Robert Wells - Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain) - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781472136763
    • Publication date:29 Jun 2017

Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain)

A Rather Graphic Novel About Living With Embarrassing Health Problems

By Robert Wells

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

A graphic novel about chronic pain, mental health complications and mixed experiences of the medical profession from a talented comic book artist who turns years of agony and poor medical management into an hilarious and shockingly frank tale.

Rob Wells has spent much of his adult life coping with chronic pain of different kinds - an embarrassing bowel problem in his early 20s, recurring testicular pain in his late 20s and 30s, and back problems requiring spinal surgery in his early 40s. Consistent through these experiences has been a feeling of being passed from pillar to post by the medical community, seemingly at a loss to explain the cause of these issues, or to find a lasting solution for them.

This hilarious and brutally frank graphic memoir tells Rob's story, taking us through emergency surgery for a misdiagnosed twisted testicle, the extremes of weight loss and weight gain, the insides of far too many public toilets, and having to resort to walking with a cane. As Rob's back, sack and crack all became causes for concern so too did his brain, as his recurring problems unsurprisingly left him with depression and agoraphobia.

This is the warm and witty story of a man's battle with his own body, and with the medical industry that couldn't quite appreciate the problem. For anyone who has ever felt let down by their doctors, or who has suffered with chronic pain that shows no sign of subsiding, Rob Wells bravely invites you to really get to grips with his balls.

Biographical Notes

Robert Wells is a writer, cartoonist and illustrator. He has written and drawn numerous comics including Crisp Biscuit, Crisp and Colin Comix, and is the artist of Department of the Peculiar (with writer Rol Hirst). He has produced illustrations for magazines such as Metal Hammer, Total Film and MusicTech. The first 15 pages of Back, Sack & Crack (& Brain) were short-listed for the 2014 Myriad Editions First Graphic Novel Prize.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472136756
  • Publication date: 29 Jun 2017
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: Robinson
A story that brings tears to your eyes, in more ways than one. It touches you so much you it makes you want to cross your legs in sympathy — Nev Fountain, writer at Dead Ringers, author of Painkiller
An honest, funny, graphic story of one man's journey with chronic pain and disappointing dealings with health professionals. As a GP who is often frustrated by the limitations of modern medicine to help patients with unexplained symptoms, it's a painful but important story to hear — Dr Graham Easton, author of The Appointment
Wells captures the relentless pain and frustrations of living with a long term chronic medical condition and does so with humour. This is a must read for those who have, are close to, or work with ongoing health concerns — Nicola Streeten, author of Billy, Me & You
A hoot. Such a brave and funny comic. It's the bollocks — ILYA, author of Room For Love and Kid Savage
Possibly the funniest graphic novel I have ever read. A comic novel which has heavy emphasis on male pudenda and poo would not be my 'reach for' item in the bookshop in the normal scheme of things. But Robert Wells' opening page, depicting himself naked from the waist down, looking like some crazy scientist who's lost the plot, completely disarmed me with its candidness and self-deprecating wit. The book continues with wry observations delineated in a clear, unfussy, confident style that reminds me a little of Scott McCloud. To say it's a story about health issues and misadventures with doctors, doesn't do it justice. It's Marcel Proust crossed with Only When I Laugh. I urge you to buy this book for your mental happiness! — Jessica Martin, actress and author of Elsie Harris Picture Palace
In this hilarious graphic memoir, Rob Wells takes the comics tradition of self-mockery and abasement to a new level, regaling us with the workings of all his bodily plumbing, the mechanics of masturbation, and his worries about the size of his penis, while his graphic avatar, a portly man with his right hand perma-thrust down the front of his pants, frets about making a public spectacle of himself by soiling his pants in public. For our amusement, Wells drops his trousers and undergoes all manner of undigni?ed procedures at the hands of an array of - mostly unlikeable - doctors and feckless or bullying nurses. The book is not kind to the medical profession, yet there is much for healthcare professionals to glean here: good doctors will recognise their rude and condescending colleagues and sigh with sympathy at Rob's pain. Rude and patronising doctors will roll their eyes and tut at his dysfunctional illness behaviour. This is a study in complexity theory with no simple mechanical cures, a case of chronic pain and medically unexplained symptoms, where most of the attempts at cure come to nothing, while patient communication and kindness go lacking, leaving our man increasingly sceptical of the bene?ts of modern medicine. I loved this book. It made me laugh out loud on just about every page. Wells's pacing and visual humour is ?rst class. Filthy and puerile, yet wise and weighty, the book ends how it begins: a man in a teeshirt, naked from the waist down, telling us rather too much about his most intimate problems. Excellent — Dr Ian Williams, author of The Bad Doctor and co-author of The Graphic Medicine Manifesto
If I'm being truthful, I'm probably quite pleased that Rob has been suffering for decades from chronic pain. It's impossible to imagine anybody else suffering as he has being able to express their experiences with the same level of skill, humour and honesty. Great artists claim that they've suffered for their art but Rob literally has — Paul Rainey, author of There's No Time Like The Present
Robert Wells' debut book puts the 'graphic' in 'graphic medicine' with a bleakly witty flourish. Not so much painfully amusing as excruciatingly, squirmingly and eye-wateringly funny — Andy Oliver, blogger at Broken Frontier
If you're an unabashed, blunt, salty person who has ever had trouble getting a doctor to acknowledge your very real illnesses, or a massive hypochondriac (because let's face it, GPs think those are both the same thing), you'll love this very amusing comic about navigating the NHS and dealing with worrying, painful health problems. As someone suffering a lot of health issues myself, this was a reassuring yet realistic, frustrating yet fun read — Jade Sarson, author of For The Love Of God, Marie!
Funny, compelling and honest - and I had my legs crossed the whole way through — Martin Eden, author of Spandex,/i> and O-Men
Robinson

