Bookworm Speaks!- Semi-Colon: A Writer’s Cheeky Journey Through Colorectal Cancer by Neil Crone

Bookworm Speaks!

Semi-Colon: A Writer’s Cheeky Journey Through Colorectal Cancer

by Neil Crone


The Story: This unique, funny and uplifting collection of emails, newspaper articles and quotes shares Canadian actor, comedian and writer, Neil Crone's journey through colorectal cancer. This is a must-have for anyone going through cancer treatment, anyone who knows someone going through treatment, or anyone who just wants an insightful read about life.

The Good: Cancer is the Emperor of Maladies. A terrible illness that affects all walks of life to devastating effect, and is legacy goes backs to the earliest examples of medicinal documentation. It is nothing to laugh at. 

Neil Crone makes us laugh at it though. He takes us by the hand and shows us the humor that can be found in cancer and the emotional struggles that both the victim and the entire family suffers through. 

Of all the maladies of this Earth that can afflict mankind, diseases that affect the bowels and/or rear end like colon cancer or crohn’s disease, are some of the worst. In college, Bookworm had a little trouble with a cyst on his nether regions and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was extremely uncomfortable and painful and the only relief was in taking a hot shower. Bookworm is not comparing his woes to that of Mr Crone, they are quite inadequate but he does understand that you never really take time to appreciate the simple things in life like sitting or standing or using the bathroom. They may not be the deadliest diseases out there but pains in the butt really are, a pain in the butt. 

The author recognizes that and makes us laugh the whole way through. His insights about chemotherapy and bowel movements are both witty and somber. We feel the pain he goes through and we also feel how he tries to smile the whole way through.  

The stories he tells and the stories he shares as saddening as they are heartwarming. Cancer is terrible thing from which good things can spring, such as appreciating for life and family. Thank you Neil Crone…for showing us that. 

The Flaws: The real major flaw in this book is the formatting. As it says in the foreword, this book is largely a collection of letters and column’s written by the author over the course of his chemotherapy. It is not the content of the chapters that is lacking, it simply feels like the story as a whole is lacking. It would have been appreciated to connect the emails and columns with anecdotes about the cancer. It does not feel like the author told a complete story about his cancer, just highlights of it. Sometimes a little more detail would have been nice. 

Also, Bookworm gets the feeling that the quotations that were put at the beginning and end of each chapter, while inspiring, were put there to get the book up to a higher page count. 

Final Verdict: While this book will no doubt be inspiring to those who have suffered and are suffering from the ravages of cancer, Bookworm thanks his lucky stars for those (including himself) who just wants an insightful read about life. 

Four out of Five Stars. 


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