Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Stronger - Bauman

Title: Stronger

Author: Jeff Bauman
Published: Genre: Memoir

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: 
Borrowed from the library.

Recommended if you like: Memoirs, Surviving tragedy stories

What Its About:  
Despite what people say, Jeff Bauman never thinks of himself as a "hero". He is just a regular guy who was at the wrong place, at the right time.

Bauman was one of the many thousands of spectators at the Boston Marathon on April 16th, 2013. He just happened to be close to the finish line, as his new girlfriend Lauren was expected to finish any moment. As he and several friends stood waiting, he looked around and came face to face with evil. He recognized easily that the man next to him, dark skinned and wearing a baseball cap, was up to no good. He even thought, I should get out of here. In the seconds it took to look away, the man was gone and then all hell broke loose.

As Bauman and others stood awaiting loved ones, a bomb exploded. The force of the homemade pressure-cooker bomb removed one of Bauman's legs and damaged the other severely. The bomb, and its brother which went off shortly after the first, seriously injured many other spectators. Bauman remembers looking around and seeing his friend, who moments before was standing beside him, lying on the ground. He remembers realizing he too was on the ground and in lying in a pool of his own blood. He remembers thinking, its all over. I can't survive this.

But he did, thanks to the quick thinking and selfless response of countless others at the scene and the amazing efforts of Boston medical personnel. After awaking, one of the first things Bauman did was ask for paper so that he could tell someone, anyone, "Saw the guy..." FBI visited him and used the information he was able to share to hunt down the bombers.

Over the next months, Jeff Bauman fought for his health and for the ability to walk once again and struggled to reclaim his life, even as his realized life had changed forever.

The Bottom Line:

This was a very quick and easy read with just enough recounting of the "gory" details to be clear, but not so much as to make the reading uncomfortable. It was very interesting to read about this horrific event from the front-lines, rather than the television and radio recounting that occurred. It was also interesting to hear of Bauman's personal struggles to recover from the injuries, to regain control of his world, and come to accept what his new life was. Reading his story, you truly begin to understand what "Boston Strong" is about.