At the age of three, Mike May lost his sight in a chemical explosion. Blindness would limit most people, but not Mike. It only seemed to make him that much more adventurous and did not keep him from running around with other kids. He might bump into a few more things, get a few more scratches and bruises, but his lack of vision never kept him from participating. As he grew older, he continued to do the things other people his age did. He attended the same schools as the seeing, he learned to ride a bike, even succeeded in driving a car. Mike May refused to use blindness as an excuse to sit out. He would eventually go on to work for the CIA, win medals in what is now called the Paralympics, and set a world record in speed skiing for the blind. Nothing was to big or too difficult for Mike. But one day in 1999, an opportunity presented itself to May which caused him to rethink everything. He was told that a cutting-edge stem cell transplant surgery would allow him to see after 43 years of blindness. This is the story of Crashing Through.
Robert Kurson is well known for his critically acclaimed book Shadow Divers, the story of a group of deep-sea diversí dangerous search for a World War II U-boat. With Crashing Through, he again tackles a story of extreme human adventure. Once again, he does an amazing job. The book reads at times like a novel; it is that engrossing. Kurson has a knack for taking the reader inside the life and mind of Mike May. When Mike learns that he may be able to see once again, he wonders whether it would better his life. Will it make him a different person? Does he even want to regain his vision? Kurson helps the reader tackle these questions along with May, tang us inside a life so fulfilling, so full of adventure, that the reader might begin to wonder along with May if life might be better without vision.
At various times throughout the book, the author describes in detail the surgery performed as well as the strange difficulties Mike has with his new vision. This is all well-written in a way that is easily understood by the average reader. Kurson does an excellent job of explaining the surgery and subsequent research into Mike Mayís strange new vision in laymanís terms, never disturbing the flow of the book and this amazing journey.
Crashing Through is a well-written and terrifically researched book. It remains fascinating throughout, avoiding the typical pitfalls that come with technical discussion and causing one to think about vision and the blind in a completely unexpected way. Highly recommended.