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Still Alice by Lisa Genova
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Still Alice (original 2007; edition 2009)

by Lisa Genova

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3,1772651,762 (4.24)281
Member:Brenda63
Title:Still Alice
Authors:Lisa Genova
Info:Pocket Books (2009), Edition: 1st Thus., Paperback, 292 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2007)

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English (252)  Dutch (7)  Finnish (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (264)
Showing 1-5 of 252 (next | show all)
I gave this a try. I approached it because it is written from the viewpoint of a woman who is degenerating, which is unusual for fiction dealing with this ailment. I also was very interested in the author's approach, to show her degenerating slowly after having a successful career based on her ability to work with very high concepts.
The writing has weaknesses in areas that I just can't tolerate. The use of dialog to provide information that would be better provided in narrative form is the primary issue. Using dialog to dump data really slows the pace, and it takes away from the internal development of individual characters. I found this too much of an issue to move beyond and so stopped reading after a short time. ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
This book read a little like a horror novel to me. We all know Alzheimer's disease is awful, but to see it portrayed in such a personal, human, relateable way really sheds light on the disease (and how we need to find a damn cure!). I grew very attached to Alice and was devastated to watch her decline in the book. There are so many fascinating details to show how Alzheimer's works over time. Like Alice, I'm stubbornly independent and very cerebral. Watching her lose so many of the things that defined her struck a chord. I must admit that I woke up this morning and made sure I could still spell "water" backwards (you'll understand if/when you read the book).

The only reason I didn't give this book 5 stars is because it was a little PSA-y in some places. Now that I've learned a little more about Lisa Genova, I see why. She is trying to make a real-life difference with her fiction. It's amazing how she's merged neuroscience with great story-telling. I'll keep an eye out for her new one this spring. ( )
  KimHooperWrites | Feb 11, 2015 |
It took me awhile to get around to reading this. For some reason I kept thinking I just wouldn't want to read a book about Alzheimer's disease. I started it last night and found I was anxious as Alice started having problems like we all do at times - something misplaced, unable to come up with a word, forgetting the name of someone you know well . . . so when does it become something more? How often do even medical staff mistake early signs as being depression, menopause, overwork, lack of sleep?

What I most liked about this book was that it is told from Alice's point of view. It reminded me of [Flowers for Algernon], where the language goes from highly educated talk to a mental decline. I cried at the end, something I haven't done in awhile, partly for who she had become and what she had lost, but also for her adult children who continued to love and care for their mom. ( )
  lynetterl | Feb 10, 2015 |
Very powerful and emotional. ( )
  carolynsuarez | Jan 19, 2015 |
Reading this was just as deeply moving and poignant as this video. I only know a bare minimum of the essentials about dementia and what it entails. Alzheimer's disease is accurately portrayed by Genova which strengthens many aspects of her book. The riotous emotions and feelings Alice goes through is jarring and heartfelt.
I remembered also crying when I watched this brief video my friend insisted me to watch in the spring of my senior year. It was shocking and unexpected but not unwelcomed. Cancer books are so commonly scattered in bookstores and the internet but memory disorder books are a rare find. This one is a golden dragon relic.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iXPHhfk_7E
( )
  Annannean | Jan 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 252 (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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Epigraph
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.
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:05 -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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