Book Review


Book review by Dr. Jim Barrick, Psychologist with 30 years experience. January 2008


Brain-Damage: A Book About Overcoming Cognitive Deficit and, September 17, 2002  
Reviewer: Barbara R. Thompson from Clearwater, Florida United States

Dick Schmeltzof's very personal book, Brain Damage, is both heartwarming and informative. He treats a very serious subject with humor, wit and compassion. It is difficult to imagine the drastic changes that have occurred in Dick's life since the emergency surgery to remove a tumor on his pituitary gland. But through his carefully constructed narrative, we can "feel" his frustrations and also revel in the incremental -- yet moving forward -- progress that he makes. His is a story of great courage, hope and love; a lesson for Humanity. Thanks to Dick for sharing this moving and insightful story of life after brain surgery. Readers will laugh. They will weep. And finally, they will applaud this incredible human being. Dick demonstrates a real gift for storytelling through this book. Let's hope he delights us with "Brain Damage II".


Inspirational!!!, August 22, 2002  
Reviewer: Kimberlee Gleason from Houston, TX USA

What can I say....I laughed, I cried (rest in peace, Shardak), and then I laughed again (out loud, alone in the room, 1 AM). I saw myself and wondered why anyone who has ever lost their car keys is not in the same program right along with the "Rehabbers". Dick shares some very personal moments with his readers (some of these things it would never occur to me to share with some of my closest friends). He really grabs you and makes you think.....and laugh....and cry.... I felt like I was sitting and sharing secrets with my best friend. Truly inspirational, in many ways!! Thanks for sharing yourself with the world!!


Brain Damage--a love story, August 2, 2002  
Reviewer: Eli Mayhew from Montgomery County, Texas USA

Brain Damage is an amazing journey. Both the story and its author are testaments to the indomitableness of the human spirit in its quest for wholeness. However, the author's pilgrimage, compelling in its own right, is but a subplot to a recurring theme throughtout the book. This is a love story, marriage the way God intended it. "For better or worse, in sickness and in health"--vows often spoken but not always honored, expecially when tested the way these were. You will love this book, and you will love the way these two people love each other. Enjoy their journey, then I challenge you. See if you can ever again be angry with your spouse for ignoring the budget or failing to lower the toilet seat.


Brain Damage Review, July 15, 2002  
Reviewer: Matt Vernon from Houston, TX

        BRAIN DAMAGE REVIEW
          By Matt Vernon

I laughed, I cried, I loved this book
It's outstanding, you should give it a look
It's written by Dick Schmelzkopf, called Brain Damage
About cognitive impairment and how he's managed

It's so true to life that it touched my heart
As he speckles humor and inspiration to his art
He's challenged constantly and he challenged me
To write his book review completely in poetry

Well, hearing his story and knowing it's true
I don't believe there's anything that we can't do
I have faith in myself and a new respect for everyone
And I now set goals, try hard to live and have fun

My excuses for not living to my potential I've thrown away
As I continue with a zest for life each and everyday
Dogs, darts, pool, writing, the support of his lovely wife
Is a lesson to all to do more than we should with our life

I'm a better person for reading this, you're a champ, Dick
Being brain damaged and publishing a book is a neat trick
We can do anything we want if we try with all our might
And it's a privilege to post this on your fancy website

I couldn't stop turning the pages; it's never a bore
When I was finished I still wanted some more
But, that's okay, because I can always read it again
And am very fortunate to be able to know Dick as a friend

So, in conclusion, let me say
That this book is better than okay
Man, I'm telling you - It's great!
To lead me towards my ultimate fate
It's well written and has a human touch
If no one else has said it, I thank you so much


An Enlightening and Captivating Look, June 14, 2002  
Reviewer: Leslie A J Moreland from Houston, TX

An enlightening and captivating look at a man
who has cheated death and won,
Telling his story of post brain surgery
and incredibly having fun.

I'm simply amazed at your lighthearted nature
for accepting yourself anew,
Your tragic story is an inspiration
refreshingly uplifting too.

Let me say that you're not alone
dealing with this in your life,
Leslie and I are always here
for you and your lovely wife.

I found the book was easy to read
and easy to understand,
Thank you Dick for sharing your story
You're truly an incredible man!


