Customer Reviews for

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Excellent Book!

I heard the author on Public Radio and purchased the Nookbook. It is an excellent history of cancer and cancer research that strips away much of the mystery of the disease. I found it compelling and not difficult to read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who...
I heard the author on Public Radio and purchased the Nookbook. It is an excellent history of cancer and cancer research that strips away much of the mystery of the disease. I found it compelling and not difficult to read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has cancer or knows someone struggling with the disease. This is not a how-to book on comforting those with cancer. This is a book that gives knowledge on how the disease exists in the body and the challenges that lie ahead in defeating it. "The Emperor of All Maladies" not only contains facts but passion in fighting cancer and compassion in treating it. A must read.

posted by Kratz on March 29, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

IN DEPTH

This very lengthy history of the dreaded *C* was quite eye opening. I have been an RN since the late 70's,and it'amazing what leaps and bounds have been made during my career This is not always an easy read and sometimes comes across like a textbook, but it really cover...
This very lengthy history of the dreaded *C* was quite eye opening. I have been an RN since the late 70's,and it'amazing what leaps and bounds have been made during my career This is not always an easy read and sometimes comes across like a textbook, but it really covers cancer and its treatment with a highly clinical viewpoint. IKept waiting for the human aspect, but those glimpses were few and far between. Still, very educational

posted by Purr on December 28, 2010

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  • Posted March 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Book!

    I heard the author on Public Radio and purchased the Nookbook. It is an excellent history of cancer and cancer research that strips away much of the mystery of the disease. I found it compelling and not difficult to read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has cancer or knows someone struggling with the disease. This is not a how-to book on comforting those with cancer. This is a book that gives knowledge on how the disease exists in the body and the challenges that lie ahead in defeating it. "The Emperor of All Maladies" not only contains facts but passion in fighting cancer and compassion in treating it. A must read.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2011

    Very interesting and well written. May be too long for some.

    As a young physician, it was fascinating to hear about a disease that continues and will continue to haunt the human race. Towards the end, the pathways bit might be too much for a lay reader, but overall this is a fantastic book and will hopefully inspire some to cure cancer or to be at least cured.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2011

    A valuable read for any science student

    As a biology student, I can assure you that this book is fascinating and elegant in every way. The way the author describes cancer pharmaceutics in the most elegant and beautiful way possible. He describes cisplatin as a "winged molecule that descends on DNA interrupting replication. If you are at all interested in the history of genetics or oncology, it is all covered in this book from Sidney Farber's discovery of Aminopterin to Thomas Hunt Morgan's work, to the state and future of cancer biology today. A great read.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2011

    I found this book fascinating!!

    Maybe I loved it because I've been diagnosed with cancer and wanted to know more, but I couldn't put this book down. To me, it read like a who-done-it. It answered so many questions for me -- even questions I didn't know I had until I began reading. It gets very technical at times, but its written so that it is still understandable. Very well done.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2012

    I picked up this book because I was, and I am sure you are, curi

    I picked up this book because I was, and I am sure you are, curious as to the hype surrounding it- I'm sure glad I did! Mukherjee did an excellent job in capturing and sustaining my interest through this chronicle of cancer's history. He was amazing at explaining the biological nitty-gritty details of cancer in a colloquial manner. I appreciate all that I learned from this life changing book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Informative but dense

    The Emperor of All Maladies is a sweeping “biography” of cancer covering archeological/ancient history to present-day. It is very well-informed, well written, and thorough. Definitely worth a read for anyone who is interested in the history of cancer or medicine. Well-deserving of the Pulitzer Prize it won in 2011. I think it was written with the popular reader in mind (he DOES tell us what DNA is at the beginning of the book), but the book quickly delves into terminology and topics that I suspect would be very heavy to someone who doesn’t already know a little about biology/medicine. This is especially true in the second half of the book. Mukherjee also is SO thorough that the book becomes extremely long, which is difficult for those of us with a short attention span. Also, I got great amusement out of his formulaically inserted personal patient pieces. It was good that he had them (they broke up the difficult scientific passages) but I could tell that they were written by a scientist and not a journalist (i.e. they were comprised of literal rather than emotive descriptions). Being a scientist myself, this made me chuckle (alas! an emotion). However, I think the personal patient pieces were interesting and elicited enough emotion to engage the readers. They worked for me, anyway

