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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award, Autobiography/Memoir, 2016
They all thought he was gone. But he was alive and trapped inside his own body for 10 years.
In January 1988 Martin Pistorius, aged 12, fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within 18 months he was mute and wheelchair bound. Martin's parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and fewer than two years to live.
Martin was moved to care centers for severely disabled children. The stress and heartache shook his parents' marriage and their family to the core. Their boy was gone. Or so they thought.
Ghost Boy is the heart-wrenching story of one boy's return to life through the power of love and faith. In these pages readers see a parent's resilience, the consequences of misdiagnosis, abuse at the hands of cruel caretakers, and the unthinkable duration of Martin's mental alertness betrayed by his lifeless body.
We also see a life reclaimed - a business created, a new love kindled - all from a wheelchair. Martin's emergence from his darkness invites us to celebrate our own lives and fight for better lives for others.
©2013 Thomas Nelson Publishers (P)2015 Thomas Nelson Publishers
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Customer Reviews

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By Karen K on 07-13-15

Very Interesting to me personally

I am the mother of a child with autism who was unable to communicate something even as basic as yes or no until he was 7 years old. Once he was able to communicate I discovered that he already knew how to read and knew so many more things than I could have imagined. I was thrilled to find a book telling the story of learning to communicate from that person's point of view. I was also very interested in his experiences with assistive communication devices. For these reasons, I may have liked this book more than someone similar to me in tastes but without my experiences would have. I was particularly interested for obvious reasons, in Martin's relationship with his parents, particularly his mother. Martin is an amazingly insightful, mature and forgiving person and I felt a lot of powerful emotion while reading this. The most powerful moment of the book to me takes place when Martin has regained his awareness and his family has no idea and his mother is weeping on the floor after fighting with his father about him and he is feeling so bad for her and she says to him that he needs to die. I could have died just reading that. I understood where he feelings came from but his reaction ripped at my heartstrings. Instead of hating her and being angry he is wishing that he just could die. So amazing. His attitude towards his mother was of great interest to me throughout the book. I thought he showed amazing understanding in his forgiveness of her and in his understanding that she'll probably never truly forgive herself. Clearly, I really liked this book. I am not giving it 5 stars simply because I found the ending parts much less powerful and they dragged for me. The end of the book details Martin's relationship with his wife - ending with their wedding. Clearly to him this is the most important part for him. However, and I almost feel guilty making this criticism, I would have found their love story more powerful if he weren't so determined to be in love with someone. If he hadn't mentioned how ready he was and how various other women he'd met had disappointed him when he wanted to fall in love with them. The book is very upbeat and ends happily. I should mention though that there is one chapter which details abuse Martin suffered in care situations. For anyone who deals with disabled people, this chapter is not a surprise, it is a sad fact. He does not dwell on it but people should be aware that this information is there.

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28 of 28 people found this review helpful


By Sarah Nelson on 02-25-15

An inspiring true story

I know I know.... you guys are thinking that I'm only giving this book such a high rating because it is a true story and it would make me feel guilty if I bad mouthed a book written by someone who went through so much turmoil in their life.

That's not true at all. First of all, the story taught me about a man that would be offended if I treated him with 'kid gloves' because of his tragedy. Secondly, the story is truly inspiring and well written.

I am sure that everyone feels entitled to be loved. It made me realize how much we take being loved for granted. We take everything for granted in life when it comes so naturally to us. This book makes you stop for a moment, slow down, and enjoy and appreciate those things that we start to accept as average or mundane.

I enjoy how the story was written with short, not necessarily continuing chapters. It allowed for a fuller overview of Pistorius's story. Simon Bubb was a good narrator. His voice was subtle and didn't overwhelm, nor underwhelm the story. I enjoyed his work.

Overall: This was a great listen that added more appreciation to my life.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By kay miller on 05-14-15

Overwhelming!

An incredible true story of pure determination, sadness, happiness and love!

Thankyou Martin for sharing your personal life & making us aware of the strength you showed of becoming a man, lover, friend and special son, from the depths of despair from the Ghost Boy x

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Bronwen on 04-09-15

You must add this to your collections!

Even better than I anticipated, this book unleashed every emotion I am capable of feeling. Exhausting, Exhilerating and beautifully read.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jane on 09-29-16

Eye opening!

What did you like best about this story?

All of the care givers who were exposed once he could communicate.

Any additional comments?

Every nurse or care giver should listen to this book. If more of us paid more attention, we may be able to help others escape.

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