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Still Alice [Kindle Edition]

Lisa Genova
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,097 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In Lisa Genova’s extraordinary New York Times bestselling novel, an accomplished professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease learns that her worth is comprised of more than her ability to remember. Now a major motion picture from Sony Pictures Classics starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, and Kristen Stewart!

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Ordinary People.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neuroscientist and debut novelist Genova mines years of experience in her field to craft a realistic portrait of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Alice Howland has a career not unlike Genova's—she's an esteemed psychology professor at Harvard, living a comfortable life in Cambridge with her husband, John, arguing about the usual (making quality time together, their daughter's move to L.A.) when the first symptoms of Alzheimer's begin to emerge. First, Alice can't find her Blackberry, then she becomes hopelessly disoriented in her own town. Alice is shocked to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's (she had suspected a brain tumor or menopause), after which her life begins steadily to unravel. She loses track of rooms in her home, resigns from Harvard and eventually cannot recognize her own children. The brutal facts of Alzheimer's are heartbreaking, and it's impossible not to feel for Alice and her loved ones, but Genova's prose style is clumsy and her dialogue heavy-handed. This novel will appeal to those dealing with the disease and may prove helpful, but beyond the heartbreaking record of illness there's little here to remember. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


‘Incredibly compelling and engaging’ Natalie, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

Product Details

  • File Size: 868 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1439102813
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Media Tie-In edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKXK2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
476 of 484 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Moving May 2, 2008
When Dr. Alice Howland first starts forgetting things like words when giving a speech, she thinks it might be because of menopause. But when she gets lost jogging near her house, on a route she has taken many times, she knows something is seriously wrong and seeks medical help. Not quite fifty, she is totally unprepared for the diagnosis - early onset Alzheimer's. As the disease progresses, Alice and her husband John learn everything they can about the disease and treatments, but Alzheimer's quickly takes its toll on both Alice and her family.

"Still Alice" is a beautifully written, heartbreaking novel about the devastating affect Alzheimer's has on its victims and their families. Author Lisa Genova's choice of Alice - young, in shape, and intelligent (she's a Psychiatry Professor at Harvard) - shows that Alzheimer's can strike anyone, not just the elderly. The book is written from Alice's viewpoint, but Genova does a good job of showing the affect of Alzheimer's not only on Alice, but how her family (John, and their children - Anna, Tom, and Lydia) struggle with the changes in Alice. Genova does an excellent job of describing what is going on in Alice's head as the dementia increases. In fact, Genova does such a good job that I sometimes forgot the book was fiction and not about a real person.

"Still Alice" takes place over a relatively short period of time (September 2002 to September 2005) and it is frightening how fast the Alzheimer's takes over Alice. Genova skillfully captures the bewilderment Alice feels and there are some moments in the book that are very moving - especially a moment involving a black rug and a moment involving a message a healthier Alice left for a sicker Alice.
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165 of 167 people found the following review helpful
I read this book on a flight to Dallas, Texas to see my father. Through a series of small strokes he was showing the effects of progressive dementia. Family was trying to decide what we should do. I cried all the way through the book. I had seen my father twice beffore this trip and had observed enough to br concerned.

Alice Howland taught cognitive psychology courses at Harvard for over twenty-five years. Alice and her husband, John authored Molecules to Mind, she published papers, and lectured around the world. Her three children were grown and on their own paths (not that she was very happy about Lydia's choice of acting, but she hadn't given up trying to influence her to go back to real school). Her son Tom was doing well in school, daughter Annie and her husband, Charlie are attorneys trying to conceive a first grandchild.

Facing a busy schedule and travel and everyday stress, Alice isn't concerned when she begins to forget little things, where the keys are, names of acquaintances or a momentary sense of disorientation. After all she is fifty and that is part of menopause. .

A trip to her family doctor to get some suggestions for cognitive memory reinforcement and to see if medication is available does not help. Alice is stunned to learn that she has Early Onset Alzheimer's and that there is not very much available for treatment. Telling her husband and children is even harder to face. Eventually she has to face the loss of her teaching and life's work.

