This is a book about cancer, it's history, it's treatments, how politics and public demands have affected therapies, and what we now know and how we are treating cancers. I'm a nurse and thought I had a very good knowledge base, but I was wrong. I learned so much and highly recommend this book as a must read for everyone. It will help people to understand not just cancer, but also how research works.
I have this book both in audio form and then bought the book too. Stephen Hoye did a fine job. Sometimes it's hard to understand with just one reading and I needed to go back and have it reread.
It made me say- EVERYONE should know this. Anyone who ever has, or had, or will have a loved one deal with cancer should understand this history. What we know, how we know, and why research without politics is so very important.
read it! then you'll be passing it to all your friends to read too
I've read the Kindle book and found the Audible version just as enthralling. This book is well researched and although a permanent cure hasn't been found such as the Salk vaccine for polio, there are many small victories and many heroic people who tell their stories of overcoming cancer. One is left with the hope that eventually mankind will overcome this scourge.
I find myself fighting cancer and this book was hopeful and inspiring.
the most memorable moment of the book was when I realized through Mukherjee's writings that cancer is not one illness, but many different maladies. And when the geneticists and the scientists the doctors and the patients all believe that they have the answer the damn illness assumes another form and the chase is on again to overcome and annhilate the scourge. After awhile I became amazed at the murderous little cell snubbing its nose at all the scientists and yelling
Stephen Hoye brings the book to life. I never thought I would enjoy anybody reading to me for so long. His voice is never intrusive. After a while I forgot that I was listening to a recording and enjoyed him talking to me.
There was no one moment that stands out as moving me. But certainly the chapters are filled with the minor and major triumphs doctors and scientists have made against cancer.
The courage of the patients shines through the many pages. Quotes from Susan Sontag, the writer, stand out in her battle with cancer.
Amazing book! I recommend it highly.
This book is a detailed history of cancer primarily focused on the past 70-100 years. It was very informative. If you have a sensitivity towards the subject matter, he doesn't walk on eggshells around it. It was quite long and at times I did get a little impatient. The narrator was well spoken and articulate, so it was easy to listen to.
dr. mukherjee has made medicine into a great story
his style is erudite and relentlessly elegant
even he seems impressed by his ability to turn a phrase
he refers regularly to susan sontag's " illness as metaphor "
i suspect he wants his book to be about more than cancer
to understand cancer he implies is to understand modern life
cancer is a genetic disease / "... it's in our DNA... "
to attack cancer then we must first get to know ourselves
it is not an exaggeration to say the enemy is truly within us
in a sense mukherjee says we bring cancer upon ourselves
can we make the world a cleaner, safer and more medical place ?
then longevity becomes an expectation and not a blessing
patients are told "... if you live long enough you'll get some cancer..."
time's effect on DNA mutation rates means they are probably right
how do we live with / diagnose / treat / follow a disease if it is inevitable ?
the book is part philosophy, part science and part human interest
mukherjee weaves these threads together with understated grace
the life story of cancer in the end becomes the story of us
Surprisingly interesting. Expected a dry presentation but discovered a rivetingly well told narrative in beautifully well written language easily understood by a non medical reader.
I will read (listen) to it 2-3 more times. The narrator was excellent.
Though I learned a lot from this book, the quotations throughout the text were confusing in the narration. The science was accurate, but some parts were too long-winded.
I really like Stephen Hoye and will listen to nearly anything he reads. I think he does a great job.
I love medicine and the history of medicine. And in terms of that this book hits the mark. My only real negative comment/warning is that this book feels like it was written by someone who is not an author. It seems to jump around a bit too much for me and, as he indicates in the intro, it was began as a journal of his experiences but there are very few and far between.
That being said it is a pretty good recount of the history of cancer. I have to admit though I did have to pick up then put it down a few times. It is too much like a dry College History class to tear through start to finish.
In Mukherjee's text -- which limns the history of cancer with a passionate, attentive eye for all the ironies of our ages-long search to understand its nature and find a cure -- left me feeling like I had finally understood the mad perseverance of Ahab in Moby Dick. Stephen Hoye's reading is perfection. He is my favorite of all Audible's narrators to the extent that I seek books he's narrated out by preference: easy to listen to...intimate, playful and good-humored when it makes sense to be...and with a sense of timing and intonation so perfect that meanings & insights which might otherwise go unnoticed jump out at you.
This was really three books in one, each fascinating in its own way. The first is a history of cancer (calling it a biography is apt), going back to earliest recorded history. The second is an accurate yet entertaining description of the science behind the discovery of cancer treatment, particularly chemotherapy. The Third delves into the political intrigue behind the war against cancer, and the influence of politics, money and personal glory.
A great read!
I love the topic, and it is fascinating, but perhaps due to the narrator I found myself not as excited about it as I thought I would be. I had to listen to other stuff in between and it felt a bit like a chore. It is not like other books I have listened to that I just can't put down. I'd check it out from the library first and see if it interests you before committing to buying it.