Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human

Michael Chorost, Author . Houghton Mifflin $20 (232p) ISBN 978-0-618-37829-6

Chorost had been severely hearing impaired since birth when, one morning in 2001, his remaining hearing suddenly and inexplicably shut down. Fortunately for Chorost, cochlear implants have progressed to the point where people formerly isolated from everyday sounds can hear leaves rustle as they walk through them. A tiny device, the technological equivalent of a 286 computer, was surgically implanted behind the author's left ear. A magnetic headpiece sticks to his head over the implant, with a wire connected to a speech processor on his belt. As Chorost makes clear, his hearing wasn't restored; it was replaced. His body is now part "machine." The implant was only the first step of the author's learning to hear again, as his brain struggled to interpret the new electrical signals it was receiving. Chorost, who conducts research in educational technology, faced problems with activities most people take for granted: talking on a cell phone or carrying on a conversation in a crowded room. He recounts with candor and humor his struggles with relationships, both casual and intimate. Readers will find much food for thought on the implications of medical technology and what constitutes our humanity in this beautifully written debut. Agent, Michael Carlisle at Inkwell . (June 2)

Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-285-63790-0
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-0-618-71760-6
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