Customer Reviews for

Still Alice

Average Rating 4.5
( 1033 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

One of the most outstanding books I have read in recent years

For anyone whose life has been touched by Alzheimer's disease (as so many have been, and many more will be), or for anyone who is approaching the far side of middle age, this book is at the same time clarifying and terrifying. The author takes the perspective of the Al...
For anyone whose life has been touched by Alzheimer's disease (as so many have been, and many more will be), or for anyone who is approaching the far side of middle age, this book is at the same time clarifying and terrifying. The author takes the perspective of the Alzheimer's patient herself, one which is frequently overlooked by more "scholarly" works on the topic, and changes the whole tone of her writing as well as the subjects portrayed, as the narrator progresses further into the grip of the disease. She brings out many seldom-contemplated factors such as quality of life, support groups and counseling for the patient as well as the caregivers, and provides a gripping, touching, and horrifying sense of how it must be to feel yourself slipping away. I highly recommend this book to anyone. I have already passed around my advance copy and plan to buy several copies for family members and friends when it is released. A must-read for caregivers, relatives, and persons in the early stages of Alzheimers, and a goldmine for book groups.

posted by 2866exile on November 2, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

An Amazing Perspective of Alzheimer's

When I first picked up this book at the store to read the jacket, my first thought was "I don't know if I want to read something that will be so sad." I am so glad that I didn't listen to that first thought.

Still Alice gives us a look into the world of Alzheimer's f...
When I first picked up this book at the store to read the jacket, my first thought was "I don't know if I want to read something that will be so sad." I am so glad that I didn't listen to that first thought.

Still Alice gives us a look into the world of Alzheimer's from Alice's point of view - an intelligent woman who is trying to figure out how to deal with her mind. How many of us know someone with this disease? Do you treat them differently after you have learned? Once you read this book, you may look at your own actions in a different light.

posted by Sherry_Young on April 8, 2010

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    One of the most outstanding books I have read in recent years

    For anyone whose life has been touched by Alzheimer's disease (as so many have been, and many more will be), or for anyone who is approaching the far side of middle age, this book is at the same time clarifying and terrifying. The author takes the perspective of the Alzheimer's patient herself, one which is frequently overlooked by more "scholarly" works on the topic, and changes the whole tone of her writing as well as the subjects portrayed, as the narrator progresses further into the grip of the disease. She brings out many seldom-contemplated factors such as quality of life, support groups and counseling for the patient as well as the caregivers, and provides a gripping, touching, and horrifying sense of how it must be to feel yourself slipping away. I highly recommend this book to anyone. I have already passed around my advance copy and plan to buy several copies for family members and friends when it is released. A must-read for caregivers, relatives, and persons in the early stages of Alzheimers, and a goldmine for book groups.

    21 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Take time to watch how beautiful a butterfly is because its life span is very short. So, don't miss all that this creature has to offer.

    Lisa Genova takes a subject that is so difficult to deal with and turns it into a time that all can learn from. If you have ever had a parent or sibling die from this disease, you will find this book a must to understand what happens from the patient's perspective of this long good bye. Lisa Genova takes the time to show how difficult it is for the patient as well as the family. As a caretaker you sometimes forget that there is a person locked inside this disease that is unable to remember but can still function at some level. Each stage is handled with care and openness, but will leave the reader asking questions about their own reactions if faced with such a situation. No one is left out. If you have not been confronted with this disease, you will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for both the patient and caregivers through this piece of literature.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2009

    What a great book!

    Once I started reading Still Alice, I couldn't stop!! I have had some personal experiences with a few friends that developed early onset of Alzheimer's Disease and I believe that the author totally captured all of the nuances that seem to go along with the disease. I think that the author depicted the progression of the disease very accurately as well as what happens to the family and friends that watch the person slowly but surely deteriorating no matter what the lifestyle or education of that person is. It was a book that touched my emotions because of my personal experiences. As I read the book, I sometimes found myself having to put it down because of my feelings....but moments later picking up the book to continue reading it. A must read!!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This one will tug at your heart!

    Still Alice is a compelling story about a Harvard Professor's decline into Alzheimer's disease and the revelation of what a person goes through on his or her journey down the road to dementia. This will tug at your heart as you feel 50 year old Alice's confusion and the toll it takes on family and friends.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2010

    Very accurate

    I could identify with so much in this book -- my husband was diagnosed 7 years ago with early onset Alzheimer's Disease when he was only 56 years old. He now knows none of his family and is in institutional care. The book was very accurate about the denial by patient, family members, friends -- and about the stigma of all forms of dementia. As portrayed in the book, friends often disappear, even family members eventually fade away as the patient's mind fades also. I think everyone should be encouraged to read this heartbreaking account of Alzheimer's and equally important, the story of caregiving. An excellent book, be prepared to be shocked, saddened, and educated by this story.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    Powerful story

