Though Engel is known more for his Benny Cooperman detective novels, this little memoir covers the time following a stroke Engel suffered one midsummer morning and the rare condition he suffered from called alexia sine agraphia: while he could still write, he could no longer read. When he picked up the copy of the Globe and Mail, the letters had mysteriously jumbled themselves together.
In addition to not being able to read--a lifeline to the outside world since he was a young boy-- Engel's memory failed him. Names of old friends, the street names in his neighbourhood, the difference between appels and grapfruit all eluded him.
Engel contacted renowned neurologist Oliver Sacks for advice and began to learn how to read all over again.