Orderly Britain

Andrew Ward, Tim Newburn
Authors:
Andrew Ward, Tim Newburn

All societies, in their very different ways, are orderly. The very term 'society' implies the existence of a degree of organisation and predictability to human life. Orderliness, however, is a matter of degree. It is neither total, nor totally absent. In recent times, however, such concerns have largely given way to a greater preoccupation with disorderliness: with significant and disruptive social change; with rising crime and anti-social behaviour; and with a variety of other social problemsBut what has really been happening? How should we think about the nation's changing social order over the last seventy years? In Orderly Britain, Newburn and Ward focus on such commonplace, prosaic and mundane matters as dog-fouling, swearing, drinking, smoking, nudity, public toilets, and parking. These everyday matters, they argue, have much to tell us about social change and, more particularly, about the changing nature of British society.Written in an accessible style, full of quirky tales, this book provides an unusual approach to recent British social history. We read about social-order problems, boiling-point incidents, and the emergence of new expectations and control systems through our chosen topics. Through accessible, intriguing, prosaic tales - the hounding of beatniks in Cornwall in the 1960s, the banning of dogs from Burnley parks in the 1970s, the London parking crisis of the 1980s, the Naked Rambler in the 2000s - Orderly Britain reflects on the deeper sociological roots of our changing social order.In Orderly Britain the authors argue that post-war British society, in many respects, pays significantly greater attention to the issue of ordering and to laying down rules and regulations about conduct. Yes, elements of our lives are increasingly privatised but much of our behaviour is visible in ways and to extents never previously encountered - not least via electronic media. Consumerism, though it may have stimulated extraordinary acquisitiveness has also brought with it a huge array of administrative and technical regulations about matters as varied as food safety, the supply and sale of goods, and domestic animal welfare. In fact, there is considerable evidence that we have become more concerned about order, and more rule-bound by laws and regulations setting out the parameters of orderliness and how it is to be maintained. As a means of illustrating this argument, our first step along the road is toward the issue of dog-shit and what we do with it. Naturally, we must tread carefully.