    This was one of the most powerful stories I've read in a long time. Having a family member suffering from dementia, reading the book gave me a deeper insight into our relative's behaviors. While it is a disturbing story, it is also one that will provoke conversation and give a greater understanding of those suffering from one of the illnesses involving memory loss.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

    Loved it

    I am a slow reader and our book club chose this book for the month and I read it in 3 days. I always take the month to read the book. This is a book that really stays with you in your thoughts and will be a great discussion book for the club.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2009

    Very close to being real it's uncanny

    This is a very accurate picture of what a family goes through when a parent is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's its hard to believe that its actually a fictional account. My father was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's and many of the things that happened to my father was exactly like the book. I just wish I had this book before he was diagnosed. It is uncanny how much Lisa Genova details in the book apply to people diagnosed with this disease. I can remember my father talking to me about his daughter when we where sitting at the kitchen table and having to tell him that I was his daughter. Just as Alice was speaking to Lydia the night of the play and not knowing who she was. This book was a great read. I would highly recommended it .

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    An Amazing Book!

    I have to admit, I'm mostly a sci-fi person. I have no idea why I purchased this book, all I know is that I'm glad that I did!

    "Still Alice" takes you on a journey through the mind of a woman (Alice) who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Most of the book is told through Alice's eyes, and it is a fascinating and yet sad story of how Alice feels as she progresses through the different stages of the disease, as well as the conflicts within the family as each family member learns to deal with their own emotions about Alice having Alzheimers. When the family learns that the type of Alzheimers that Alice has is the type that is genetic, each of her three children must decide whether or not to get tested for the gene that carries the disease, and then make choices on whether or not to have children of their own who might also carry the gene. I found the trials of Alice's two daughters intriguing, as they are almost a story within the story as each daughter begins to make choices in her life based on Alice's diagnosis.

    I found this story to be acurate, intense, terrifying, heartbreaking and yet felt immense joy at a family who came together in the time of need.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    LAUGHED, CRIED, AND WONDERED THIS BOOK STARTS OUT REGULAR AND EN

    LAUGHED, CRIED, AND WONDERED THIS BOOK STARTS OUT REGULAR AND ENDS WITH A BANG! AS THE STORY PROGRESSES YOU START TO WONDER MORE AND MORE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS CONDITION.THIS COMING FROM SOMEONE WHO PREFERS ROMANTIC/FICTIONAL NOVELS. WAS A BORROWED BOOK. WHEN I WAS DONE I HURRIED TO BARNES AND NOBLE, BOUGHT A HARDCOPY FOR ME AND A SPANISH VERSION FOR MY MOTHER. IT IS SUCH A GREAT READ!


    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2013

    I'm not even 60 &

    I have early-onset. It scares me to death when i can't remember a word , a sentence or why i went into the kitchen 3 times in the last hour. What scares me most is i see my husband struggling trying to remember a word or where he put his key's or the checkbook. You will need kleenex but enjoy those laugh's you'll get. Please please please read this book. It's worth so much more than money & much more than 5 stars

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    Well done portrayal of a debilitating condition

    Originally when my book club suggested this book to read I didn't think I would enjoy reading it as I feared it would be too emotionally heavy. However, I thought it was sensitively written and did not leave the reader feeling sorry for Alice but more intrigued by how she dealt with her condition. It was also interesting to see how her family handled the changes in Alice and how it impacted even the youngest members of the family. It made me wonder how my own family and spouse would handle such a situation if it happened to me.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Genova Gets It Right

    STILL ALICE
    Lisa Genova
    Pocket Books
    Simon and Schuster
    ISBN: 978-1-4391-0281-7
    Paperback
    $15.00
    Reviewer: Annie Slessman

    Alzheimer's Disease doesn't kill you instantly, isn't physically noticeable to the naked eye. However, it is one of the most debilitating diseases we experience today. In STILL ALICE, by Lisa Genova, one can feel the frustration of Alice Howland, a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard when she goes for her regular run in Harvard Square and cannot remember how to get home. This brilliant woman, who is also a well renowned expert in linguistics finds out she has Alzheimer's Disease when she gets medical tests after having a problem remembering what she was to teach in a classroom after studying the subject hours the night before.

    Alice's life is full. She travels continually as a public speaker, teaches classes at Harvard and has no time for Alzheimer's. The disease doesn't care what Alice wants or her time commitments and it strikes with a vengeance that traps Alice inside a brain she that is no longer functioning normally. Her struggle with the disease and her family's reaction to her increasing dementia makes for one great book.

    I admit to being scared out of my own mind reading this story. A woman in my sixties, this disease appears to be an extremely frightening one. To imagine that you can no longer remember the loved ones around you, drive a car or complete mundane everyday tasks is just plain scary. This disease is also believed to be genetic so it can affect your children and grandchildren as well.

