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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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4,2733541,158 (4.23)335
Member:Brenda63
Title:Still Alice
Authors:Lisa Genova
Info:Pocket Books (2009), Edition: 1st Thus., Paperback, 292 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2007)

Recently added bySoulmuser, private library, Jerry1955, rowenah, DebbyeC, Razinha, aliteg, christinedux, MonicaEH
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English (337)  Dutch (8)  Finnish (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All (352)
Showing 1-5 of 337 (next | show all)
I almost never empathize with fictional characters, because...well, they're fictional, and I never see them as more than that. "Almost never"...and then I find Lisa Genova's Alice. Fiction, but this is real. As real as it gets.

On NPR, I heard interviews with people associated with Alzheimer research and care talking about both the book and the movie, and about how accurate the portrayals are. So I decided to read for myself. I was unaware when starting the book that Ms. Genova is a neuroscientist. The technical details show that, but the story is amazing. And tragic. I think it no surprise given the subject that Alice changes over the course of the book, so it's not spoiling when I say that we watch her decline, and it is heartbreaking.

If one put this on the "horror" shelf, I think there'd be little argument. It is far more horrifying than any of the banal offerings of traditional horror - the last time a fiction book scared me was when I was nine and read some ghost stories...Stephen King? Dean Koontz? yawn... This? Pick your adjective for scary. Then double it.

Ms. Geneva wrote an excellent book. For the impact and the extracurricular thought, she gets another star.
( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
A griping insight on how it is to live with the Alzheimer's Disease, both from the victim's POV and the surrounding family and friends.

It was written well on how Alice's mind and memory slowly started to get more bad, and I liked the characters in the whole. I felt that John, the husband, got a bit demonetized as he had a hard time tackling his wife's disease and how she changed, but also for him wanting to keep having his own life. A hard battle, surely, on how long one should stop his/her own life for someone else.

I found the language suiting in his coldness and without really vivid emotions, but sometimes I felt the language were over my head with terms and med-talk that I had no clue about. It might be that English isn't my mother language, but it was a little bit hard at times.

On a whole, a good, griping book that I read in two days, with good insight about this disease that I've never considered how it is to have or be around. But I probably won't read it a second time. ( )
  Wilwarin | May 23, 2017 |
A beautifully written, devastatingly genuine account of the harsh realities of Alzheimer’s disease. Alice, narrating the progression of her own disease, is both an unreliable narrator and the only reliable narrator, as her poignant point of view is incapable of expressing anything but her constant reality. A renowned Harvard professor, a wife, and a mother, Alice leads us through her anger, her pain, and her confusion as she gradually loses track of how her life once was. Genova writes respectfully and humbly of one of the most profoundly debilitating diseases from a perspective that quietly demands attention. One of the most viscerally affecting books I’ve ever read. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
Sad and touching. ( )
  JBSassypants | May 7, 2017 |
I couldn’t put this book down!

My heart broke for Alice, an intelligent fifty year old woman with a successful career as a Harvard professor, who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The author really made me feel like I knew Alice personally and that I was helplessly going through her decline with her. Beautifully written. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 337 (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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Do not combine the movie with the book
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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)

» see all 10 descriptions

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