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Still Alice Paperback – 4 Mar 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (4 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847396240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847396242
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (799 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa Genova is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside the O'Briens. Lisa graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about Alzheimer's Disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.

Product Description

Review

'Remarkable... illuminating... highly relevant today' Daily Mail

'The most accurate account of what it feels like to be inside the mind of an Alzheimer's patient I've ever read. Beautifully written and very illuminating' Rosie Boycot

'Utterly brilliant' Chrissy Iley

'A crisp, straightforward and wrenching depiction' -- New Yorker --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and holds a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is a member of the Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International and DementiaUSA and is an online columnist for the National Alzheimer's Association. She lives with her husband and two children on the Cape. Still Alice is her first novel. She is currently at work on her second that also centers on a neurologist impairment called Left Neglected.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Zoe on 5 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
Having a close family member living with dementia, I was concerned this book would be farfetched and mis-informed. How wrong I was. Lisa Genova certainly did her research and captured the condition with dignity and realism. Reading about Alice's decline was sometimes very difficult as it was all very close to home for me and I was touched and emotional in parts. The only reason I voted four stars instead five was merely because of the scientific language and descriptions that would sometimes lose me (however that is purely down to me being me rather than anything wrong with the book). I would reccomend this book strongly.
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89 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Mandy Boat on 21 April 2009
Format: Paperback
Having read the other 2 reviews on this book I felt compelled to voice my own opinion. I have to disagree with the previous reviewer and say that STILL ALICE really is as good as it sounds. It deals with the topic of Alzheimers and whether you have experienced this first/second hand in your life or not, I find it hard to believe that you won't be moved by this tale.

You follow Alice through her descent into the depth of dementia and see how it affects her life and those closest to her. Without going into too much techinical detail it helps the reader understand the cruelty of this disease. The author could have gone down the schmaltzy overly-emotional route but didn't. The outcome is an incredibly emotional read that you'll find very hard to put down.

I have already recommended this book to many friends and they have all come back raving about it. 5 STARS without a doubt - the best thing I have read this year.
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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Lovely Treez TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 May 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"She wished she had cancer instead. She'd trade Alzheimer's for cancer in a heartbeat. She felt ashamed for wishing this and it was certainly a pointless bargaining, but she permitted the fantasy anyway. With cancer, she'd have something that she could fight. There was surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. There was the chance that she could win. Her family and the community at Harvard would rally behind her battle and consider it noble. And even if defeated in the end, she'd be able to look them knowingly in the eye and say good-bye before she left.

Alzheimer's disease was an entirely different kind of beast. There were no weapons that could slay it. Taking Aricept and Namenda felt like aiming a couple of leaky squirt guns in to the face of a blazing fire."

And there you have it in a nutshell - our protagonist, Alice Howland, professor of Cognitive Psychology at Harvard, is 50 years old when her world is rocked by the diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease. It's a foregone conclusion, there is no hope so what do you do - give up? hide your head in the sand? or play it by ear, knowing that one day your own body won't remember how to swallow or even breathe unassisted?

It would have been all to easy to deliver a mawkish novel dwelling on the heartache caused by dementia or an insensitive one which focuses on the disintegration of the self as the building blocks of one's memory shatter one by one. Perhaps, the author's own experience as a neuroscientist puts her in pole position to relate the story of Alice without indulging in oversentimentality yet whilst retaining a very human touch.

This story is told in the 3rd person yet, uncannily, it feels as if Alice is standing outside herself relating events which happen to her beyond her own control.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ElaineG TOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
Alice is 50, a respected Professor of cognitive psychology at Harvard University, extremely happily married and a much loved mother. We join her as she starts to get a little forgetful, nothing too serious – she loses things and occasionally words “are on the tip of her tongue” but then she gets lost just around the corner from home. We then follow Alice through the diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimers Disease and the impact it slowly has on her, her career and her family as bit by bit her mind starts to unravel.

This is not a sugar coated story, Alice has a very cruel unforgiving illness and the outlook is bleak. I found her story extremely powerful for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Alice is so “real” that I could really believe in her character, it almost read like a biography at times. The writing is exquisite as we see everything through Alice’s eyes, with her confusions becoming more and more frequent. There are a couple of short chapters towards the end of the story that really made me well up, as I realised that we had reached a point where Alice wasn’t remembering her family at all.

The main reason I found this book so powerful though is, I think, my age. I am of a similar age to Alice and part of the “punk generation” that was never going to get old. Live Fast, Die Hard etcetera. Now, in our fifties we are having to accept the fact that getting old is (we hope) going to happen after all and that is a lot closer than we think or want. Alzheimers is seen as a part of getting old, it shouldn’t be happening to people our age. We shouldn’t have to think about it now. This story is a stark reminder that it could in fact happen at any time.

There is a lot of medical talk in the book, as you would expect.
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