Have not read print version.
The compassion shown by the author, an oncologist, to his patients.
Very clear and understandable.
It made me think, being a 2-time cancer survivor, about the people who made it possible for me to recover. Helped me understand how advancements in cancer research have been fought for by researchers and advocates.
I listened to this book while on a lone driving trip and never thought of turning it off--1,000+ miles! I think that says it all.
I absolutely loved this book. It is well written, engaging, and extremely informative on a broad spectrum of factors relating to cancer and human society’s struggle with it, from the point at which it appears in the historical record up until today.
In addition to presenting a fascinating medical history, this book really showcases the interplay between research, clinical practice, corporate and political interests, activism, and patients themselves. It also delves into the lives and careers of many pivotal figures in the endeavour. Importantly, the author does not shy away from covering the unfortunate turns as well as the breakthroughs, thereby exposing the ethical issues that inevitably arise when imperfect humans confront matters of life and death with incomplete knowledge. Perhaps the most sure sign of the book’s success: I again found myself wondering why I am not pursuing a career in medical science.
I read the first third of the book, and continue to need the print version to review the marvelous quotes at the start of each chapter.
The audio version kept me focused for a four hour drive, and then a 3 hour flight.
Better? not really. But the combination of print and audio was great!
The discussion of our country and our congress' response to tho growing evidence of tobacco carcinogenicity.
The hardest story you never want to miss.
I learned so much about the struggle to cure cancer. What an amazing story! And it was very well told by this author. The narrator was excellent.
Member Since 2006!!
I was drawn to the book because the subject matter is undeniably compelling. Just off the top of my head, I can think of SEVEN people in my life that are/were impacted by cancer in varying degrees of intensity: my mother, my maternal-grandfather, my paternal-grandmother, my cousin-in-law, my mother-in-law and 2 colleagues on my team.
I kept describing this book as “a sentence of interesting lost in a paragraph of boring” but that’s not entirely fair; it’s just that my interest in the subject matter is general, not technical.
I was very interested in what they were doing, just not HOW they were doing it – so the drilled down technical lab explanations of how this acid makes that chromosome secrete that enzyme was just too detailed for me. In all fairness, there were long passages of remarkable research results that did captivate my attention.
In retrospect, I should have read the abridged version.
Arts & Sciences is what I am about. I have no talent for business. I am an amateur photographer with contest wins and places. Work in a hospital lab. Married 41 years.
No. The length of the book is daunting.
Edward O. Wilson's Ants.
The end when a long term patient dies. Her dignity and strength were moving.
This book could almost be used as a text of the history of the battle with cancer.
I am a Youth Services Librarian at a public library and I love my job. I am also a runner and I love listening to great books while staying healthy. That's Elsie in the picture...she is my favorite running partner and typically perks her ears up during the tense portions of the books :)
This is packed with a ton of information about cancer and the history of the search for the cure. I wish the author would have spent more time on the naturalistic methods of treating cancer that have been tried, but he stuck solely to the medicines and surgeries that are preformed in traditional hospitals. All that to say, it was very informative overall.
One of the best.
This is a must listen to book for any medical student interested in oncology. It provides a lot of the history of the highlights of medical oncology over the years and acquaints the reader with a lot of the famous names in the field and why they are famous. It tries to take you back and put the world into the perspective of these people and the challenges that they faced. Although it does mention specific therapies and general mechanism principles, it is not a scientific textbook on therapies, so do not expect that level of detail. I found it very easy to listen to and very enjoyable.
I haven't listened to many books, actually. It was much better than some of the non-fiction I've heard, which sometimes had monotonous readers. The reader read well and with some appropriate inflection, but there was nevertheless something slightly *mechanical* sounding about the guy's voice. Still,though the book is highly technical at times in its content, the reader managed to keep my attention even when the narrative got a little abstract.
There was no "character," per se (unless you count cancer itself), but I liked the author-narrator. He came across as very compassionate, and he made me come to share his fascination with cancer. I did really like his portrait of Carla and some of the other patients, like "Jimmy." The doctors and scientists within the historical narrative were also compellingly portrayed; the persistence of people like Farber in the face of so many obstacles was admirable and even at times inspiring.
He was very clear even when things got quite technical. He also captured or conveyed the emotion of some moments.
No. I was just continually surprised to find the book holding my interest; it's not the sort of book I usually read. Occasionally the pathos of a particular patient's story caused my heart to constrict with sadness, without reducing me to tears.
The author Mukherjee's style was surprisingly poetic, given the subject matter. The narrative had a nice structure, weaving in and out of "Carla's" story as a victim of leukemia and the author's patient, as well as showing the historical and intellectual relationship between one era's understanding/treatment of cancer and that of a later era. I also loved the way he portrayed cancer towards the end of the book - as a malady not produced by the invasion of something exterior to our bodies but by constitutive elements of those self-same bodies, by the same life-sustaining, generative character of our very genes. Through his descriptions I could appreciate the awe and appreciation he felt for cancer.