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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.

Critic reviews

  • YALSA Nonfiction Finalist, 2015

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

Loved this book, can't wait for the next book!

I originally found out about this guy on YouTube and immediately started following him, I loved watching his videos and seeing what he was up to in his life. I found him very inspiring and as soon as I found out he was an author and wrote some of his own books about his life I really wanted to read them. I was delighted when I saw Audible had his first book as I really need my books in a listening format due to my health, I was sad to see his second book wasn't available yet as I was very eager to read that one too. I'm just hoping as they have the first book that Audible will get the second book soon! It did take me a while to get used to the narrator though, and its nothing against the narrator either as I think he is great. It's just I had recently listened to all of Miss Peregrines Peculiar Children audiobooks, of which he is the narrator so when I heard his voice as Shane in this book it took a while to get used too (because to me I connected his voice with the main character Jake in the other books I mentioned and often he sounds exactly like him). After a while though I did get used to it and I do think he is a perfect choice for this book :-) and for that I hope if they've done the second book in listening form they've kept with the same narrator as it would be strange to change that now. I think the only other better choice would of been Shane himself but I know thats not always possible and a huge undertaking, it's not to say that if a version like that became available I wouldn't buy it in a heartbeat though :-) as I already own a few books read by different narrators and each one can bring something different to the story/book. I throughly enjoyed this book and as someone with a long term health condition that leaves me severely disabled there was a lot I could relate too, and in a way that was comforting as I knew I wasn't the only one feeling that way. I think anyone could enjoy this true story no matter what their circumstances are and get a lot out of it :-) so I would highly recommend it to everyone. Audible if your reading this, please add his newest book to your catalogue as soon as you can as I'm desperate to read/listen to that one too. Thanks also for sharing books like this too, as I think his story is an important one to share and it's great to have access to it. Thank you!

4 people found this helpful

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absolute pleasure to listen to

loved the whole thing, only wish it was longer. the book is honest, educational, insightful but above all hilarious.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Shane's Story is both inspiring and hilarious !

I found Shane Burcaw's book via watching him and his girlfriend on their you tube Channel 'Squirmy and Grubs' which is also totally awesome. Shane is a great example of Laughter being the best medicine. Teaching us all to try and find humour even through adversity. Even with a life full of challenges life can still be Beautiful and Shane is great at reminding us all to make the most of every moment and to laugh even when we feel like crying and have others laugh along with us. As someone suffering from chronic illness I totally agree life is so much easier to cope with, with a smile on your face ! Sometimes you've just got to Laugh 😃 Awesome book Shane, it did not disappoint.

3 people found this helpful

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amazing book

Really loved this book. We should all learn from Shane: amazing human being. book very well written. looking forward to read the next one

2 people found this helpful

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Laughing at Shane's nightmare

Disappointed it wasnt read in Shane's own voice. but he would probably struggle with that. So 90/100

1 person found this helpful

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Grubs is awesome

Awesome book, awesome guy, buy this if for no other reason than to support him

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Brilliant book! Absolutely loved it!

An honest and incredibly funny portrayal, highly recommend! Could not stop listening to it. Looking forward to the next one.

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Loved this book

Really interesting book great piece of writing. Well worth a read. Shane has an awesome outlook on life. This book enables you to see Shane and not his wheelchair!

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Dear Shane

If only you narrated it yourself while cry laughing at your own jokes. All the best!

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eye opener

all you need to know about disabled people, and why you should never treat each one the same way we are all different and have a story to tell

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  • Abby Goldsmith
  • 09-11-14

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.

20 people found this helpful

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  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 05-02-19

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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • JAmes B.
  • 29-11-16

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!!

8 people found this helpful

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  • joan d
  • 01-02-19

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,

5 people found this helpful

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  • Lindsey
  • 13-02-15

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ann Peters
  • 16-05-17

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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  • Debbie B.
  • 09-04-19

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!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 10-02-19

Makes ya think ???

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • kukz
  • 23-04-18

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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Catherine
  • 24-06-20

light fun inspiring

really fun, light entertainment. i love his YouTube channel. very worthwhile. (i could give it 5stars really, no downside. i just try to reserve 5 for more wow.)

1 person found this helpful