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    IN DEPTH

    This very lengthy history of the dreaded *C* was quite eye opening. I have been an RN since the late 70's,and it'amazing what leaps and bounds have been made during my career This is not always an easy read and sometimes comes across like a textbook, but it really covers cancer and its treatment with a highly clinical viewpoint. IKept waiting for the human aspect, but those glimpses were few and far between. Still, very educational

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2011

    You will not be disappointed

    You don't have to be a physician or scientist to get into Dr. Mukherjee's excellent biography of cancer. What is fascinating is that he calls this a biography, and as you read the history of this disease, you'll understand why. He treats cancer as if it is a living thing that warrants a biography. He blends history, sociology, psychology, forensic science and good old-fashioned detective work to make a highly readable history of how mankind has been in battle with this disease. He also gives tremendous insight into our modern day war on cancer: what has worked, what has not, and why. The best part of reading The Emperor is the writing style. On every page, Dr. Mukherjee gives an almost poetic description or phrase that makes you realize this man is not just a great doctor, but a great writer as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    As a cancer survivor I found this book very interesting!

    Non survivors may not find it interesting, but I was fascinated to read the history of this ancient disease that is so much our part of ourselves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2011

    A useful introduction to the history of cancer and it's treatment.

    I found the book educational. It presented a good overview of the history of cancer, it's diagnosis and the medical fraternities attempts at treatment. It is a grizzly subject but the author also reviewed our recent deeper understanding of the causes of cancer and how that is leading to much less deadly therapies. So it ends on an encouraging note.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Anon

    I like this book because, it was refferenced in The Fault in Our Stars by JOHHHNNN GRRREEEEN

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Persons who suffer, caregivers, and interested observers will all benefit from the study of the history of this malady that continues until the present day. My own personal condition, Multiple Myeloma, does not receive lots of in depth study but the explanations of all of the symptoms and treatments for the various forms helped me to better understand my treatment progression. This work lets the reader in on the "why" of the present day treatment procedures something every sufferer needs to better understand. Surprisingly easy to read considering the large volume of information.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Cancer Biology

    At the recommendation of an oncologist at tumor board, I decided to buy this book & glad to read this during my semester off from school, before I begin my journey in CA biology. It has given me a new insight on a group of diseases that continues to be a mystery, even as we solve one small piece of this large puzzle. Personally, it left me in awe in how far we have come & more enthralled with oncology than I was before. I very highly recommend this book, it is especially helpful as a cancer registrar, knowing how these drugs came about & how they attack cancer.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    The book I needed to have when my young wife was diagnosed with

    The book I needed to have when my young wife was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer three years ago. What informed questions we could have asked!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredibly interesting and informative

    I really liked this book. So many things I did not realize about cancer and the search for cures and therapies. You'll get up close and personal.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2011

    Slow start

    Almost put this book down permanently because of the slow tedious early history-BUT I'm glad I didn't! It picked up speed and interest after the first 100 pages. Fascinating history of the science and politics cancer has been subject too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    Fascinating and moving, too

    This was a fascinating book about the history of and man's fight against cancer. I lost a loved one to leukemia, the type of cancer that figures prominently in the medical history of this disease, so it was especially moving to me. My one slight negative is that there is a lot of "science" in this book and there were a few times when I couldn't quite keep things straight. I would have liked to have seen a few more illustrations to accompany the narrative discussion of the biology and chemistry behind cancer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2011

    Very Informative, Very well written!

    I thoroughly enjoyed every page. By reading the book in its entireity the reader has a deep sense of respect, awe, and frustration towards human nature's 'Emperor of all 'Maladies' Well done.......

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    Excellent

    A very interesting read concerning a thousand foot view of the history of cancer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Error pg 108

    "...and his cheeks and nails fell out."
    Perhaps teeth and nails fell out?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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