Spinal Discord: One Man's Wrenching Tale of Woe in Twenty-Four (Vertebral) Segments

Tilman Spengler, Author, Philip Boehm, Translator
Tilman Spengler, Author, Philip Boehm, Translator Metropolitan Books $16.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-8050-5552-8
Reviewed on: 12/01/1970
Release date: 12/01/1941
Beset by persistent lower-back pain that came on without warning, Spengler, a historian and novelist (Lenin's Brain), here recounts a series of short episodes dealing with a condition that was eventually diagnosed as lumbasitis (muscle cramp). Although he disparages self-awareness, Spengler notes that he wrote this somewhat sarcastic account of the development of his disability on the recommendation of a psychotherapist, who suggested that free associating might ease the pain. Although the details of how Spengler's symptoms were affected by such activities as ski jumping, riding in his uncle's Audi and sex are mildly amusing, the wit and irony he is reaching for may have been lost in this translation from the German. The author also provides descriptions, which neither enlighten nor entertain, of the various treatments he underwent, including massage and spinal adjustment. (Nov.)
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