Still Alice (Paperback)
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Short Description for Still Alice An incredibly moving and insightful story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer's Disease that does for Alzheimer's what Mark Haddon did for autism.
- Published: 04 March 2010
- Format: Paperback 336 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781847396242 ISBN 10: 1847396240
- Sales rank: 1,871
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Reviews for Still Alice
A Must read!
I just finished reading this book and I'm writing with a heavy heart. I cried a couple of times and no, it wasn't due to a frustrating plot or bad writing.
This is a book about a mental disorder, about Dementia. It is written from the perspective of the sufferer, the one who suffers from this ugly disease. And that is why it hits hard. Every single sentence, every word is powerful. It makes you think, cry and feel frustrated.
Now why would you want to read a book that makes you cry and feel frustrated? Because it's reality to so many people out there, it's the life they live every single day.
Yes but why should I care? Because this disease is so prevalent, you never know when 'they' becomes 'us'. I pray that never happens but who can be sure about what life throws at you?
You should read this book if-
1. You want to understand Dementia not from a medical angle but a personal angle, to hear it from the one who has it.
2. To know what Dementia is, what it does.
3. To be aware of the symptoms of Dementia in order to be able to take care of someone suffering from this disease. No this is not a book training you on support but it will help sensitize you towards their needs and feelings.
4. If you are a mental health worker, this is a MUST for you. Why me? I know everything there is to know about the disease. I have read numerous books, articles and attended conferences about it. What new can this book tell me? This book will help you to let go of everything that you learnt from books etc. And that, believe me, is a good thing.
Being a Clinical Psychologist myself, I love to read books like this. Yes, I study my texts and no, I don't read books like this to help me learn my text, though it is an added advantage. But the real reason why I read and appreciate these books is that something you do day in and day out makes you mechanical to the use of it, like driving a car. You don't have to remember and revise each step before you shift gear. And that is precisely what happens (in differing degrees with different people) when you are a mental health worker and see people afflicted with a disease every single day. You know how to diagnose and provide intervention for each disease. But in order not to forget how it feels to the person across the table and to refresh out sensitivity to them, these books come in handy. It sure did with me.
Last words: Read it. by Pragya
Story Stays With You!
So glad I read this book! Many of us think we have Alzheimers Disease when we're forgetful...but there's nothing like reading about it from the patient's perspective, especially when the 'patient' is a lively, energetic mother who is not 'old'...This is a heartwarming, inspiring and terrifying book about what it's like to lose your mind...Highly recommended for Book Clubs! by Maggie Swithenbank
- Top review
this is such a good read! i loved it from the very first page
definitely recommendable to anyone- man or a woman by barbara prendota
A Pageturning Novel That Will Change the Way You View Alzheimers
Pageturner, alzheimers and novel aren?t three words you'd normally expect to see in the same sentence, and yet they go together to describe Still Alice, the debut from Simon & Schuster by Lisa Genova. When I saw the blurb I was a bit reluctant to start reading, thinking the subject would be depressing and stressful. How wrong I was.
Still Alice is a remarkable novel that will change the way you view alzheimers and the way you respond to people with this condition. It will change the way you think about alzheimers if you are ever diagnosed with it, and will certainly influence the way you relate to people close to you if they become affected. If you are already living with alzheimers, as a patient or as a friend, relative or professional, Still Alice is a novel you should take a look at.
Genova puts us right inside the experience of alzheimers by telling this story through the first person narrative of Alice, a university professor who is just 50 when she gets her diagnosis. She knows exactly what this will mean because, like Genova, she is a neuroscience specialist. The novel opens with Alice at her most capable intellectually known in academic circles for her amazing ability to remember the detailed facts of her subject, including where precisely to find the quotes to reference research papers.
Alice relaxes by jogging round her town, knowing the map of the area and loving her independence. Admired by her colleagues and loved by her husband and daughters, she's the type of career woman and successful family organiser many would aspire to emulate. Like us, she puts the first signs of memory loss down to trying to do too many things at once, but the diagnosis comes quite early in the novel. After that, due to her professional expertise, she knows how to recognise and chart her own progress into alzheimers and how she feels she should prepare for what is to come.
This knowledge also lets her find strategies to cope with each stage and to plan for what she wants to do when it goes too far. She knows she won't be able to remember how or why she will want to end it all at a certain stage, so she leaves instructions for herself that she hopes she will follow regardless. Her Blackberry soon becomes her way of giving herself a To Do list to follow, as memory fails, and it has one important instruction of how to find the means of suicide on the day she can't remember the answer to a few simple questions.
Once she no longer remembers simple information about her family she feels it will be time to use some items she has prepared to kill herself. Many of us would feel we would want to do the same. But as the story progresses, as we really feel what it is like to be Alice, will we still want her to commit suicide at that key moment or will we see alzheimers in a different way? Will Alice manage to go through with her initial plan right to the end?
I won't spoil Still Alice by giving you the answers to this. All I can say is that suicide won't be a plan I'll be making if I ever get this diagnosis, and I'll remember Alice if ever those close to me are affected by alzheimers. I will never see this condition in the same way again, and that?s a remarkable achievement by a novelist writing about such an important subject. On a purely stylistic level, Genova never swerves from her course of only seeing this through Alice's eyes, and once we start this experience with her we can't stop reading until we see it through. by Adele Ward