Member Since 2001
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.
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