Cover image for Adam's burden : an explorer's personal odyssey through prostate cancer
Adam's burden : an explorer's personal odyssey through prostate cancer
Neider, Charles, 1915-2001.
Personal Author:
First Madison Books edition.
Publication Information:
Lanham [Md.] : Madison Books : Distributed by National Book Network, [2001]

Physical Description:
x, 292 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC280.P7 N45 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



A three-time Antarctic explorer who nearly perished in a helicopter crash at 12,000 feet on Mt. Erebus, Charles Neider tackles cancer's inhospitable terrain with the same straightforward courage, tenacity, and curiosity that he brings to his explorations.

Author Notes

Charles Neider, 1915 - 2001 Charles Neider was born in 1915 in Odessa, Russia. At the age of 5, he and his family moved to the United States, settling in Richmond, Virginia. Neider later moved to New York and attended City College.

In 1959, his most famous book was published entitled, "The Autobiography of Mark Twain," which was later named as one of the 100 Best Nonfiction books written in English during the 20th Century by the Modern Library. He has also edited and annotated around a dozen anthologies of Mark Twain tales, and edited the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Washington Irving and Leo Tolstoy.

Neider considered himself to be a naturalist as well as a writer. Between '69 and '77, he participated in three expeditions to Antarctica funded by the National Science Foundation and the United States Navy. He wrote about these trips in "Edge of the World: Ross Island, Antarctica" and "Beyond Cape Horn: Travels in the Antarctic." He also wrote of his own harrowing adventure when the helicopter he was flying in crashed on Mount Erebus in 1971. He wrote fiction about Billy the Kid, and the last book he wrote was a semi-autobiographical book about his struggle with prostate cancer.

Charles Neider died July 11, 2001 at the age of 86.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Noted Mark Twain scholar Neider was diagnosed with prostate cancer early in 1993, when he was 78. His intensely personal yet scientifically informed account of the succeeding two years of tests, treatment, and his own thoughts and emotions show him to have been fortunate in his doctors and nurses and, especially, in the strong support of his wife, Joan. Hardly the typical cancer patient, Neider had made three trips to the Antarctic and was a MacDowell Colony resident 10 times; indeed, some of this book was written there. Hardly the typical patient's account, Neider's supplements his own experiences with those of two cousins, several fellow members of support groups in New Jersey and California, and other acquaintances. With the diagnosis, Neider's doctor gave him three options: ignoring the cancer because of his age, surgery, or radiation. Neider chose the third--38 sessions' worth. Early in 1995 the doctor announced, "As far as I'm concerned, you have a cure!" Neider lived on until July 2001. --William Beatty

Library Journal Review

At age 79, author, Mark Twain scholar and editor, and explorer Neider (The Grotto Berg) was diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa). Neider wanted to know as much as possible about his disease so that he could participate in making decisions that affected his health and survival. This memoir is the result of his persistently inquisitive approach, which led him to interview doctors as well as a half-dozen friends and relatives who had undergone various therapies for PCa. Selecting the best therapy for the disease is a complex decision for a patient to make. There are quality-of-life issues (incontinence, impotence, and morbidities associated with any given therapeutic model) that each PCa patient must consider for himself. Neider's clear, down-to-earth, informative, and compassionate memoir also provides a no-holds-barred portrait of the medical profession good and bad. It will make a fine addition to consumer health collections that also have Ralph Berberich's Hit Below the Belt (LJ 3/15/01) and Saralee and Robert Fine's Prostate Cancer (LJ 9/1/99), which are also helpful in guiding readers through the morass of PCa therapies and its associated jargon (Gleason scores and PSA readings, for example). [Unfortunately, Neider lost his battle with cancer on July 4, 2001. Ed.] James Swanton, Harlem Hosp., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.