex with his girlfriend in a hospital bathroom; remission, relapse, remission. Self-absorbed (with the actor's desire to be at the center of attention), Handler does not always come across as an admirable figure; he was hard on his supportive parents and girlfriend. "I must have been sheer hell to be around," he admits. "But I know it saved my life on several occasions." His honesty and tenacity, however, enable readers to cheer his eventual recovery

DJE: This is a memorable, irreverent book. Well worth reading. It's hard to get, better to try a library unless you are willing to spend ~ $10 including shipping from ABE Books.