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The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha…

The Emperor of All Maladies (2010)

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

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3,1171482,575 (4.28)1 / 291

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English (145)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (148)
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
Outstanding history of the search to understand and cure cancer. Very thorough and long but we'll worth it. ( )
  ghefferon | Jul 9, 2018 |
I would give it five stars but I found it a bit confusing at times, it did jump back and forth in time a lot from chapter to chapter, I get that trying to explain this stuff in a totally linear way it's impossible but a bit less backtracking would have been nice, I also found some metaphors too idk pretentious maybe? Or simply long-winded.

Some things were repeated time and time again, like the thing about cancer being the uncontrolled growth of cells, like I already got it, thanks, but at the same time I don't know if that's wrong really, there was a lot of information to take and I must admit I appreciated some of the remainders, I suppose some people have less memory than me or less time to read so they may forget more between reading sessions.

All that said the book was amazing, the explanations were extremely simple to understand, there had obviously been a lot of research into it and it's obvious the author loves his work, I cried at times, knowing that the cases were real, that so many deaths could have been prevented and so many others never had a chance, some don't even today, and so many doctors didn't give a shit, and so many others gave so much to the cause, it was an extremely frustrating read, even more by the end when pharmaceutical companies politics were getting in the way of good scientists trying to save lives...

I don't know if the book leaves me hopeful, for the technological advances, for all the bright passionate people working on these things, or totally desolate, for all the egotistic doctors that cared more about their careers than their patients, for how even now people keep smoking and other things.

I would totally recommend the book, one of the best I've read, I have a new perspective on cancer and illnesses in general now, I'm retracting, I'll give it a 5. ( )
  Rose98 | Jun 21, 2018 |
I figured I should finally read this before starting at MDAnderson, which I knew about several months ago, and then Augusta was diagnosed with cancer two days later. It’s taken me a while to get through because it’s a beast of a book, but definitely very thorough in the history of cancer, it’s treatment and cancer’s role in the public’s mind. If you’re interested in the subject, or personally affected by cancer in some way, it’s definitely a way to understand where we are now with the battle against it and wrap your mind around the array of diseases that are collectively called cancer. ( )
  nheredia05 | Jun 12, 2018 |
Fascinating study of cancer by an oncologist. A little jargony in places, but very much worth your time. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This is an epic volume. It could be argued that it could have been written with a more poetic, or should I say, flamboyant style, but it is very clearly and solidly crafted, despite it not coming from a journalist or historian, trained in the craft. It is subtitled as a "biography", but being a bit of a history buff, it reads to me more like a mix between an elaborate mystery and a war history. The media of today tends to lump all cancers together into some type of alien invasion that never ceases to attack. In fact, while this book establishes that at its very deepest essence, cancers are all the same, they attack in such varied ways that it feels to society like an all out assault on our populations with every conceivable weapon at the enemy's disposal. If other readers want to stay superficial in their understanding of this great enemy, so be it. But if you want to know and understand a force that is dramatically more likely to do harm to you than whatever terrorist from your favorite hated religious group, then you owe it to yourself to read this. One side comment: if you happen to have seen the very recent PBS documentary based on this book, please know that you have barely scratched the surface of the book and in a not very eloquent way. Read the book. You'll have a much better understanding of the subject and not be left with the mistaken impressions that the video provides. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
It's time to welcome a new star in the constellation of great doctor-writers. With this fat, enthralling, juicy, scholarly, wonderfully written history of cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee - a cancer physician and researcher at Columbia University - vaults into that exalted company ...
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Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place. —Susan Sontag
To Robert Sandler (1945-1948), and to those who came before and after him.
First words
Diseases desperate grown
By desperate appliance are relieved
Or not at all.

—William Shakespeare,

Cancer begins and ends with people. In the midst of
scientific abstraction, it is sometimes possible to forget
this one basic fact. . . . Doctors treat diseases, but they also
treat people, and this precondition of their professional
existence sometimes pulls them in two directions at once.

—June Goodfield

On the morning of May 19, 2004, Carla Reed, a thirty-year-old kindergarten teacher from Ipswich, Massachusetts, a mother of three young children, woke up in bed with a headache.
In a damp fourteen-by-twenty-foot laboratory in Boston on a December morning in 1947, a man named Sidney Farber waited impatiently for the arrival of a parcel from New York.
In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practice it much. —Sherlock Holmes, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet
Physicians of the utmost fame Were called at once; but when they came They answered, as they took their Fees, "There is no Cure for this Disease." —Hilaire Belloc
Its palliation is a daily task, its cure a fervent hope. —William Castle, describing leukemia in 1950
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A magnificently written "biography" of cancer--from its origins to the epic battle to cure, control, and conquer it.

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