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No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox
No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox

No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox

Times change. We all grow older. We all face different challenges. And, we all look back fondly on our younger years and special memories. What do you remember? Where did you hang out? What did you do in your spare time? What movies or TV shows did you watch? For me, some of the best times were watching TV sitcoms like Family Ties and enjoying 80’s and 90’s rom-coms like The Secret of My Success or Doc Hollywood or For Love or Money. Michael J. Fox created some of the best characters and memorable movies that will forever symbolize our teen years and young adult lives.

Thirty years later, as some of us begin to reflect on our own frailties, Fox presents his fourth book (his fourth memoir) – No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality. This one starts with Fox’s fall in his apartment (and subsequent surgical repair for a spiral fracture) yet the injury (and his health) doesn’t dominate the book. So much of what you’ll read is about Fox’s family including Tracy, his wife of 30 years, and their four children. 

Beyond Tracy and the kids, Michael also writes of his four-legged family members. In this memoir, you’ll read about Michael’s companion in Thailand, Sanuk (later renamed Michael J. Fox by the locals) as well as his adopted Great Dane/Lab, Gus (formerly Astro). He goes so far as to refer to Gus as their four-legged son.  Of course, he also jokes that the neighbors comment about the small man out walking his horse. Throughout the book, we clearly sense the role family has played in his life and journey.

Obviously, this book delves into the physical challenges that Fox has faced these last 30 years. Parkinson’s disease brings a host of symptoms including tremors, movement challenges, and cognitive difficulties such as memory loss. Added to this experience, Michael had to have a tumor removed from his spine leading to intense physical therapy and learning to walk again. Eventually, the challenges to remembering speaking his lines led him to retire for the second time. He acknowledges that changes might come that allow him to return, but he’s ready to accept the premise that he may be done acting.

Ultimately, this book invites the reader inside the Fox home and life to understand more about this disease and how it has impacted Michael and the family. Throughout his writings, Fox describes himself as an optimist – and it is pretty clear to all that he is indeed optimistic. This new book does not spend a great deal of time re-visiting his past writings but instead describes the journey he’s traversed these last few years. From Parkinson’s disease to a recent back surgery to the spiral fracture described in the beginning of the book, Fox has faced many challenges and yet he continues to face the future with a realistic optimism that is greatly needed in all of our lives.

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