This is an extremely interesting book that I highly recommend. Parts of it are very technical, which is appropriate for the subject. If you are interested in medical history, I recommend you also listen to Splendid Solution and The Demon Under the Microscope.
Dr. Mukherjee has an outstanding grasp of the English language and writes in a way that is both scientifically deep but imminently approachable and personal. His stories of the founders of chemotherapy and the happenstance nature of discovery are electrifying. As a radiologist, this book has renewed my interest in the field of oncology and increased my knowledge of the action and significance of modern chemotherapy. Thank you Dr. M!
This is a superb presentation of the "facts" moving the cancer research world. Rich in detail and description, it explains clearly what is happening in the field and provides a frame of reference for the progress which has been achieved. It lets you know what's going on "under the hood."
If you want cancer generalities, read Lance Armstrong's IT'S NOT ABOUT THE BIKE. If you want detail, read this one. Individually, they are each GREAT. Together, the combination is DYNAMITE.
The reader does an excellent job on this very fine work of literature. I started reading the paper copy, but enjoyed the narration better. Dr. Mukherjee should be in line for a Pulitzer Prize for this timely book about a raging epidemic.
I found Siddhartha Mukherjee's writing so poetic and compelling that I had trouble telling when his preface quotes ended and when his chapters began. I'll confess though that I lost steam when he launched into the section on cancer cell biology. I have a background in healthcare operations, so while I can lap up History of Science writing like water in the desert, the sections on oncogenesis left me dry.
Still, the fact that Dr. Mukherjee is a brilliant physician AND writes soul-shatteringly beautiful prose strikes me as one of those strange (unfair) lumping of talent onto a single being. Like, Tom Brady being gorgeous AND a great quarterback.
The book is laden with heaps of unnecessary historical facts, poorly edited (as you will find yourself reading story about some patient then about another, then back). It turns out that I am not the intended audience for the book, it doesn't seem to add value to general public, more for researchers.
A very interesting topic. I am a surgeon who operates on cancer patients frequently. The useful information could have been delivered in one fifth of the time. Good narration. I listened to every word but wished for a more streamlined product. Low rating only because of the lack of economy in delivering the information.
With the level of detail and the pace of this book, it should be a text book. It reviews the history of cancer research in excruciating detail, citing researchers and biochemical explanations. I had thought that it included more stories of how individuals coped with cancer and cancer treatment, but these are few and far between.
Probably - likely to my doctor friends. I went with the impression (based on interviews I heard and reviews I read) that there would be a lot of the 'natural history' of cancer - how cancers are and how they differ and how they do what they do. But I came away with just a history of cancer, and specifically about how cancer therapy came to be. A bit disappointed by it. I felt I did not learn much about cancer in the end.
Depends - will need some careful consideration
About half of it.