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Extended Audio Sample Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See Audiobook, by Robert Kurson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,503 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Kurson Narrator: Doug Ordunio Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9781415938720
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Mike May spent his life crashing through. Blinded at age three, he defied expectations by breaking world records in downhill speed skiing, joining the CIA, and becoming a successful inventor, entrepreneur, and family man. He had never yearned for vision. Then, in 1999, a chance encounter brought startling news: a revolutionary stem cell transplant surgery could restore May’s vision. It would allow him to drive, to read, to see his children’s faces. But the procedure was filled with gambles, some of them deadly, others beyond May’s wildest dreams. Beautifully written and thrillingly told, Crashing Through is a journey of suspense, daring, romance, and insight into the mysteries of vision and the brain. Robert Kurson gives us a fascinating account of one man’s choice to explore what it means to see–and to truly live.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Drew Danko | 2/19/2014

    " Of all my senses I always considered vision the one I would not be able to lose. So this story hit home with me. The background section dragged a little, but when Mike had to decide if he wanted his vision restored the book became really interesting. Most people would wonder why it was debatable, but if you knew Mike May you would understand why it was not an automatic choice. The rest of the book was exciting as it covered the rest of Mike's remarkable trek plus you learned some valuable lessons on the process of seeing, something which most folks take for granted. Seeing maybe the most complex process we develop as humans, and it all ties into our brain's ability to acquire knowledge. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JulieK | 2/16/2014

    " The story of a man who was blind from age 3 and then has his sight restored. I enjoyed this on two levels. This fearless guy had lived a very full and adventurous life while blind, and really had to think about whether vision would add anything he needed. Following him through the surgery and his experience of his new vision really was interesting. There was also the Oliver Sacks-ish angle, looking at how vision works - how just because someone's eyes work doesn't mean their brain can process what they're seeing. Worth a read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Twila | 2/8/2014

    " A book about an unusual journey. Just keep in mind this book is some what of a documentary "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 2/6/2014

    " Amazing story, not sure I liked the author personally, but that could be the ghost writer. This is supposed to be made into a movie soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 2/5/2014

    " Amazing life of Mike May, an incredibly adventuresome, fearless guy who lost his eyesight at age three and never let it stop him from doing anything. He holds the Olympic record in blind downhill skiing, is an inventor, married with children,and then he gets the chance to have an operation that might give him sight. I loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carole | 1/25/2014

    " I found this book really interesting. It gave me a whole new perspective on sight and how we see. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christa Svienty | 1/24/2014

    " Mike May is really an amazing person. This is a good book for discussion. The characters are interesting and it brings up some good "what if" this was me questions. Enjoyable and quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hewittjanetrae | 1/19/2014

    " I learned how important early brain development is to one's entire life. I also learned that a disability in one area can lead to brillaince in another area. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Frasor | 1/15/2014

    " A true account of a man regaining his sight many years after a childhood accident. Interesting story with much information about the science of sight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista | 1/1/2014

    " Wow--this book is amazing. Mike May is extraordinarily brave and inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 12/26/2013

    " Dublin bk gp. Who are we, are we defined by our senses, abilities? Blind person wrestles with possibility of becoming sighted. NF. Interesting info re: difference between physical aspect of sight and seeing, which requires brain input, context, developed in childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten | 10/25/2013

    " see my note on Annie Dillard... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miriam | 10/23/2013

    " I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style, but the story itself is fascinating. It's about a blind man regaining his sight after 41 years. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jackie | 4/26/2013

    " It was a miracle that a blind man could recover his vision but it wasn't all wonderful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 4/3/2013

    " Could I be any more different than Mike? What a risk taker...I really admire that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larissa | 2/26/2013

    " Non fiction is my favorite. I learned so much about the ability to see the world through the eyes of a blind man. It's so amazing. a must read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista | 12/1/2012

    " Great book about a man who was blinded at age 3 (by chemical explosion) and who had a ground breaking surgery at age 46 that gave him sight in one eye and how he coped with it. Amazing explainations of the neuropyschology of the brain and how we process images! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kai | 11/15/2012

    " You never realize how many things you take for granted, until you read a story like this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindypalmer | 9/4/2012

    " Man this guy's a badass. I couldn't put it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 8/3/2012

    " An inspiring and honest story. Worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexa | 3/19/2012

    " Read for the Chicago Public Library City of Big Readers Adult Summer Reading Program. Maybe a bit corny but totally uplifting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noreen | 9/23/2011

    " This man lead an amazing life without sight, and this story kept me captivated tot he end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rcoates | 5/15/2011

    " An amazing man and amazing story. I listened to this as an audible.com book. A very compelling story. Moves at a fast pace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 5/7/2011

    " One of the most fascinating biographies I have read in a long time. If you like "Into the Wild" or "Into Thin Air" you will love this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 4/19/2011

    " Quick read and very interesting. The later part of the book spends a fair amount of time on the neuropsychology of restored vision. Easily understood language but May's story is intertwined with the a fair amount of non-fiction. still recommend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 4/12/2011

    " Great story, very inspirational, but way too graphic, too much info!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 4/5/2011

    " Writing wasn't the greatest but the science behind the story is fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendar88 | 3/26/2011

    " Amazing story. Truly inspiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrienne | 1/30/2011

    " Fascinating! May is a great subject for a book - well researched and clearly written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn | 1/6/2011

    " Written a little cheesey, but it was a great story of a truely amazing man. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tricia | 12/31/2010

    " It was ok. I thought that it draaaaaged on a lot. And there were a lot of little details that were insignificant to the story, so it was kind of hard to pay attention to everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dulcey | 12/12/2010

    " This is a really interesting book about the difficulty and joy of seeing after decades of blindness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitlin | 11/10/2010

    " Since my friends seem to think I won't shut up about this, they're probably glad I'm finished! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeni | 11/2/2010

    " Can I give it 3 1/2 stars? The story itself is fascinating and inspiring. Talking about living a life. But I'm not crazy about how the author told it. A lot of TMI, I thought--emphasis on aspects I think weren't more than a passing mention, and neglect of other parts I'd like explained more. "

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About the Author
Robert Kurson earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin, then a law degree from Harvard Law School. His award-winning stories have appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, and Esquire, where he is a contributing editor. Crashing Through is based on Kurson’s 2006 National Magazine Award-winning profile in Esquire. He is the author of Shadow Divers, and he lives in Chicago. Visit the author’s website at www.robertkurson.com.