A Memoir Sprinkled with a Little Quadriplegia

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/12/2024
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Author Biography

Robert A. Rieck Jr. is a passionate advocate, animal rights activist, and a beacon of resilience hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska. A C5 quadriplegic since 1996, he has transformed personal tragedy into a mission of empathy, service, and advocacy. Beyond his dedication to animal rights and social justice, Robert exemplifies the power of attitude in overcoming life’s challenges. Drawing from his experiences, he crafts narratives that inspire, challenge, and connect, making him not just an author, but a storyteller for the ages.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

In Spoken: A Memoir Sprinkled with a Little Quadriplegia, Robert A Rieck Jr recounts both the good and bad choices that led to a string of painful challenges and remarkable accomplishments. Like any child, Robert grew up with a keen desire to try new experiences, whether climbing trees and farm equipment or playing video games endlessly on the Sega® gaming console. An older Robert discovered the beauty of love and found himself falling in and out of love with the women he felt drawn to at different times. From an early marriage to a suicide attempt, his love life took him through some significant life changes, leaving him as a quadriplegic struggling with depression. Despite his physical and mental difficulties, he found purpose in working as an alcohol and drug counselor, participating in competitions for wheelchair athletes, and becoming a full-time animal rights and vegan activist.

The stories, though broken into short segments, are carefully linked and often follow a chronological order. In the beginning, we see Robert A Rieck Jr as a spontaneous child just discovering life and engaging in diverse activities while we get a sense of familiarity with his regular indulgences toward the end. There's a lot to like in Spoken: an enjoyable format, accessible language, exciting exploits, and inspiring, noble acts. I loved the author's infectious sense of humor and was inspired by his energetic exploits, including his controversial T-shirt designs and the multiple life-enriching contributions he has made through sports, business, and activism. Additionally, the story is told in a positive and conversational tone that's enjoyable and easy to follow. Spoken is easily a favorite among favorites. It's a brilliant reminder that you can live a fruitful, inspiring life despite facing physical limitations.

K.C. Finn

Spoken: A Memoir Sprinkled with a Little Quadriplegia is a work of non-fiction in the memoir, health, and inspirational writing genres. The work contains some sexual imagery and text and is preferable for an adult reading audience. Penned by author Robert A Rieck Jr, this memoir is a candid exploration of the author's life, weaving together threads of resilience, introspection, and connection. From the heartland of Nebraska emerges a narrative that transcends geographical boundaries, delving into the complexities of the human condition. Through triumphs and challenges, the author's journey resonates universally, offering insights into the shared experiences of guilt, innocence, and heroism. His story, sprinkled with raw honesty and profound reflections, serves as a beacon for those grappling with their place in society, touching the hearts of readers from all walks of life.

Author Robert A Rieck Jr has crafted a profound and intimate memoir, immersing readers in the rich tapestry of interconnected experiences that show you how a person is shaped and tested by the life they’ve led. From the vast plains of Nebraska to the depths of introspection, Rieck's narrative captivated me with its raw honesty and universal themes. There is a novel-like quality to his descriptive techniques that truly brought the vignettes of his life into being for us from every angle. His journey from adversity to resilience is a hopeful nod to the human capacity for strength and connection and despite some of the trickier experiences of his life, the narrative is delivered with a confident and optimistic tone. As I delved deeper into the pages, I found myself reflecting on my own experiences and connections to the broader human experience. There’s a universality to the art of memoir that Rieck has achieved beautifully, urging readers to take his experiences as a catalyst to confront their own vulnerabilities and embrace the power of empathy and introspection. Overall, Spoken: A Memoir Sprinkled with a Little Quadriplegia is a highly recommended read for anyone who enjoys accomplished and heartfelt memoirs that give you space to think.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Spoken is an emotional memoir by Robert A. Rieck Jr. that chronicles his life from childhood to adulthood while living with quadriplegia. By the time he was fifteen, Robert had already lived an eventful life, and as he grew older, he faced even more challenges. These included family problems, learning about racial prejudice, unconventional relationships, and a life-changing spinal injury caused by a guilt-driven incident. Despite these obstacles, Robert found the strength to keep going, experiencing love and loss along the way. He transformed his life by participating in different sports, counseling alcohol and drug addicts, and becoming an animal rights activist, ultimately finding a new sense of purpose.

Spoken is a captivating memoir that offers a candid and deeply personal exploration of Robert's life, filled with struggles, triumphs, and profound self-discovery. It covers a wide range of topics, including social issues, medical information, and details about quadriplegia. From growing up in Nebraska to navigating complex relationships, the memoir delves into universal themes of resilience and life connections. It is well-written in a journal format, featuring detailed descriptions and accompanying pictures. However, it should be noted that the book contains sexual content that may not be suitable for young audiences. Through his raw honesty and vulnerability, Robert invites readers to reflect on their own experiences and find commonality in shared human journeys. Spoken is a poignant reminder of the power of empathy, introspection, and the enduring thread of humanity that unites us all. This is why I recommend it to anyone who loves reading thought-provoking memoirs that challenge perspectives and evoke reflection.

Jill Garrett

Robert Rieck exposes a real, uncensored and sometimes uncomfortable Memoir of his life; the childhood that served as the pillars for adolescent choices, a failed attempt to end his life, and somehow, the ability to understand that life is worth living. Robert's detailed description of Life events enables the reader to be in the moment and feel the emotion. The growth Robert shows as his timeline unfolds is simply amazing, and his humor stays with him through the most difficult times. Reading this Memoir reminded me that in spite of setbacks, one's attitude can set the stage for true fulfillment and enjoyment in life.

Brittany Struble

"This book isn’t just a straightforward, honest account of Robert’s life; it shares with us the trials, tribulations, and most importantly, triumphs that have shaped his life. He is a shamelessly open author and he lets that shine through in his writing. If you take the time to pick up this book, you won’t want to put it down!"

Leanne Wilson

"Reading this astonishing and inspiring book that Robert has written will keep you intrigued for days. I loved how he took the path of writing from his birth to present day to include all of his life experiences. His use of emotions throughout the memoir captives the reader. I would like to thank Robert for going above and beyond to share his story with us, and how he became the wonderful person he is today. I just hope that everyone takes sometime to read this amazing book."

Amazon customer

An eye opening and honest reflection of experiences, life altering choices, and intimate adventures. This memoir is difficult to put down as it follows Robert Allen Rieck Jr through accounts of his youth to adulthood, with every twist and turn possible. Including a multitude of topics relatable to us all. Family, Relationships, Religion, Internal struggles, Advocacy, and finding what you value in life.
SPOKEN A memoir sprinkled with a little quadriplegia is a book that I highly recommend!
It is an easy read that is thought-provoking and very entertaining!


I had met Robert a few years ago. After reading his book, I appreciate his life so much more. He has been through so much yet has been able to learn his life lessons and become a compassionate human being. He has definitely made me think about what choices I make in my life. Thanks Robert!


This book is daring and courageous, raw and unfiltered. Robert recounts distant memories as if they happened yesterday with precise detail, luring us into those secret places while exposing all his humanness, allowing the reader to identify with the pleasures and pain of our human condition. He makes us comfortable to be vulnerable and challenges us to examine the impact our choices have on society and the planet. Impactful and insightful, let Robert's story serve as an inspiration to be a game changer and a way maker.