Little, Brown

Don't Keep Taking the Pills

James Le Fanu
Authors:
James Le Fanu

Robinson

Good For Nothing

Abigail Marsh
Authors:
Abigail Marsh
FaithWords

Good Night, I Love You

Jene' Ray Barranco
Authors:
Jene' Ray Barranco
Piatkus

Gorilla and the Bird

Zachary McDermott
Authors:
Zachary McDermott
Constable

Don't Let My Past Be Your Future

Harry Leslie Smith
Authors:
Harry Leslie Smith

Harry Leslie Smith is a British stalwart; he is a survivor of the Great Depression, a Second World War RAF veteran and now, aged 92, he is a social activist for the poor and the preservation of social democracy. Following the overwhelming success of Harry's Last Stand, his new memoir, Don't Let My Past Be Your Future, is a survival guide for today's generations who need hope from someone who has seen Britain face both the Great Depression and the Second World War. It is a manifesto for the left to rebuild itself with integrity after its shattering defeat in the 2015 General Election. Don't Let My Past Be Your Future also has a much wider and more enduring appeal - at its heart is a homage to the boundless grace and resilience of the human spirit to overcome poverty, war, oppression, economic and social injustice and to build a more perfect society. It is about the here and now, and how there are elements from our near and far history that can make life bearable and fulfilling. This new book is for both today's youth and disaffected middle agers who want a voice of reason to provide not only optimism but a step by step guide to survive the next 5 years. It is a memoir about surviving difficult times with one's dignity and optimism for humanity and its future intact.

Piatkus

Speaking of Death

Annie Broadbent
Authors:
Annie Broadbent

'To support the bereaved, we need to get to grips with death.'Talking about death and grief has become something of a modern taboo. Most of us would rather avoid the subject altogether because it makes us feel anxious or awkward. When Annie Broadbent's mum died, one of the hardest parts of her experience was seeing her friends and extended family paralysed by their fear of saying or doing the wrong thing.Frustrated and saddened by her own experience, in this thoughtful book Annie presents sixteen stories which build a much needed bridge between the bereaved and the rest of us. Combined with expert advice, Speaking of Death is a collection of real life experiences of grief. The stories help you build your own relationship with death and provide support for supporters of the bereaved. If you've never known what to say to a grieving person, you will after this book.'Annie offers a compassionate and caring approach to supporting someone through grief, developed through her own experience and the use of expert advice . . . this book will be a helpful tool for everyone' Shelley Gilbert, CEO of Grief Encounter'Wonderfully moving, relevant and important' Kate Timperley, Maggie'sThis book was first published as We Need to Talk About Grief.

Piatkus

A Fearless Heart

Thupten Jinpa
Authors:
Thupten Jinpa

'[A] timely book on compassion and its cultivation' The Dalai Lama'The bravest, cleverest and most engaging book I know on why we need to cultivate compassion' Jon Kabat-Zinn'A practical toolkit for becoming a better human being' Daniel Goleman Self-compassion is the overlooked key to achieving our goals. It can lead to increased happiness, stress reduction, a stronger sense of purpose, better health and a longer life. Yet many of us resist compassion, worrying that if we are too compassionate with others we will be taken advantage of and if we are too compassionate with ourselves we won't achieve our goals in life. Using the latest science, psychology (from contemporary Western and classical Buddhist sources) as well as stories from others and his own extraordinary life, Jinpa shows us how to train our compassion muscle. His powerful programme, derived from his remarkable course in Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT), is the perfect guide to achieving a greater sense of wellbeing.

