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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: Christopher Evan Welch Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In his critically acclaimed bestseller Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson explored the depths of history, friendship, and compulsion. Now Kurson returns with another thrilling adventure—the stunning true story of one man’s heroic odyssey from blindness into sight.

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. He began to contemplate an astonishing new world: Would music still sound the same? Would sex be different? Would he recognize himself in the mirror? Would his marriage survive? Would he still be Mike May?

The procedure was filled with risks, some of them deadly, others beyond May’s wildest dreams. Even if the surgery worked, history was against him. Fewer than twenty cases were known worldwide in which a person gained vision after a lifetime of blindness. Each of those people suffered desperate consequences we can scarcely imagine.

There were countless reasons for May to pass on vision. He could think of only a single reason to go forward. Whatever his decision, he knew it would change his life.

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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Robert Kurson is a vigorous, straightforward writer…[and the book is] a first-rate piece of medical reporting.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “May’s story and Kurson’s telling of it are beyond eye-opening.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Kurson is a man with natural curiosity and one who can feel the excitement life has to offer. One of his great gifts is he makes you feel it, too.”

    Kansas City Star

  • “Making his one-in-a-million journey into vision launches May on a completely new adventure in the world of modern brain science…Robert Kurson’s fascinating account of the chain of events that began to unfold is riveting.”

    Providence Sunday Journal

  • “A gripping adventure story, Crashing Through explores the rewards of risk as well as the nature of vision.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Fascinating. Kurson artfully coaxes out every bit of tension...expertly captures May’s wonderment, [and] so deftly [takes] us along.”

    Miami Herald

  • “[Kurson] is a great storyteller…You’ll find yourself completely immersed in May’s life and pulling for him to succeed.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “A moving account [of an] extraordinary character. The science is fascinating [and] the tender moments…resonate.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Taylor | 2/17/2014

    " This is a great book so far. Thanks Caleb! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Krista | 2/16/2014

    " 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! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Edna | 2/8/2014

    " True story about Mike May who was blinded at age three by a chemical burn accident. Mike's life story and the scientific and psychological explanations (and explorations) for how vision and the brain connect and disconnect were interesting, but I was disappointed the author's writing style. It was dry, non-descriptive and underdeveloped for describing the passion in this man's miraculous journey to see once again. Ho-hum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Karen | 2/3/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. The author, Kurson, does a good job developing the character of the people involved. (He did the same in Shadow Divers, which was also a very good book.) May, the man who was blinded at age 3 due to a chemical injury, has a very full life. Then, out of the clear blue, he is offered a chance to have his vision restored. Kurson does a very good job following the decision making process as May decides if he should proceed or not. "

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