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I Was Born Dead

David Rehak

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : CreateSpace

Published : 2009

Copyright : David Rehak 2008

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4414-6864-1
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4414-6864-2

Publisher's Write-Up

In this highly personal and confessional semi-autobiographical memoir which reads more like a novel in the first person, Rehak tells us an engrossing and unique life history of being born overseas under the oppressive veil of communism, then escaping and growing up free in democratic Canada, living briefly in the conservative southern United States, and then making his home in the liberal atmosphere of Europe as an adult. He recounts his whole life right from his baby delivery (which didn't go too well) to the present-day.

Writing in the same casual way that he speaks, he especially likes to focus on all the weird, amusing, and humorous happenings of everyday life, and this book will tickle your tummy with laughter, especially if you don't mind humour of a more irreverent and daring kind. You will also be deeply moved, as the author tells you about the great love of his life, the girl from Prague who forever holds the key to his heart. Includes over 70 photos.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Amy (100509) Rating (9/10)

Review by Amy
Rating 9/10
David Rehak was born in Czechoslovakia while it was still under communist rule. His father was considered an anti-communist dissident and in the 1980's while Rehak and his sister were very small children, the family decided to escape to the West.

Now that it is free and democratic, he has since returned as an adult to the country of his birth in 2003, and has written an autobiographical memoir about his childhood immigrant experiences growing up in Canada and presently living back in what is now known as the Czech Republic. This intimate and sometimes fanciful account titled I Was Born Dead: A Memoir is full of insight, humour, and even tragedy.

The story begins, literally, at the beginning of his life: the baby delivery. In Rehak's case, it didn't go too well and it appears the doctors had to resuscitate the newborn. The author jokes that "his life has been downhill ever since he was a sperm." With a title like I Was Born Dead, one is liable to believe him. But besides the dark and irreverent humour, there is a lot of light and compassion in this autobiography. There is also a wonderfully detailed love relationship as Rehak is so clearly under the spell of the Czech girl Misha who becomes his beloved Muse. This becomes most apparent in the end.

The shattering surprise ending is surely calculated to shock. But with the title of the book being what it is, one doesn't necessarily expect a happy ending. But powerful and moving it is, most devastatingly so.

It is being said in the publishing world that Young Adult memoirs are expected to be the next big thing, and this Young Adult memoir makes great reading for students, although it's geared towards an adult audience as well.
Amy (10th May 2009)

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