A chance rockfall climbing a slender sea stack inflicted such terrible head injuries on Paul Pritchard that he spent the next year fighting the hemiplegia which robbed his right side of feeling and played cruel tricks with speech and memory.
In his fight for recovery the reader triumphs with him as his brain remembers how to use each forgotten muscle. The book laces great climbing memories with coming to terms with selling his gear and becoming an onlooker. It paints a wry picture of himself and his fellow patients and examines his adjusted relationships with family and friends.
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Paul Pritchard gained a reputation as a climber of routes of extreme technical difficulty. In 1998, a horrendous accident left him paralysed. This text recalls his climbing memories and tells of his fight for recovery.'Review:
"It's an unusual fact that all people in wheelchairs are drunk magnets ... if your idea of help is being hauled up a flight of stairs by some pissed-up punter, risking severe injury, when in reality you were trying to cross the road, then you're welcome to it."
Paul Pritchard had scaled mountains from the Andes to the Himalayas, but a small sea-stack in Tasmania was to be the scene of the most significant climb of his career.
From his struggle for life, hanging semi-conscious from a rope after being struck by a falling boulder, to the subsequent fight to unify his body and severely damaged brain, Pritchard traces a path to another way of living.
His previous award-winning book Deep Play: a Climber's Odyssey had explored the motivations that had driven him to seek out the dangers and rewards of top-level climbing. The Totem Pole puts everything he has learned about himself to the test on the long journey back from paralysis to the mountains.
Fellow patients, his medical team, friends and family are skilfully and perceptively drawn, but sharing the heart of the book is the woman whose superhuman efforts at the rock face saved his life and who was to end their relationship during his rehabilitation. The resolution of their story shows Pritchard at his clear-sighted best.
Humorous, cynical, lyrical and passionate, this is a story told without self-pity, but one which fathoms the depths of a quality of solitude that the author had once sought on the mountainside, but found to be the stuff of daily life after his injury.
A compelling chronicle of one man's reawakening. --Alex Hankin
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Book Description Constable. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0094795908
Book Description Constable, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0094795908