Against Medical Advice

Non-Fiction - Health - Medical
304 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

James Patterson and Hal Friedman share the story of Cory Friedman’s life with Tourette’s Syndrome. Cory was misdiagnosis and given the wrong medication repeatedly. He spent his life twitching and jerking, making involuntary motions and uttering involuntary words. He developed uncontrollable fears and obsessive habits. “I never know if it’s the medicine itself, the combination of medicines, the doses, or the usual ups and downs that happen with Tourettes.”

I do not think anyone can begin to understand the hell the Friedman’s, especially Cory, have lived through. My heart aches for them and rejoices for them. Cory, you are a remarkable young man with a remarkable family.

Against Medical Advice grabbed my attention and would not let go. I read this book in one sitting. The story is told from Cory’s point of view. I think family photographs would have added to this book; however, I can also understand that the family might have considered that intrusive. I highly recommend this book.


This book was a phenomenal retelling of the life of someone with Tourette Syndrome. As a mother of three boys who all have the same diagnosis as Cory, I feel like I can adequately say that I am more of an authority on the subject than most. As I read through his life struggles, weeping through a great many of the pages, I could identify with much of the grief and pain that he and his parents have gone through. I believe that everything in the book was very accurately portrayed, from the lack of understanding of the educational system to the medical roller coaster ride of trial and error, not to mention the misery inflicted by social situations. I feel like the book was tastefully written to not bash the people who do not understand this condition, (including medical/mental health professionals) but to portray the frustration and mental anguish caused by this lack of understanding.

I highly recommend this book to all, but especially to those who have the fortunate opportunity to touch the life of someone with Tourette Syndrome. As is obvious in Cory's case, these children are incredible. They have to overcome so much more than the rest of us would ever dream of imagining just to live, let alone succeed. Thank you Cory, for sharing your life with us.

Anthony L. Marchigiano

Some parts are intense. A few pages are among the realest, most moving pages you will ever read. Some parts were tough to experience through Cory's eyes, but the comfort and redemption of this book and the message it leaves you with is that we as Human beings are strong and can endure more than we can imagine if we refuse to be defined by our misfortune and embrace the love of those that love us. This book, better than any I have read, tells a true story in a real way.

Matthew J. Haslett

This is a wonderful book about a strong young man with a similarly strong family. I personally do not know anyone with Tourette's syndrome and can only imagine how moving this book will be for them, given the effect it has had on me.

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to read this book about a truly remarkable young man named Cory Friedman and his wonderfully supportive family. It is a tale that has inspired me and humbled me. Reading about Cory's life makes me realize how incredibly strong some people REALLY are, how incredibly powerful their will to live is, and how incredibly powerful some families' bonds are.

If you want to read a book that will uplift your spirit and open your eyes to something beyond outstanding, then do not hesitate to read this book - you will hang on every page and probably finish it in several hours like I did!

Look Up

As the mother of a son with TS, I found this to be the most emotional read of my life. Cory's family's frustrating experience with the medical process mirrored our own. And like Cory's parents, my husband and I often felt very alone in our fight for our son's health and well-being. Please don't be tempted to think that Cory's struggle has been over-dramatized. I don't know Cory but I do know what it's like to see someone fight TS and it is thoroughly horrifying. I found Cory's letter to be the most profound part of the book, for it was truly in his own words and marked the beginning of his healing. I admire him and his parents beyond words and pray that they are deeply blessed by their willingness to share their personal story. Not everyone has the strength to bless others with their struggles. Cory and his family have done that brilliantly.

Brenda Henslee

I am very pleased with all of his books that have been written but finally a book that is so true an real, be sure to have your box of kleenex with you, its about joy,m sadnes but the day I recived this I could not put it down and in two days I had finished. To me its the best that Patterson has put out, I cannot talk to much about this book or would spoil it for others but trust me it ise a keeper. A young man that didn't stop once fought against all odds, please trust me, it is well worth reading so thank you James and Amazon for such a testimony. I cannot than you all for this and for others please enjoy, you will not regret it all.

Tracey L. Hernandez

On my God, this book is so intense - so powerful. I loved it! I cound not put it down. Every fear I have regarding my tourette, OCD, ADHD child is real - true to life in this book. It gave me so much in sight and knowledge as to what to expect in years to come and at the same time, it encouraged me to never give up on my special needs child. I would refer this book to anyone who has a child with these special needs or to anyone who teaches, coaches or works with these children. The compassion, patience and will it takes to see these children succeed it almost more than one can stand, but in the end, it is worth all of the hard work and tears. This book is a ture gift of endurance! It is a book that SHOULD be READ!


What an inciteful book! Told from the patient's point of view, one can't help but feel empathy with his struggle with this terrible disease. I only wish we had an ending that shared with the reader how the young man is doing now (career, marriage, etc.).


I devoured Cory's story within a day. It is beautifully and candidly written, and Cory's strength and courage in the face of this horrible, incredibly debilitating affliction always shines through. But the ending, though obviously better than he and his family could have possibly hoped for, left me hanging. The authors never even address what must be the central issue, and that is WHY did Cory improve so dramatically? Perhaps they only wanted to chronicle his struggles, but when the outcome is obviously so much better than anyone could have possibly hoped, it must beg the question of "How did this happen?" I would have appreciated the book more had they explored that very central question.

T. Kittell

I found this account of Corey's struggles and his life very educational since I knew next to nothing about Tourettes and very little about OCD.
I laughed, I cried.
Corey is so lucky to have such a wonderful supportive family.
I really think that was why he was able to gain the courage to do what he did. Don't get me wrong, Corey is the person that has been to hell and back a million times, but having a great back-up makes all the difference.
You Go Corey!!! God Bless You Friedman Family. You have all inspired me.

Arlene Versaw

Anyone reading this true story cannot help but be stunned by the courage of a young man suffering from two of life's most frustrating and embarrassing afflictions and yet be inspired by this book. The commitment of his parents is complete, yet I felt I would have behaved the same were it my child. The book is well-written and keeps you engaged throughout. I learned a lot about Tourette's Syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disease, but most of all, it connected me to the power of the human spirit in crisis.