In 1959, the year Terry Galloway turned nine, the voices of everyone she loved began to disappear. No one yet knew that an experimental antibiotic given to her mother had wreaked havoc on her fetal nervous system, eventually causing her to go deaf. As a self-proclaimed "child freak," she acted out her fury with her boxy hearing aids and Coke-bottle glasses by faking her own drowning at a camp for crippled children. Ever since that first real-life performance, Galloway has used theater, whether onstage or off, to defy and transcend her reality. With disarming candor, she writes about her mental breakdowns, her queer identity, and living in a silent, quirky world populated by unforgettable characters. What could have been a bitter litany of complaint is instead an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting take on life.
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Loved the first half
I would listen to this book again, because there are a lot of things that intrigued me.
I really loved her descriptions of going deaf, and what that felt like as a child, and what the motivation was for many of her actions. I loved the strange stories of her family, and her total honesty about points in her life that others might hide. I also liked her explanations of Deaf/deaf experiences. I really enjoyed the first half of the book as it felt a bit more linear, and the story seemed more cohesive than at the end. I'm not necessarily a person who needs a very linear story, but the last half or so of the book often seemed a bit disjointed and I was having trouble tracking where we were in her life. At one point, the author is telling a story about the 2nd time she was left in a building with toxic chemicals, because no one informed her of an evacuation order, and I was expecting that story to come to a conclusion (it seemed it was building toward something major for that time of her life) but instead, zoom, went right to something from earlier in life. I kept expecting the story to meander back to the original incident but it never did (or if it did, I missed it).
I am not a fan of this narrator. Her performance seemed monotone at times, and strangely overly affected at others. Her emphasis on certain words and syllables was also distracting. After hearing Terry Galloway speak in real life (youtube), I would have preferred her narrating the story, as her speech is completely understandable, and more animated.
Performance ruined an otherwise great story
Yes, from Terry Galloway. Not from Elizabeth Hess unless it was a children's book or a book by Nigella Lawson...but I think Nigella would probably narrate her own book.