The Pain Journal (review)

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The Pain Journal (review)

  • Title: The Pain Journal
  • Author: Bob Flanagan
  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Semiotext(e) (November 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584350024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584350026

My son suggested I read this book – he has cystic fibrosis and so did Bob Flanagan. This book is a journal he kept for just over a year near the end of his life; he died at age 43, which was at the time, and still is today, longer than the average age for someone born with CF. Bob Flanagan was also famous as a masochist and performance artist.

It’s a hard read – not complex, but difficult to read day after day entries where he’s incapacitated by shortness of breath and illness, which is only relieved by occasional rounds of antibiotics. He suffered serious headaches all the time, and was challenged to try to finish the artwork he had promised to people before his death.

If you know someone with CF, you should read this book.

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