Robinson

Seeing Myself

Susan Blackmore
Authors:
Susan Blackmore

A fully revised and updated edition of a seminal book looking at the science behind out-of-body experiences (OBEs). This is an open-minded exploration of the theories behind tunnel and near-death experiences from a scientist who had just such an experience herself aged 19 and spent much of her career determined to find out the truth behind it. About one person in ten claims to have had an OBE but there is very little in the way of critical analysis to support their experience. This book is a readable antidote to the occult lore that supposes that OBEs prove the existence of other worlds, higher planes and astral bodies, and teach that having an OBE means knowing you have a spirit that will survive death. Susan Blackmore is a psychologist and Zen practitioner who has spent years studying the nature of consciousness and the self. This book details her quest through spirituality, religion, philosophy and science to find an explanation for this bizarre phenomenon and is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand their own mind and to find a spiritual path that is compatible with science.This accessible book brings Professor Blackmore's classic studies bang up to date to include the important advances made in the 21st century, when everything changed for OBEs. Quite by accident, a Swiss neurosurgeon discovered the spot in the brain that can induce and even control an OBE. The availability of fMRI scanning and transcranial magnetic stimulation can now unravel the truth and virtual reality headsets can allow convincing out-of-body illusions to be induced. In just a few years the OBE has moved from hovering at the very fringes of scientific acceptability to making a valuable contribution to the mysteries of the self and consciousness.

Robinson

How to Speak Any Language Fluently

Alex Rawlings
Authors:
Alex Rawlings

This book will give you the skills to learn to speak any language with confidence. It uses techniques that can easily be incorporated into your daily life, while making use of whatever resources you have available. Whether you are starting out with your first foreign language or wishing to add to your repetoire, you'll find a wealth of easy-to-follow advice and achievable goals. Discover how to:-Speak with greater confidence and accuracy-Effectively learn vocabulary and grammar -Use time on the internet and social media to learn a language-Read real books, websites and articles in a foreign language-Pass exams that certify your language skills

Piatkus

The Salt Fix

James DiNicolantonio
Authors:
James DiNicolantonio

'Dr DiNicolantonio takes us away from hype and hyperbole to a place of rationality as it relates to salt. This extensively researched text lets us finally erase the guilt all of us felt when catering to our desire for this important mineral.' David Perlmutter, MD, bestselling author of Grain Brain and The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan A leading cardiovascular research scientist upends the low-salt myth, proving that salt may be one solution to - rather than a cause of - the chronic disease crisis.We've all heard the recommendation: no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for a healthy heart. But there's one big problem with this: the majority of us don't need to watch our salt. For most, salt protects against a host of aliments, including internal starvation, insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease - not to mention, it tastes great. Dr DiNicolantonio reveals the eye-opening story, a never-been-told, century-spanning drama of competing egos and interests, of how salt became unfairly demonised. (The real culprit? Another white crystal - sugar).Sure to change the conversation about this historically treasured substance, The Salt Fix elegantly weaves research into a fascinating new understanding of salt's essential role in your health and what happens when you aren't getting enough.Dr DiNicolantonio shows how eating the right amount of this essential mineral will help you beat sugar cravings, achieve weight loss, improve athletic performance, increase fertility and thrive with a healthy heart. Finally, he offers a transformative six-step programme for re-calibrating your innate salt thermostat so that you can simply listen to your cravings to achieve your ideal salt intake.

New Harbinger

The Intuitive Eating Workbook

Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch
Authors:
Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch

