Joseph Levy Escapes Death
Joseph Levy leads a quiet life in rural Wheaton Arizona. Retired from a long career in psychiatric research and practice, he reads, writes, and walks in the mountains and hills near the Native reservation. His quiet life ends, however, when a dental crown replacement causes trouble just before meeting an internet date in California. Thus begins a year of back-to-back nightmare infections, a drug overdose, and two failed relationships. At every step, Levy is confronted by matters of life and death, love and hate, faith and doubt, trust and betrayal. Most of all, he faces what it means to be sick and to be healthy. He prays to his God, relies on his friends, examines his dreams, and entrusts his psyche to a new therapist.
Joseph Levy Escapes Death is a tale of perseverance in the face of adversity. Strassman uses several lenses to view Levy’s life: medical, psychoanalytic, and religious–both Buddhist and Jewish. Pathos and humor fill the tale, while enlightening detours examine the Holocaust, cardiovascular physiology and microbiology, and Jewish-Christian relations.
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Advance praise for Joseph Levy Escapes Death
A dark, disturbing, thought-provoking tale well told, as we would expect from the author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule. The reader is drawn through the story by a compelling need to understand the eponymous Joseph Levy's very peculiar mind! Highly recommended.
Author of Fingerprints of the Gods
Strassman delivers a sardonic and sometimes belly-laugh provoking treatise on God, Life, Love, and Death, in shades of Joseph Heller and John Irving. One could wallow in additional literary allusions, but bottom line, this is a very funny, insightful, and, at times, painful exploration of how humans, at least Joseph Levy, wrestle with all that stuff to find cheating death’s not the problem, it’s what happens when one tries to cheat life.
As an added bonus, for hypochondriacs and sundry pseudo-hypochondriacs, there’s a generous smattering of etiological references, that just might help you find out what-the- hell’s wrong with you, along the way. A thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable ride. Climb aboard and hold onto your hat.
Screenwriter and director: Resurrecton, The Great Santini, The Fox, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, The Mechanic, Seconds, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea.
This book has it all. Humor, insight, a poignant glimpse at patient care and the fragility of life, and one man’s shattering odyssey through the circus of existence. Buy this book and sail on swirling wisps and eddies of perseverance, hope, causality, and wonderment.
Author of The Math Book, The Physics Book, and The Medical Book trilogy
Rick Strassman invites us on a harrowing journey through the ordinary dangers we all face. Our hero, Joseph Levy, retains a clarity, humor and perspective through it all. This is a story that will leave us laughing at the absurdity of life’s twists and turns, while giving us a window into the faith that endures through challenge.
Author of Are We There Yet? Travel as a Spiritual Practice
A good story told with much interior monologue, rich in issues such as
health, relationships, and anti-semitism. Replete with medical and psychoanalytical overtones, and full of brilliant insights.
Professor of Mathematics, UC Santa Cruz
A post-modern tale of Job, initiated by a toothache that spirals out of control to psychedelic depths of pain and fear, love and transformation on a pilgrimage to greater insight. Rick Strassman heroically offers this autobiographical novel for all of us who suffer and will die one day. Bravo!
Artists, co-founders of CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors.
I've never read anything like it.