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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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Title:Still Alice
Authors:Lisa Genova
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Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2007)

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» See also 274 mentions

English (239)  Dutch (7)  Finnish (2)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (251)
Showing 1-5 of 239 (next | show all)
Bedrückend und bewegend - sehr lesenswert. ( )
  muehlpfordt | Oct 14, 2014 |
Still Alice offers a porthole into the interior world of a women with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The author is a cognitive neuroscientist and uses her expertise to paint an unflinching portrait of what dementia does to individuals, marriages and families. Alice, a cognitive scientist herself, shows us her courage and determination to live the life she chooses even as the possibilities slip away from her. Well-paced, well-written and brimming with quiet (and not so quiet) emotion, Alice's story is a touching, intelligent portrayal of one women's struggle with a terrible disease. ( )
  SonjaYoerg | Oct 1, 2014 |
really touching story and wonderful read !
loved every bit of it.
( )
  lisa.isselee | Sep 26, 2014 |
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

“Still Alice” by Lisa Genova is both a heartbreaking and uplifting novel about a woman who is diagnosed with an early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. At the age of fifty, Alice Howland is enjoying a busy but fulfilling life: she is an excellent Harvard professor and a distinguished researcher as well as a happily married mother of three grown children. When occasional forgetfulness and confusion start seeping into her daily routine, everyone waves them off as a result of stress or sleep deprivation. However, as Alice’s brain hiccups become more frequent and more severe, a visit to a neurologist reveals a shocking diagnosis: an early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Although gradual, Alice’s cognitive decline is fast and horrifying; however, the story is not utterly depressing as this dreadful disease makes Alice appreciate things that matter the most.

MY THOUGHTS:

Things that make “Still Alice” an exceptional novel about Alzheimer’s disease:

1) Very informative and engaging.
I knew some major facts about Alzheimer’s prior reading this book, but now I can begin to grasp what it really feels like to live with this disease. “Still Alice" is packed with an insider’s information such as a detail description of diagnostic testing and available treatments; however, all of this is explained in the most engaging and entertaining way possible.

2) Unique perspective.
The story is told from Alice’s, a woman’s with Alzheimer’s, perspective and it is so masterfully done that at times I was as confused, frustrated, embarrassed or terrified as Alice must have felt. I not only understood what she was going through but I went through it with her.

3) Relatable.
Since I am a member of scientific community myself, I really enjoyed reading about the lives of science professors/researchers and felt an immediate connection with the characters. However, I am sure that anyone would relate to this book despite their background or experience because at its very core “Still Alice” probes our shared humanity.

4) Well written.
Although the topic itself is very touching, the author skillfully avoided slipping into sentimentality. Genova’s writing is laconic yet very accessible, though-provoking and gripping.

VERDICT:

“Still Alice” is an informative, fast-paced and emotionally powerful novel which will change the way you think about Alzheimer’s disease. ( )
1 vote AgneJakubauskaite | Sep 20, 2014 |
I was primarily drawn to this book due to the recent death of my mother-in-law from Alzheimer's, a disease she suffered through during most of her eighties (she died at 89 from it).

From my personal observation of the disease for more than half a decade, I can say that "Still Alice" rings remarkably true when it comes to the slow, steady decline that otherwise healthy patients experience if they are unfortunate enough to get this horrible disease. I was especially struck by the contrast between the good and bad days and the way that Alice could plateau for a while before making the next, sudden and long, drop in the ability to take care of herself. I saw that happen three or four times with my mother-in-law and, while we felt blessed to get the sometimes lengthy reprieves from her getting any worse, the plateaus did make the sudden, deep declines even harder to take than they already would have been.

I did not rate this one any higher only because I found most of the characters to be rather wooden and stereotypical. I found it difficult to believe they were real people experiencing one of the greatest trauma's that life can throw at a family. All the emotions were there, as if checked off from a list of ones to cover, and there were enough family members to cover them all. I simply never felt that I "knew" any of these people other than Alice - despite getting glimpses of them at both their worst and their best. ( )
  SamSattler | Sep 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 239 (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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