Michael Kroft’s Editing Can Kill An Idiot: A Short Memoir

Editing Can Kill An Idiot: A Short Memoir

Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Description “Told with humorous candor and enough self-defecation to require a double flush, Michael Kroft utilizes 28,000 words to quickly detail his five days leading up to the heart of the story, his then first-time ten-day stay in a hospital. With the actual situations almost too surreal to be called non-fiction, the memoir’s many anecdotes are presented in such an easy-to-read manner and with such a Devil-may-care attitude that it can only be told by a man so humbled by his years that he is forthcoming regarding his ignorance.

From first noticing a pain in his neck and as it grows, denying its dangerous potential and then trying to ignore it as he performs his final edit on his second novel while not being able to physically swallow and almost not being able to speak, Kroft walks us through his sometimes broken reasoning, his first aborted attempt at the Emergency Department, his first night at the hospital under the care of the nurse from Hell, the language tension lingering between a semi-monolingual Anglophone within a primarily Francophone hospital, waking up during his surgery, being hit on by an attractive female patient who just so happens to be…, and much more. The story will entertain, educate and perhaps even frighten.”

I picked this up on a whim because of the intriguing title and the interesting description. In fact I read this some time ago and have only come to writing the review now because of a bout of flu that was not helped by sudden onset hypochondria brought on by this vivid reading experience.
It is difficult to say whether I felt mostly empathy or shock at Kroft’s decisions along the way. It did certainly teach me something and having taken a couple of moments to look into throat pain I do not think that I will be shy about seeking medical attention.
There are heart warming aspects to the book, especially the help and comradeship that Kroft gets, but there is also a troubling vignette about a poor experience in the hospital that is in itself shocking but is followed by equally shocking complaint avoidance. Everyone has bad days but there is a standard of care we all have to one another and even more so when we are meeting them at a low point.
I enjoyed reading this short book and it made an impression on me. Kroft writes it well and there is a jauntiness to the writing that glosses over the seriousness of it all. Take care of yourselves out there is the main take home!

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