James McManus, Author, James McManus, Read by , read by Patrick Frederic. Audio Renaissance $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-59397-873-0

McManus (Positively Fifth Street ) expected to write a magazine exposé when he checked into the Mayo Clinic for the spare-no-expense "executive physical." Instead, he fell in love with the place, and the doctors' scrutiny inspired this examination of his health and modern health care. After devoting two discs to his visit, listeners may find it hard to comprehend his affection for the place, given the poking, measuring and lecturing that he describes in excruciating detail. Frederic brings this all to life in suitably squirm-inducing tones. The remaining discs deal with an array of medical episodes and topics related to McManus and his family's lives, which he connects to the rest of the country's situation through a great deal of research. The narrative grouping of topics does not move as smoothly on disc as it does on the page. Frederic perfectly captures the author's half-sneering, half-outraged manner when he rails against the Bush administration's health care policies, especially the opposition to stem-cell research. The brief author interview at the end was conducted by phone, and its crackling, distant sound mirrors the disappointing sense listeners may get that, for all the intimate personal details McManus divulges, this new book is a somewhat half-hearted, uncertain production. Simultaneous release with the FSG hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 17). (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 02/06/2006
Release date: 12/01/2005
Genre: Audio
Paperback - 257 pages - 978-0-312-42649-1
Hardcover - 255 pages - 978-0-374-23202-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3884-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3885-5
Open Ebook - 978-0-374-70518-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-374-70521-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-59397-810-5
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-374-70619-7
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