Michael J. Fox’s 2002 memoir, “Lucky Man” is an eye-opening, insightful, and heartfelt work that shows a side of Fox unlike any other. This very personal account allows the reader access into Fox’s life like never before. Forget the E! True Hollywood stories or countless interviews, Fox enlightens the reader with memories about his Nana, his father, and the fact that he was just a short little guy in Canada, out to make it big in the world.
The memoir opens with Fox trembling due to a message in his hand, or as he puts it, “The trembling was the message.” Hooking the reader first paragraph, Fox continues to chronicle how he put off seeing doctors, his denial regarding Parkinson’s, and his alcoholism-an attempt to block the reality. Of course, readers also get to peek into the good stuff: the behind the scenes stories of how memorable scripts fell into his hands, his romance with his future wife, and all of the fancy Hollywood stuff a young guy in the 1980’s is entitled to.
However, in hindsight, Fox realizes that he is indeed a ‘lucky man’, not just because he was on a little show called “Family Ties”, or famous flicks such as Teen Wolf, and the Back To The Future Trilogy. Fox comes to terms with the notion that he has a wonderfully loving family- a wonderful wife, beautiful kids, and the ability to become a voice for those who suffering as he is. The acting stuff, well, that’s just secondary to all of his other treasures. The message is clear to Fox, that it was never the fame that made lucky.
As a man in his late 40’s, Fox realizes that his roles are just jobs, and should not define his life. Fox remembers how he too quickly lost focus in his prime due to fame getting in the way of real life. There is a point in the memoir where Fox recounts speeding out in L.A. The officer pulls him over, and tells him that he is a huge fan. This was one of Fox’s early clues that his fame can get dangerous, and that there should be more to life that speeding in fancy cars and getting away with it.
Fox in a lot of ways is no different from most people; to get where he is, he needed to overcome quite a bit of grief. However, unlike the ‘average’ celebrity, Fox tells us how he has learned to float back down to reality and face his demons, as well as look at life trough a whole new lens due to his disease, and positive outlook on life.
Fox simply put, is an outstanding writer. Claiming to be ghost-writer free, this memoir proves Fox has creativity on a whole other level. Genuinely speaking from the heart, Fox gives us a glimpse into his world-a Canadian childhood, the rise to fame, the heartbreak, and even Parkinson’s disease. Readers be mindful: Fox is not asking for sympathy; he is out to prove (and justifiably does so) that his disease was in a strange way, a blessing in disguise.