This book was doubtless ground-breaking, and I found the historical facts to be fascinating. But writing was tediously repetitive, and the reader/narrator really hard to endure for long periods of time. Although I'd like to finish the book, I don't know if I can get through it. Probably a better "read" than "listen."
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.
These were odd stories, and an even stranger narrator. Hard to listen to, but then I can't complain - it was free!
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