    Alice states at one point in the book that she would rather have cancer. At least she could fight that disease. Alzheimer's Disease is incurable and does not provide an afflicted person with any resources except drugs that may provide times of clarity. This particular result of the drug seems quite cruel to this reviewer as it is giving something that will eventually be taken away again.

    If you want to know more about Alzheimer's Disease and its effects, this is an excellent book on the subject. I will tell you as well, you will probably want to put a fist in the face of Alice's husband in the end. I know I did.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Phenomenal, yet frighteningly real.

    It has been a long time since I have read a book that has had such an emotional impact on me as Still Alice did. Alice and her story gripped my heart. I found myself tearing up on more than one occasion, my heart ached as if Alice were my own mother. Well, let me just say that I was profoundly moved. Lisa Genova did an outstanding job of putting the reader inside the story. Inside of Alice's shoes. Frankly, it was a frightening place to be. I was very impressed with her way of telling Alice's story. I can see why the book has been so successful and I look forward to reading future works by Lisa Genova.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    moving and heartbreaking in every way

    This is an amazing book, moving and heartbreaking in every way. Alice has early onset Alzheimer's and this book is told by her point of view which is scary and heartbreaking to see this professor at Harvard go downhill. You feel for her as she loses more than memory she loses herself, her comfort, her meaning in life.
    Her husband kind of made me mad I've seen how hard Alzheimer's can be on the caregiver but this was the first thing I've read from the person with the disease's perspective, because of that it was harder for me to be sympathetic towards her husband.
    I hope to never be in Alice's shoes it must be so awful to not recognize your own children and family.
    This is a very powerful read that I would recommend whole heartedly. If you know anyone whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer's they need to read this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Heartbreaking but Hopeful

    I couldn't put this book down. This fictional (but, oh, so real!) family's story broke my heart and scared me to death, while at the same time provided me understanding and hope. I loved the Alice character so much. The author combined research and her own neuroscience knowledge to incorporate Alzheimer's facts into a fictional case based on real experiences pulled from her interviews and research. I will keep this book in the event that Alzheimer's Disease enters the lives of my friends or family in the future. Everyone should read "Still Alice." This book includes discussion questions for book clubs and an interview with Dr. Genova.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    realistic, relevant

    As a 56 year-old professional, this book evoked both fear and an appreciation for life. As a nurse, I have worked extensively with adults in the later stages of dementia and have never been a witness to the earlier, frightening evolution. An excellent look into the torment of memory loss.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    If you read only one book this year, don't miss this one

    Lisa Genova has captured the Alzheimer's victim from the inside out in her story 'Still Alice' and in such a way the reader finds themself as part of Alice's story. The research is extensive with regard to this disease and it, too, becomes a part of Alice's story. Because of this research, the reader sees the parallels between early onset Alzheimer's and Alzheimer's disease that affects so so many of our elderly. Many who read this book will purchase it because of the subject matter. I did. I had no idea the impact it would have on me. I believe for some time to come, this story and its impact will remain - I will think of Alice, a passage in Lisa's book, and each time I look at my mother who has Alzheimer's, I will remember. Lisa Genova has educated, enlightened, and she has written a book on a sensitive subject that will stay with you for a long time.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    Still Alice

    In 'Still Alice' it is uncanny how Lisa Genova gets everything right. Reading it was like reliving the adventure Jenny Knauss and I have had with AD since her diagnosis the first of April 2002. We have good friends who have written first person accounts of living with AD - Tracy Mobley, Charles Schnieder, and Richard Taylor - and those, and other, particular accounts are invaluable. Lisa has followed the path of fiction to create a more universal picture of AD. Here many morsels of AD are distilled into the life of one person - Alice - which makes a very potent brew. In fiction Lisa can artfully connect the lurches and crashes of AD and carry the reader along smoothly, but with a powerful driving force. Many a signature morsel of AD is blended so artfully that one doesn't realize that it is there until the taste is almost over - as it is in reality. And, there is a progressive point of view. Rather than treat people living with AD as victims who need help from the social workers dominating the AD establishment, we should treat Alice as still Alice still living her still real life. The speech by Alice (pages 249 to 252) to a fictional plenary symposium of the annual Alzheimer's Association Dementia Care Conference of 2005 is a manifesto for the progressive view that our approach to AD should be to help people living with AD enrich their lives and have fun. (Jenny made the same points in a conversation for a plenary symposium at the actual Dementia Care Conference in July 2005.) This book should be read not just by everyone embarking on an adventure with AD, but by everyone. It will give you the most potent and universal understanding of the AD experience, and it will motivate you to become a champion for the more progressive view of AD. I predict that this wonderful book will become a best seller because of praise by readers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Hard to believe it is fiction

    This is a must read...excellent writer

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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