5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Testament to the human urge to ameliorate suffering....,
This review is from: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (Audio CD)
I don't know how Mukherjee relates to his patients but if it is anything like the way he writes I would certainly value his qualities were he my physician. Truth, honesty, a commanding grasp of the wider epidemiological picture, leading edge knowledge, a sure feel for the historical narrative, a compassion, hope tempered with realism, a poetry of imagery, ... they are all there, expressed succinctly in only 470 pages. A masterly exposition.
Most people's lives will at some point be affected by one or other form of cancer - whether as a person expressing the disease, a partner of, a carer for ... and the longer the life span is extended the more likely will be its manifestation ... it is impossible to ignore this fact of modern life.
Buy this book. Tell your friends to buy it. If you have cancer, or are in remission or `cured', or in any way touched by cancer, read it. It will probably change your view, or at the very least provide some conceptual clarity in thinking about and dealing with this runaway dysfunction of our genome. It's not something `out there' - it is, quintessentially a part of our genome, a part of our identity as people, our genetic make-up. Get used to it. Only the slow accretion of scientific understanding will be able to dilute its violence and variety and maybe tame its destructiveness.
Mukherjee provides a clear, and clear sighted, narrative of the story so far, the failures, successes, the dead ends, and the breakthroughs and the possibilities to come. Of course it is a depressing book, but then cancer is a depressing ragbag of awesome diseases. But in Mukherjee's skilful hands it is also overwhelmingly uplifting. It is a fine testament to the thrilling human urge to know and to understand and above all, to ameliorate suffering - written by an author who cares deeply for his patients.