2008 President's Award Winner
Hodge Wood’s “Sharks on Wounded Fish: Chum Water” is an absolutely riveting read. Although completely non-fiction, it captures and holds the readers interest as surely as if it were an engrossing novel of mystery and intrigue.
Wood grabs the reader from the very first pages with his unique voice and flair for humor, and masterfully maintains that flow throughout. His plotting and writing skills makes reading his work a pleasure.
I knew from reading the back cover and the introductory pages that the book was about an incredibly debilitating accident that left Hodge paralyzed, so I expected a heart-wrenching account of the fateful day that ended life as he knew it forever. I wasn’t disappointed, but I was surprised. The picture-painting detail and sometimes humorous way that Wood tackled a very dire and sober subject was completely unexpected, and totally appreciated. The open and honest way that he relays the experience of his ordeal allows the reader to become a part of (and actually feel) everything that he felt and endured. I found myself terrified during his description of the accident that broke his neck, and completely outraged by the inept and cruel way that he was treated by some of the health care professionals that were sworn to provide quality patient care and compassion.
Throughout his ordeal, Hodge lost everything but his faith … his faith in God and in himself. His story is an incredible tale of strength and perseverance. His passion for life drove him not only to push his battered body beyond its physical limits, but to thrive in his quest for a career, and a fulfilling personal life.
Wood is a master storyteller and I look very forward to reading his works to follow. I will enthusiastically recommend “Chum Water” to my family and friends.
MWSA Reviewer: Claudia Pemberton
Hodge shares the extraordinary details of his four year recovery from critical injury and total paralysis in Chum Water, the first book in the Sharks on Wounded Fish series. Initially hospitalized six months with air medevac out of state, a genuine fish out-of-water still hopes to swim again. In this behind-the-scenes chronicle, a private journey from survival to success climaxes as Hodge returns to new work as a therapist assisting others with spinal cord injury. Life forever changes but dreams come true when Hodge water skis once more - with residual paralysis. Flash back to the seventies in Chum Water and be inspired when worst turns best as a street survivor becomes a career occupational therapist. Using surrealistic adventures and self-deprecating humor, Hodge provides the reader with breathtaking insights into the healthcare system - from the unique perspective of a patient and a healthcare provider.