Inspiration for living, May 13, 2002  
Reviewer: Leslie Moreland from Houston, TX

This book offers a view into one man's ability to overcome major adversity in his life.  However, after reading it I found myself inspired to examine the challenges I face as a relaitvely healthy person. With the love of those closest to you and by appreciating the people who make up our close circles we find inspiration to endure and go beyond what once may have seemed unattainable.  I am excited to see where Dick will take his new life and look forward to reading his next book.


Good things to remember!, March 20, 2002  
Reviewer: pscobra from Madison, WI

My brother has a very good memory, after all he has gone through in life. The Brain Damaged Book tells alot about his life. His ups and downs from day to day, and subjects which most of us would not talk about. It sure is a blessing that my Brother still knows me after all he has gone through. I really have learned alot about him and what he stands for to me. His Book has brought many hours of good reading to me. If I should need this surgery some year in the future. I will know what to exspect from the results of the surgery and time of recovery to overcome from it. Good Luck and Lots of Love to you.


A compelling personal narrative, March 12, 2002  
Reviewer: Andrew M. Hansen from Kansas City, MO

Richard Schmelzkopf's spare book provides touching communiques from the front in the battle to overcome cognitive deficits resulting from brain damage. His first hand accounting of the struggle to deal with creating a new life are vivid, and draw pictures that give the reader an intimate sense of his journey through a world requiring, above all else, coping. After a tumor suddenly left him without many of the facultative resources he once possessed, Schmelzkopf apparently charged into his rehabilitative program with the same zeal and energy that he used in living a life that was, by his own accounting, quite interesting. The book was written, I would imagine, as a support manual for others affected, either directly or indirectly, by the same or similar circumstances. As such, it puts forth not only helpful and practical advice, but also a strong message of hope and encouragement. However, it also makes compelling reading for those who enjoy human-interest narratives. And, interestingly human it is.


Overcoming Brain Damage: It Is Possible, March 6, 2002  
Reviewer: Mark T. Clarkson from Cypress, TX

Mr. Schmelzkopf offers up wit, humor, and optimism to an otherwise serious and debilitating condition that is brain damage. His anecdotes throughout the book are down to earth and proves that it is indeed possible for a person who has had brain surgery to get through the difficult days of therapy and once again lead a normal life. This book is a must read for all patients recovering from brain surgery and their families.


Truly inspiring, February 13, 2002  
Reviewer: A reader from Houston, Texas

Mr. Schmelzkopf tackles a very serious condition with a sense of humor and honesty that will touch the heart strings of anyone who reads this book. "Brain Damage" is not only informative, it is truly inspiring. A must read for both patients and family members.


A Book of Courage., February 12, 2002  
Reviewer: Joan Smith from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This is an outstanding book! A book of courage, a book of inspiration, a book about overcoming obstacles, a book of examples for each of us who are not brain damaged.

It is a fun, humorous book detailing all the trials and tribulations the author experiences on his road to recovery. It is a must read for anyone who has had a stroke, and goes through the rehabilitation process.

There are champions, and there are victims, Schmelzkopf chooses to be a champion.

My physician has a copy in his office.


From an artist, February 2, 2002  
Reviewer: Margaret McKenney from Houston, TX

Brain Damage is a revealing and intimate account of some aspects of his recovery from an overwhelming event in the author's life--a brain injury.

An upbeat and often humorous approach to this devastating condition pulls on the heart strings while it shows ways for the patient and those around to help adapt and recover from an injured brain.

Intriguing reading.


Damn The Tumor...Full Speed Ahead, January 31, 2002  
Reviewer: Tim Moore from Houston TX

It was after my first biopsy on the first night home from the hospital that I started reading this book.  In the whirlwind of suddenly being diognosed with a brain tumor, having surgery and being sent home on medication without a clue what to think or how to handle it, reading Dick's book was very inspiring.  With a combination of interesting stories and honest, unique and very humorous insights into the challenges he has met, this book will help anyone view their lives in a new and better light.
Thank you, Mr. Schmelzkopf ... Into The Tiger's Mouth ! ! !


Brain Damage, January 29, 2002  
Reviewer: Norm Whitehouse from The Woodlands, TX USA

This is a humorous approach to a very serious situation. It tells how someones life changes instantly and how that person overcomes loss of memory and everyday functions such as planning and decision making. It deals with 'overload', flooding, loss of vocabulary and other activites that are taken for granted.

It's a strong testimony to the postive effects of a person's will and to the value of a strong marriage partner.


