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Laughing at My Nightmare

Written by: Shane Burcaw
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With acerbic wit and a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw's Laughing at My Nightmare describes the challenges he faces as a 21-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to having a girlfriend and everything in between, Shane handles his situation with humor and a "you-only-live-once" perspective on life. While he does talk about everyday issues that are relatable to teens, he also offers an eye-opening perspective on what it is like to have a life threatening disease.

©2014 Shane Burcaw (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What the critics say

  • YALSA Nonfiction Finalist, 2015

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Made me feel better!

My daughter was Diagnosed with SMA type One in July she is receiving Spinraza and she turned a year one yesterday.

Since finishing this book I feel a lot better about her future. Put a lot of stuff into perspective for me.

Not sure if Shane you’ll read this review, but thank you man for writing this it was a great help and a funny read!

3 people found this helpful

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Humorous and Positive

As someone living with a moderate physical disability I often use strange humor to deal with my situation. It was nice to listen to someone else who could laugh about it and keep a positive attitude. Your positive attitude is inspiring!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Abby Goldsmith
  • 2014-11-09

Insightful and unflinchingly honest

This book will stay in my mind for a long time. I want to thank Shane Burcaw for his unflinching honesty about painful and intimate parts of his life. I've read a number of memoirs/autobiographies, and I don't think I've seen this level of honesty before. He's willing to discuss his insecurities, his deepest fears, his shortcomings--and also his hopes, and the people he loves--all made fascinating through the lens of a debilitating disease that affects not only him, but also his family and friends.

I'm researching SMA for a series of science fiction books I'm writing. This memoir fulfilled my research needs and then some. I feel as if I have a much better understanding of what this disease is about and how it affects those who have it.

17 people found this helpful

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  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 2019-02-05

Great story

This book was fantastic but it ended too soon. I could easily have listened for twice as long. It also ended too soon because I wonder if he published a bit too early. All the stories in here are perfect and I wouldn't change a thing -- highly recommended. It just would have been even better as the first half of a bigger book where he's grown up a bit and had some more post-college life experience. So here's hoping for a sequel!

I can't say enough good things about Kirby Heyborne's narration. I've heard him many times now and he never disappoints.

7 people found this helpful

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  • JAmes B.
  • 2016-11-29

finished in one day. it's that good!

I have a 7 yr old with SMA type 2. this book made me laugh and cry probably an equal amount. I learned a lot too. great book. well written. great narration. highly recommended!!

5 people found this helpful

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  • joan d
  • 2019-02-01

Inspiring

Makes you realize life’s problems are really no big deal
Compared to Shane’s daily life. Wish the book went farther. What happened with Shannon? Enter today and his life with Hannah! A bit of A let down,

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsey
  • 2015-02-13

Fantastic read!

I feel like I have to meet Shane Burcaw at some point in my life now! I've never read anything that honest in my life.

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  • Ann Peters
  • 2017-05-16

Amazing book!

Tender, touching, funny and true. This well written book will change you. I recommend it highly.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 2019-02-10

Makes ya think ???

Appreciate what you have, Shane does. Really enjoyed the story of how he enjoys his life.

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  • K Mack
  • 2020-01-07

Amazing & Inspirational

I was also diagnosed with a different form of muscular dystrophy, but there's still an amazing amount of similarities. Shane has inspired me to do more & give everything I have in this life. This tells someone hard truths, but it's like candy costed medicine with the humor being the candy coating. This is a must read for anyone!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Debbie B.
  • 2019-04-09

Outstanding

I love his rawness to open up about not only his condition but his feelings and coping mechanisms. I'm a therapist and I truly understood each stepping stone forward and every chop at the knees backwards fall Shane went thru. It made me laugh, made me have an empathetic half smile, a cheer for him, moments of sadness for him and out loud comments in disbelief and in a high five "awesome"!!! I'd listen to it again!!

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  • kukz
  • 2018-04-23

Dissappointed

What disappointed you about Laughing at My Nightmare?

In a nutshell, the author just is not very likable and it makes it hard to listen to the problematic things he says for so long. He faces a great deal of challenges and "othering" in society, which is heartbreaking, and you do want to cut him some slack.....but his default coping mechanism often seems to be making fun of people; repetitively insisting on his superiority over people with cognitive disabilities, calling people dumb when they try to make him feel included, and going on in what feels like forever of his cataloging of his disgust for or thinly veiled "pity" for others. And then there are many, many stories about bodily functions. Which are insightful at first but seem unnecessary to go back to over and over again in detail once the message has been communicated. Most of the stories he shares can be organized into one or more of the themes above.

9 people found this helpful