Book Reviews

Book Review: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Siddhartha Mukherjee. New York: Scribner, 2010. 592 pages. ISBN 978-1439181713       Cancer is an expansionist disease; it invades through tissues, sets up colonies in hostile landscapes, seeking “sanctuary” in one organ and then immigrating to another. It lives desperately, inventively, fiercely, territorially, cannily, and defensively—at times, as if teaching us how to survive. To confront cancer is to encounter a parallel species, one perhaps more adapted to survival than even we are. ―Siddhartha Mukherjee This book is a chilling read and brings cancer into a light most of us don’t want to think about. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is quickly dismissed after reading this book, as it goes into detail regarding one of the deadliest diseases known to mankind. As someone without a heavily scientific or medical background, I found this book a lot to take in and comprehend but well worth it in the end. I had to read several sections multiple times to digest fully, and it was one of the most difficult books for me to sit down and read. Many words come to mind after reading this book, including long, detailed, intense, thought provoking, upsetting, and informative. The word that I think is most accurate, though, is informative. Siddhartha Mukherjee filled the pages of this book with all of his cancer knowledge and many of his experiences. To read this book is to gain a better understanding of cancer and to […]

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