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His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina Paperback – Feb 8 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (Feb. 8 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385334672
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385334679
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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Like Kurt Cobain, Nick Traina lived for punk rock (his bands made two CDs, Gift Before I Go and 17 Reasons), succumbed to heroin addiction, and died of suicide. His mom, Danielle Steel, takes us through her 19 twister-like years with Nick in a memoir more affecting than her potboiler novels. Like his AWOL addict father, Nick had good looks, bad behavior, and a yen for the feminine. Five days before he died, he phoned a woman he saw in a centerfold and had a new girlfriend by nightfall. But his fun was ever haunted by manic depression. At age 11, he was a bed wetter who ate all the Tylenol and Sudafed in the house. He first considered suicide at 13, as Steel learned by reading his diaries after his death.

There is tension in this story--one doctor told Steel if she could get Nick to live to 30, he'd probably live a normal life span. (For example, Nick's troubled dad resurfaced, sober, soon after his son's death.) And Steel conveys a sense of the intelligence Nick used to conceal his learning disability, and the irreverent charm that alternated with irrational rages. Oliver Sacks has urged us not to ask what neurological disease a person has, but what sort of person the disease has got hold of. Steel gives us a vivid sense of the costs of the disease to a family--and of the person who was Nick Traina. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

The best-selling novelist on the lifeAand deathAof the manic depressive son she loved so deeply.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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I met Nick's father on his thirty-first birthday, on a sunny day in June. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By diversified70@hotmail.com on Aug. 18 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am 27 years old, have bipolar, and often cried during my reading of
this book. I read most of it. At times, I felt I couldnt finish
reading it, because the pain described by Danielle Steel is so real.
God Bless her for writing it.
I felt more heartbroken about Nick
than any woman who broke my heart in the past. I think the phrase
"brilliant mind, heart of gold, and tortured soul" sums up a
lot of it. It's amazing to describe so much in those few words.

I've research bipolar very extensively since accepting it almost
two years ago. I felt this book hit me hardest in terms of emotional
Danielle Steele's phrases, "Fly well my darling
boy, till we meet again" and one about this not being the book I
planned to write and dedicate for you brought tears to my eyes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 24 2000
Format: Paperback
Nick Traina (he was the author's natural son and not adopted as one reviewer noted) was truly a gift. Bright and highly verbal, Nick demonstrated rare talents from a very early age. At 6 months, he greeted people with, "I'm incredible!" And indeed he was. He spoke in full sentences by age one and his first birthday party brought a smile to my face when Nick insisted on having "disco music and a clown" (remember folks, this was 1979). As a toddler, Nick talked about "when he was big" and he "was here before." I was sorry the author was terrified by this and did not wxplore this further as it would have been interesting to know Nick's perspective.
Nick abosbed languages early and was fluent in Spanish and Italian before he was three. He made fine distinctions in language and this was apparent in his refusal to learn French. For some reason, Nick never liked French and objected strenuously to hearing it spoken in his presence.
I loved Nick's strong stand on everything. He refused to wear certain things ("that has a giraffe on it! You expect me to wear that! ") and showed a maturity that one does not readily associate with toddlers.
Problems showed up early in Nick's life. Slow to toilet train, Nick wet and soiled himself and the bathtub until he was four. Pictures were done in harsh, black crayon. Nick showed sexual precocity by pinching women's bottoms and talking in quite an adult sounding manner about "loving the ladies." This from a pre-schooler!
Nick's flair for the original marked his entire, short life. He methodically collected and sorted baseball cards, he loved lip synching in costume at his school's annual show, he loved writing poetry and singing.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dukehimmelreich@worldnet.att.net on Sept. 21 1998
Format: Hardcover
Danielle Steel's biography of her son, a brilliant, handsome boy who was finally diagnosed as atypical manic-depressive, and his eventual suicide at age 21 was a disappointment. It is also an autobiography of Ms. Steel's struggle with her son, the disease, and the medical-psychiatric community over her son's condition. While a compelling story (the photographs throughout the book make the suicide all the more tragic), Ms. Steel's narration can be taken as somewhat one-sided. I would wish more insight into the effects of Nick (the son) on the family, his adoptive father, and those around him. These relationships she handles in almost off-handed observations ("all the children loved Nick") but several pages later ("the family was delighted to have a dinner without Nick's disturbances"). While Nick was sent to numerous psychiatrists, hospitals and schools, Ms. Steel had the tendency to allow him to leave the schools or care of the psychiatrist(s) the moment he decided the treatment became in any way uncomfortable, and seemingly on just his say-so. We never are told the incidents that get him expelled from schools with warnings never to return.
With a bit more depth, this story might have been a truly great and helpful narrative of a tragic figure, and might have been of immense assistance to those with similar children who would wish to attempt to prevent the same fate from befalling their child. Perhaps the author can re-look at the events of Nick Triana's life in several years, after the understandable pain of his death has more time to heal, and write a revised and more insightful edition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 10 2002
Format: Hardcover
While one can only possibly feel sympathy for the pain Nick's mother feels, her writing style is sentimental and flowery in the extreme. The descriptions of a manic depressive personality and suggestions for dealing with one are excellent, and there is no doubt that she did all she could for her son whom she loved dearly - however having established that, it was tedious to read over, and over, and over again her expressions of motherly love, her gratitude repeatedly to the same people and the gushing in general. It is also difficult to understand from her telling why she was unable to cope with her own son while another mother with less space, less money and younger children was able to take him in for the last few years. The book was worthwhile in some ways but could have told the same story with as much information and feeling in less than half the number of pages.
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