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This book is precisely what it states, it lugs you through an epic journey towards the discovery of cancer,it's varieties and its cure. It traces through the cancer landscape,its highs and lows,the battle,the petitions and the litigations in the era of War on Cancer in the nineteenth century. A parallel plot trudges the authors emotions and affiliation with some of his patients and his morbid experience as a medical intern at Massachusetts General.
Riveting read with handpicked and polished language,captivating and at the same time thought provoking, it's been my afternoon ritual with coffee lately.
Mr. Mukherjee yanks you by the elbow and takes you through a roller coaster of a ride through the troughs and peaks of failures and successes in man's quest for the holy grail of medicine, the elusive cure for Cancer. Spanning almost 4000 years from the first references during the times of the Pharaohs to 2008, the epic journey covers the attempts to eradicate Cancer by the surgeons, the chemists, the radiologists and lastly the geneticists.
Every blind alley has led to small openings, which have helped to unravel the mystery of this malignant disease and the recent successes with genetic research and early detection has helped increase the survival rates. But the battle is far from over, if one is to go by Mr. Mukherjee's passionate account.
An excellent example of how to take medical science to the layman, I hope that this book will also inspire a large number of India's youngsters to pursue careers in research related to cancer.
There's not much I can say that hasn't been said already. The amount of research that has gone into this work of great scholarship is immense. Every story, every fact, every anecdote is meticulously footnoted and referenced.
Dr. Mukherjee approaches the dreaded disease from multiple angles at multiple levels and somehow manages to come up with a beautifully written, wonderfully coherent, at times magical, literary blockbuster. I liked the historical overview he provides, putting everything in context. Paced just right, it reads like a gripping novel--only terribly true.
My only minor quibble is that the last few pages seem hastily written and rather shoddily edited. And he sometimes uses too many adjectives. But that's a minor issue, easily swept aside. This book will inform you, enlighten you, engage you, entertain you, make you laugh and cry, and make you a better person. No, I'm not joking.
When I first heard about Siddhartha Mukherjeeâ??s Emperor of Maladies, I avoided the book as it is all about cancer. I have a personal reason for this. I saw at close quarters my own father suffer and succumb to this dreaded disease in 1975.
I subsequently heard that this book also won Guardian first book prize. I had second thoughts. There must be something in this book. A book that may be just for medical students cannot win Pulitzer.
I read the book and I have only superlatives in praise of the book.
What is cancer? What causes it? Virus? Hereditary? Infection? Genetic disorder? Some poisonous chemicals? Or just an unresolved mystery?
Finally is cancer curable? Preventable?
Read on. You will get all the answers.
As a doctor I approached the book with some trepidation. Did not want a more than necessary melodramatic account. However the book strikes a great balance between `experience` of cancer and the science. It is so packed with information that I wondered whether it can be assimilated by anyone other than a doctor. On the other hand it is written so well that anyone with an interest in cancer, medicine, popular science or even an oncologist (!) would find it absorbing.
What a book! Excellence! You would fall in love with cancer while reading this book. And the quality of research and facts will surprise you beyond imagination. Writer has interconnected distant points extremely well creating a huge picture about everything and anything happening in Cancer across the world. I think the book is a must read for everyone, esp. non medicos.
This is not a book. It is really a life saver, an intangible asset that one can carry throughout the life.
Hardwork, passion, determination, philanthropy, and what other, this has all sorts of a quality described for a human being's character.
The author has written well and in simple words easily digestable for a reader.
I recommend this book as a "must have" amongst your library.
Great flow, a clinical as well as human description of a disease whose horror cannot be measured in numbers. The author presents enough statistics as well as stories of people who fought with, and lost/won against the Disease.
However, the author could have focused more on non-USA cases as well (in the disease's recent history, almost all the examples considered are from the USA)
All in all, it's a great primer for anyone who is interested in finding out more about cancer.
please don't get intimidated by Dr Mukherjee's degrees and experience. He has written this book keeping the layman too in mind. It is a great narrative of cancer's history, with necessary names and dates. The only thing to be desired is better timeline as you may get confused at some points. It is a must read so as to know how some doctors have toiled to find a remedy for cancer. Invest your time in it, returns are assured.