"Still Alice" is Alice's voice as she struggles with the advancement of Alzheimer's. As the disease advances, she is living more in the now, and often hurt by her interpretations of family member's words and actions.
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112 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK September 3, 2007
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read - Great title
I read this book in two days and had a hard time putting it down. It gives the reader an insight into the loneliness and helplessness a person experiences in the ever changing... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Ruth E. Wuebbeling
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book and hard to put down. It totally captured me.
Published 1 day ago by lynn b. smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This Book! It's Great!
Absolutely riveting book! Anyone dealing with an Alzheimer's patient should read this. It was heartbreaking, but very, very educational as far as putting the reader into Alice's... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Gregory I. Whedon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book really opened my eyes to the struggles families deal with...
Loved this book opened my eyes to what families deal with when a loved one has this devisting illness.and also how the person that has it goes through.this made me laugh and cry
Published 1 day ago by Mckenzie Haney
5.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking
This book completely stole my heart. It really shows an insight into what families go through when dealing with this awful disease. A real eye opener..... Read more
Published 1 day ago by lkm
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I liked the style of writing, Alice was speaking from Her point of view. This made it very interesting as she went thru the months with the disease. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Tami
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
What an amazing book. I read it over a month ago and I'm still thinking about it. Alzheimers is such a devastating disease, and reading about one woman's descent into memory loss... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Hot Cocoa
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must read" for every member of the "baby boomer" generation...
The story of Alzheimer's disease written by a neuroscientist in lay person's terms that we can all comprehend. Read more
Published 2 days ago by D. Carta
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful gook
Wonderful book. My sister is reading it now. Can't wait for the movie
Published 2 days ago by shirley keller
5.0 out of 5 stars Losing your essence and knowing it
This book is about my biggest fear. My mother wasn't diagnosed with Alzheimer's but had serious dementia and I watched it happen. Ms. Read more
Published 2 days ago by S. Weiss
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More About the Author

Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is the author of the New York Times Bestselling novels STILL ALICE, LEFT NEGLECTED, and LOVE ANTHONY.

STILL ALICE spent 41 weeks on the New York Time bestseller list. It won the 2008 Bronte Prize and the 2011 Bexley Book of the Year, and it was nominated for the 2010 Indies Choice Debut Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association. It was the #6 Top Book Group Favorite of 2009 by Reading Group Choices, a 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, a 2009 Indie Next pick, a 2009 Borders Book Club Pick, and a 2009 Target Book Club pick. There are over a million copies in print, and it has been translated into 25 languages. It was chosen as one of thirty titles for World Book Night 2013.

LEFT NEGLECTED, also a New York Times bestseller, was the #1 Indie Next Pick for January 2011, the Borders "Book You'll Love" for January 2011, and the #4 Indie Reading Group Pick for summer 2011. It was chosen by the Richard and Judy bookclub in the UK.

Lisa's third novel, LOVE ANTHONY, also a New York Times bestseller, was an Indie Next Pick for October 2012 and a People Magazine Great Read.

Lisa travels worldwide, speaking about Alzheimer's Disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism. She has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, the Diane Rehm Show, CNN, Chronicle, Fox News, and Canada AM and was featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary film, TO NOT FADE AWAY.

Lisa's fourth novel focuses on Huntington's Disease. She lives with her family on Cape Cod.

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Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc are GREEDY!!!
I agree with you Hadassa! There are only 5 publishing companies controlling book prices in America today. That is effectively a monopoly and I thought monopolies were against the law. They are fixing prices dog on it. And we need to get the government to regulate them better. They are indeed greedy.
Oct 27, 2012 by John J. Higgins |  See all 3 posts
Despite Monster, she is 'Still Alice'
Thanks Ms. Genova for the newest information about the book. I've heard there was something on TV here in the Boston area about it- can you confirm this or provide more info?
Mar 16, 2008 by Cape Codder |  See all 21 posts
Still Alice - Great Alzheimer's Disease book.
This is a fantastic book that anyone devouring information about AD must read. I also loved "I'll Be Seeing You: A Wife's Journey With Her Husband's Alzheimer's" a much different book that lets you be in the shoes of a wife whose husband has come down with AD.
Apr 15, 2013 by Austin Morledge |  See all 2 posts
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