Do you overeat during times of stress? Do you often find yourself eating when you're not even hungry? The Intuitive Eating Workbook offers a new way of looking at food. Based on the best-selling book, Intuitive Eating, this comprehensive workbook addresses the ten principles of intuitive eating, and provides an evidence-based model to help readers develop a healthy relationship with food, pay attention to cues of hunger and satisfaction, and cultivate a profound connection with both mind and body.Do you use food to comfort yourself during stressful times? The Intuitive Eating Workbook offers a comprehensive, evidence-based program to help you develop a healthy relationship with food, pay attention to cues of hunger and satisfaction, and cultivate a profound connection with your mind and body.Have you tried fad diet after fad diet, only to gain weight back? Maybe you've tried the protein diet only to move on to vegetables only? Raw almonds and coconut water every forty-five minutes instead of big meals? Or perhaps you've tried counting calories, but the numbers on the scale still don't add up. If you are ready to throw in your hat and give up on dieting for good, take heart. You can enjoy food again-you just need to pay attention to your body's natural hunger cues. Based on the authors' best-selling book, Intuitive Eating, this workbook can show you how.The Intuitive Eating Workbook offers a new way of looking at food and mealtime by showing you how to recognize your body's natural hunger signals. Structured around the ten principles of intuitive eating, the mindful approach in this workbook encourages you to abandon unhealthy weight control behaviors, develop positive body image, and-most importantly-stop feeling distressed around food!You were born with all the wisdom you need for eating intuitively. This book will help you reconnect with that wisdom and ultimately change your life-one meal at a time.

Virago

You're the Only One I Can Tell

Deborah Tannen
Authors:
Deborah Tannen
Seal Press

What's Your Creative Type?

Meta Wagner
Authors:
Meta Wagner
Piatkus

The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer

Bertil Marklund
Authors:
Bertil Marklund

The Danes may have their hygge and the Norwegians their back to the land culture, but the Swedes have 'lagom': an even-keeled approach to a life of balance.Dr Bertil Marklund - a doctor and researcher at the Gothenburg University with over forty years of experience - provides the most cutting-edge research to explain the ten areas we should focus on to better our chances of a long life.This compact guide provides wisdom from the Nordics, a region long known for its healthy and progressive lifestyle. It debunks myths on things we have been told are not good for us but actually can be: did you know drinking coffee will promote your health? Or that more people die of lack of Vitamin D than they do of skin cancer? By providing pragmatic and realistic advice, Dr Marklund gives you the power to make a difference in your own life today and for the future.

Import Aus

Silence Your Mind

Ramesh Manocha
Authors:
Ramesh Manocha
Little, Brown

Sensemaking

Christian Madsbjerg
Authors:
Christian Madsbjerg
Robinson

Management Starts With You

Alan Hester
Authors:
Alan Hester

Management Starts With You is a wise, honest and practical guide to success in this challenging but fascinating role.Among many powerful insights we learn that:. Before we can successfully manage others we first need to manage ourselves.· Most of us do not naturally know how to manage, but we can learn.· Life as a manager is easier when we stop thinking about the effect of our actions on ourselves and think instead about their effect on others.· People don't want to be managed, but they absolutely need the security of being led.· Being respected is much more important than being liked!· Traditional time management techniques don't work for managers, so we need to rethink our approach to this most precious of all resources.· What we focus on we get more of; so we need to focus on the right things.

Robinson

Can't Just Stop

Sharon Begley
Authors:
Sharon Begley
Seal Press

The Big Fix

Tracey Helton Mitchell
Authors:
Tracey Helton Mitchell

After surviving nearly a decade of heroin abuse and hard living on the streets of San Francisco's Tenderloin District, Tracey Helton Mitchell decided to get clean for good. With raw honesty and a poignant perspective on life that only comes from starting at rock bottom, The Big Fix tells her story of transformation from homeless heroin addict to stable mother of three,and the hard work and hard lessons that got her there. Rather than dwelling on the pain of addiction, Tracey focuses on her journey of recovery and rebuilding her life, while exposing the failings of the American rehab system and laying out a path for change. Starting with the first step in her recovery, Tracey re-learns how to interact with men, build new friendships, handle money, and rekindle her relationship with her mother, all while staying sober, sharp, and dedicated to her future. A decidedly female story of addiction, The Big Fix describes the unique challenges faced by women caught in the grip of substance abuse, such as the toxic connection between drug addition and prostitution. Tracey's story of hope, hard work, and rehabilitation will inspire anyone who has been affected by substance abuse while offering hope for a better future.