Charles Fleming, journalist, novelist and best of friends, has a new book out titled “My Lobotomy” written with a man named Howard Dully who underwent the most hideous surgery you can imagine when he was 12. Fleming, a former reporter for Newsweek, Vanity Fair and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, wrote one of the best Hollywood biographies ever published, “High Concept,” about the late producer Don Simpson (“Beverly Hills Cop”).
His new one is getting great reviews and is available on Amazon. He writes from his home in Los Angeles: “It is a gripping, heart-breaking and ultimately quite redemptive story about the first-ever lobotomy survivor to come forward and tell his story. He was one of the youngest people ever to undergo a transorbital or ‘icepick’ lobotomy. The story of how he got the procedure, what it did to him and the nightmare it made of his life makes exciting reading. He’s a terrific guy with a terrific story to tell.” Here’s how William Grimes’s review of the book (published by Crown/Random House) begins in The New York Times:
As a child, Howard Dully was a handful and a half. Wayward, high-spirited, dreamy, careless and slovenly, he drove his father and his stepmother to distraction. Unlike millions of other boys fitting the same description, at age 12 he underwent a transorbital lobotomy to cure his supposed psychological problems.
Steel spikes were driven through the back of both eye sockets and into his brain to sever neural connections between the thalamus and the frontal lobe. Forty years of misery ensued, recalled by Mr. Dully in a celebrated documentary broadcast on National Public Radio in November 2005 and now, in collaboration with Charles Fleming, in the harrowing “My Lobotomy.”