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Beth

I am a voracious reader with fairly eclectic taste. I like both fiction and non-fiction, biography, history and current events. I like well written mysteries and suspense and I love 19th and 20th century classical literature as well as modern fiction. My favorite author is Philip Roth but I also love Trollope, Hardy, Jonathan Franzen, Jane Austen and Edith Wharton. My favorite biographer is Robert Caro.

Member Since 2001

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  • His Brother's Keeper: One Family's Journey to the Edge of Medicine

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Jonathan Weiner
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Stephen Heywood was 29 years old when he learned that he was dying of ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease. Almost overnight, his older brother, Jamie, turned himself into a genetic engineer in a quixotic race to cure the incurable. His Brother's Keeper is a powerful account of their story, as they travel together to the edge of medicine.

    Barbara says: "Well done portrayal of a family in crisis"
    "Fascinating story, very good narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I so much enjoyed THE BEAK OF THE FINCH, Jonathan Weiner's book on the studies done on the Galapagos Islands of Darwin's finches that I did not hesitate to try this examination of a brother's struggle to find a cure for Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS also commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. It is a subject of particular interest to me as my own mother died of ALS when she was only 52. The story examines not only the tragedy of neuro degenerative diseases, but the ethical struggles that accompany this brother's search for funding and a cure for his sibling's illness. There is also running through the book Weiner's own mother's discovery of and death from a neuro-degenerative disease.

    The book was well narrated and held my interest, but didn't have the same impact of Weiner's first book, perhaps because the work in the book is not as successful or heroic as the Beak of the Finch. That said I did find the story worthwhile. particularly from the perspective of the ethical dilemmas presented and I do think it would be of interest even to those without a personal connection to these diseases. I would recommend the book to non-fiction readers who find the progress (and sometimes the setbacks) of medical science of interest as it is very well written and the reader does an excellent job.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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