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Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice (original 2007; edition 2009)

by Lisa Genova

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3,4842901,523 (4.23)300
Title:Still Alice
Authors:Lisa Genova
Info:Pocket Books (2009), Edition: 1st Thus., Paperback, 292 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2007)

  1. 20
    Awakenings by Oliver Sacks (dreamydress48)
  2. 10
    25 Months: A Memoir by Linda McK. Stewart (meggyweg)
  3. 10
    Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me by Sarah Leavitt (TransatlanticAgency)
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    Rough Music by Patrick Gale (LynnB)
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    Lost: A Novel by Alice Lichtenstein (dara85)
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    Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Unlike the psychologically suspenseful mystery Turn of Mind, Still Alice is mainstream fiction. Despite differences in plot, genre, and feel, both sensitively portray the disorientation and disintegrating memory of Alzheimer's patients.… (more)
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    The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books deal with Alzheimer's Disease in a compassionate way.
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    Measure of the Heart: A Father's Alzheimer's, A Daughter's Return by Mary Ellen Geist (Mareofthesea)
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    The Forgetting: Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic by David Shenk (kathrynnd)
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    When It Gets Dark: An Enlightened Reflection on Life with Alzheimer's by Thomas DeBaggio (Mareofthesea)
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    Kalila by Rosemary Nixon (ShelfMonkey)
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English (275)  Dutch (7)  Finnish (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (288)
Showing 1-5 of 275 (next | show all)
At times an emotional and difficult book to read but extremely worthwhile and captivating. The story is narrated in the third person but looks exclusively from Alice's perspective, a fifty year old Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. As a consequence, the emotions which Alice feels, as her condition deteriorates, offer a raw sadness laid bare for all. It is something that can happen to you or I, our family members, friends. Lisa Genova makes this feeling known to us through the power of her writing.

One area which stood out for me was her portrayal of husband John. I have always worked with family carers in one way or another (for several years I worked at a carers centre providing emotional support). I have always empathised and supported carers. But the way in which the book was written, coming from the perspective of someone with Alzheimer's, was so well done I felt I wanted to shout at John for what he did or didn't do, when, in actual fact, he was going through just as much as Alice, clearly having difficulty coming to terms with seeing the wife he knew slip away. However, we were seeing through Alice's eyes and so we didn't get to hear his thoughts or feelings.

I couldn't put down the book yet at the same time I wanted to take a break from the emotions which the author seems to translate so easily. A much recommended but very emotional read. ( )
  lilywren | Aug 21, 2015 |
This was one of the most difficult books I have ever read. Blindness was terrifying in an abstract kind of way. This one was personally terrifying. The main character, a Harvard Cognitive Psychology professor, is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Told mostly from her point of view, the novel relates her descent into dementia and her family’s reaction. It was just awful. I just about lost it when she told her daughter to remember that she loved her, because shortly she would not know who she was.
I think of an acquaintance who recently disclosed he has the same diagnosis. The terror of this diagnosis, knowing what will happen, knowing that the disease is terminal, knowing that you will not recognize your spouse, your children, your grandchildren…………

Two friends recommended this book to me in the same week, so I felt like I was destined to read it. Sometimes I am glad that I did and sometimes I wish I never listened to them. I looked at Katie’s review and agree that the writing leaves much to be desired, but my 1-2 stars for writing and 5 stars for content make it a 4 star. But this is not a recommendation for everyone. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
This book is a novel about a 50 year old Harvard professor diganosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. It is yet another book where the star system is just failing me. I was going to give it four stars, but I just don't think it quite deserves that. This is where I would really appreciate being able to star by category. For artistic merit, I'd give it a 2, maybe a 1.5. The writing was unexciting and predictable, and that made the reading experience a little boring and dry at times. However, the book gave a really good portrayal of Alzheimer's disease, so for that I'd give it at least a 4. So I guess I'll settle with a three. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Moreso than cancer, Alzheimer's frightens me. The thought not only of losing all my memories -of my family, friends, a life well-lived, all those individual pieces which layered one upon the other help to shape who it is I am- of losing my sense of self along with the knowledge that I am not the only one experiencing the loss makes this disease terrifying.

Still Alice allowed me to explore the rabbit hole that is Alzheimer's. And though it be but brief and fictive it was powerful and moving. These types of books always bring our own encroaching mortality to the fore, and Still Alice made me pause to reflect on the kinds of memories I have created with my children so far, and the kind of memories I'd still like to create. ( )
  mkclane | Jul 31, 2015 |
A fast read. Hard to let go of this book. ( )
  chasidar | Jul 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 275 (next | show all)
When looking for a publisher for this story, Genova was often told that it would only appeal to the Alzheimer's community. So, she self-published and self-marketed. Word of mouth spread about the universal appeal of Still Alice, and she gained an agent, a publisher, a top-10 spot on The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestseller lists, and some high praise for her compassionate page-turner. It's well deserved.
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Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them. Some would argue that things were going so insidiously wrong that the neurons themselves initiated events that would lead to their own destruction. Whether it was molecular murder or cellular suicide, they were unable to warn her of what was happening before they died.
In Memory of Angie.
For Alena
First words
Alice sat at her desk in their bedroom distracted by the sounds of John racing though each of the rooms on the first floor.
Even then, more than a year earlier, there were neurons in her head, not far from her ears, that were being strangled to death, too quietly for her to hear them. Some would argue that things were going so insidiously wrong that the neurons themselves initiated events that would lead to their own destruction. Whether it was molecular murder or cellular suicide, they were unable to warn her of what was happening before they died.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0595440096, Paperback)

"Powerful, insightful, tragic, inspirational…and all too true." Alireza Atri, Massachusetts General Hospital Neurologist

“Readers…are artfully and realistically led through…a window into what to expect, highlighting the importance of allowing the person with the disease to remain a vibrant and contributing member of the community…" Peter Reed, PhD, Director of Programs, National Alzheimer's Association

“With grace and compassion, Lisa Genova writes about the enormous white emptiness created by Alzheimer’s in the mind of the still-too-young and active Alice. A kind of ominous suspense attends her gathering forgetfulness, and Genova puts us, sympathetically, right inside her plight. Somehow, too, she portrays the family’s response as a loving one, and hints at the other hopeful, helpful response that science will eventually provide.” Mopsy Kennedy, Improper Bostonian

"An intensely intimate portrait of Alzheimer's seasoned with highly accurate and useful information about this insidious and devastating disease." Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, co-author, Decoding Darkness: The Search for the Genetic Causes of Alzheimer's Disease

“Her (Alice's) thought patterns are so eerily like my own...amazing. It was like being in my own head and like being in hers.” James Smith, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, age 45

“...something for the world to read.” Jeanne Lee, author of Just Love Me: My Life Turned Upside-Down By Alzheimer’s

“A laser-precise light into the lives of people with dementia and the people who love them.” Carole Mulliken, Co-Founder of DementiaUSA

"A work of pure genius. This is the book that I and many of my colleagues have anxiously awaited. The reader will journey down Dementia Road in a way that only those of us with Dementia have experienced. Until now." Charley Schneider, author of Don't Bury Me, It Ain't Over Yet

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:41 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Feeling at the top of her game when she is suddenly diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease, Harvard psychologist Alice Howland struggles to find meaning and purpose in her life as her concept of self gradually slips away.

(summary from another edition)

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