Benjamin Benjamin has lost virtually everything - his wife, his family, his home, his livelihood. With few options, Ben enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving taught in the basement of a local church. There Ben is instructed in the art of inserting catheters and avoiding liability, about professionalism, and how to keep physical and emotional distance between client and provider.
But when Ben is assigned to nineteen-year-old Trev, who is in the advanced stages of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, he discovers that the endless mnemonics and service plan checklists have done little to prepare him for the reality of caring for a fiercely stubborn, sexually frustrated adolescent. As they embark on a wild road trip across the American West to visit Trev's ailing father, a new camaraderie replaces the traditional boundary between patient and caregiver.
Bursting with energy, this big-hearted, soulful, and inspired novel ponders life's terrible surprises and the heart's uncanny capacity to mend and become whole again.
In his third novel, Jonathan Evison takes another look at the ways individuals and families can fracture in modern American life. The novel is recommended to readers who are not averse to strong language and who find a look at the underside of the 21st century male an interesting proposition. Any reader who has found caring for others difficult or burdensome or even near impossible will find Ben Benjamin’s story riveting and hard to put down. (Reviewed by Judy Krueger).
Evison is a skilled, perceptive writer.
A lively narrative with a poignant core and quirky, lonely characters.
...Ben's wry retorts, blending humor, sharp dialog, and a rich and detailed backstory into a sympathetic, bittersweet novel. This is one of the more successful entries in the 'Sad Dad Lit' sub genre.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by CarolK A Road Trip not like Thelma & Louise The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. came highly recommended to me so I'm not certain what took me so long to read it.
I had read Evison's West of Here and liked it, and yet I'm not certain I was quite prepared for The Revised Fundamentals... Read More
Muscular Dystrophy encompasses a a group of usually inherited disorders that involve increasing muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue over time. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a rapidly worsening form of the disorder that affects only males. The usual cause is a defective gene carried by the mother, but about one-third of cases appear to be spontaneous mutations in the male's genes. Many mutations of the gene can cause DMD but only some common ones have been identified. Symptoms of DMD, which include fatigue, learning difficulties, muscle weakness and progressive difficulty walking, usually appear early in life around age 5.
Diagnosis is primarily accomplished by DNA testing though a muscle biopsy test is sometimes required. If a pregnant woman has the genetic mutation that causes the disease,...
In Love Is a Canoe, Ben Schrank delivers a smart, funny, romantic, and hugely satisfying novel about the fragility of marriage and the difficulty of repairing the damage when well-intentioned people forget how to be good to each other.
These are 2 of the 8 readalike suggestions for The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. Members have full access to all readalikes. If you are a member, please login. To find out more about membership, click here.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...