Brain-Damage: Inspirational, January 27, 2002  
Reviewer: A reader from Oregon, WI USA

The author shows us in this book, with humor and a positive attitude, ways to cope with and overcome the effects of a brain injury. Anyone reading this book will appreciate the challenges faced by Dick Schmelzkopf. I know I did. He's a real inspiration!


Reader from Houston TX, January 21, 2002  
Reviewer: A reader from Houston, TX

What delightful reading!!! This book is a must for reabilitating oneself, from a brain disorder. Also a must to read for any family and friends of the patient. A good book is one that can make you laugh out loud, and bring you to tears the very next paragraph. This book does just that! You don't have to actually know anyone who has had this disorder. It puts you in touch with how lucky you are to be well. But at the same time, I believe Dick Sshmelzkopf, is very well! And, he is in more tune to life than anyone I know. You will broaden your thoughts by reading this book. I know I have.


THIS BOOK HELPED ME A LOT, January 18, 2002  
Reviewer: RALPH WILLIAM from RANTOUL ILLINOIS

THANKS TO THE AUTHOR , I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FUCNTION ON A LITTLE BIT HIGHER LEVEL. THIS BOOK MADE ME SEE THAT YOU CAN STILL LEARN AFTER MY BRAIN SURGERY. IT ALSO MADE ME LAFF.


Five thumbs up! Inspiriational, funny, moving, January 17, 2002  
Reviewer: Paul Schnabel from Scottsdale, AZ

Dick's account of his process of recovery from a debilitating brain injury scores multiple 'hits' - first, it is well written, funny and hugely entertaining. Second, it offers a glimpse into the daily challenges and struggles of someone who is recovering from a deficit that most of us know little about. Third, it provides the inspiration to take on our own challenges with a little more gusto and confidence, as Dick teaches us that our only limitations are the scope of our dreams. The perfect read for friends or family of the brain-injured, people who need a little inspiration in their lives or are seeking to be entertained and uplifted by the triumph of the human spirit - geez, I guess that's just about everyone!


Humor with Brain Damage, January 16, 2002  
Reviewer: Ralph W. Arnold from Madison, Wi USA

The author is able to share his experience with the heartbreak of a brain injury entwined with a sense of humor as he recovers. His ability to write about both was obviously a large portion of the healing process for him. This gives the reader an insight to his never ending lesson in perserverance. Recommended reading, especially to appreciate the positive outcome Dick Schmelzkopf is experiencing to day.


Dick Schmelzkopf is a funny author., December 14, 2001  
Reviewer: Don Nugent from Spring, TX USA

Brain injury is a serious subject but this author covers it with humor from his own personal experience.   Anyone who reads this book will enjoy and appreciate this true experience from Dick Schmelzkopf


Hats Off To Mr. Schmelzkopf!, December 2, 2001  
Reviewer: Glenda Pigrenet from Alvin, Texas

This book is an outstanding example of an individual's true courage to tackle challenges that most of us cannot imagine. Mr. Schmelzkopf's wonderful sense of humor invites the reader to learn about brain damage and how it effects all areas of an individual's life, as well as their family's lives. His descriptive approach about his cognitive deficits allows the reader to envision a patient's perception of his own environment.  Mr. Schmelzkopf's comical, honest, informative style catagorizes his story as a must to read and a difficult to put down book!


Strength of the human spirit, December 1, 2001  
Reviewer: A reader from Columbus, Ohio

Brain Damaged is a facinating read of one man's winning struggle to come back from a dibilitating injury. After a unique and successful early life of adventure and business, the author learns the real value of life, wife and friends while in recovery from major brain surgery. His setbacks and achievemnts are many during rehabilitation, culminating in his new career as an author. This book chronicles the road into and beyond brain damage. Well worth while reading.


Hilarious Insight into Brain Injury Recovery, September 26, 2001  
Reviewer: Richard Ferguson from San Antonio, Texas

This is not a boring review of a medical rehabilitation process. Rather, it is a collection of humorous anecdotes from the life of a person who has lived brain injury recovery and is willing to tell on himself, his loved ones and the professionals that worked with him. I laughed all the way through the book and was given a peek into what must be anything but a laughable situation. He has such a colorful way of describing his difficulties with recovery from his brain tumor surgery and invites you to laugh (and learn) along with him. If you know someone that has suffered a brain tumor, a stroke, or a car accident that has left them with serious brain functioning problems this is required reading.


Go to     Dick's Brain Injury page.