- Paperback: 148 pages
- Publisher: Imperial College Press (November 16, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848165072
- ISBN-13: 978-1848165076
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,209,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Youth Prolonged: Old Age Postponed Paperback – November 16, 2009
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From the Inside Flap
What exactly is human ageing? Can it be slowed down? These questions have puzzled scientists and laymen alike for generations, and continue to do so today. The author addresses these thought-provoking issues by challenging pre-conceived notions of age-perception, age-acceptance and inter-age relations. Pertinent matters of age-related communication are dealt with, and the reader is treated to a grand tour of the latest theories of ageing, age-related biological changes and age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's Disease. Here, the author's expertise in age-related eye diseases truly comes into its own.
Weale's unique work not only underlines important genetic and avoidable risk factors but gives ample consideration to possible consequences stemming from different early lifestyles. Readers will re-consider their ideas of what it means to age, and gain a better understanding of what can and cannot slow down the process of ageing.
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Top customer reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed the many cartoons--yes, they are not laugh-out-loud funny (how many cartoons have you encountered that are?) but they rendered a double service to the book: alleviating what would normally be a gloomy, depressing subject, and counteracting the tendency of scientific accounts to dryness. The cartoons -- like the toy secreted inside a Cracker Jack box--were a delightful treat and they attracted me to the book when I first glanced through it. As for the three poems included by the author, they conveyed tactfully and gracefully the melancholy reality of macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and, by extension, our own mortality. I am not a refined judge of poetry, but I can say they worked for me. They also present a sensitive, heartful counterpoint to the jollity of the cartoons.
On the down side, I found that several of the graphs were insufficiently explained. Also, in my opinion, the last chapter, which correlates the birth month with longevity, was too miscellaneous, and without any valuable take-away. It could be dropped from future editions without any regret on my part.
As an newbie, I am not able to decide how up-to-date this book is. But contrary to the previous reviewer, I note that there are several brief references to calorie-restricted diets. More than this--including genetic sidelights--I do not ask for in a 134-page survey for the lay reader.
Instead of succinct summary of basic biology behind aging, I got hodgepodge of outdated facts, not-so-funny-cartoons, and bad quality poems--I strongly suspect that the author wrote those out or sheer irresistible literary urge.
My mistake was made clear from the introduction on the first page of the book, where the author somewhat mysteriously suggests: "the object of this slim volume is to assist mutual introductions between those occupying opposite poles of life." this is an interesting claim, for a book that lists so many physical symptoms of aging but eerily silent on psychological aspect of aging.
fair enough, some facts, such as that the lens in eye absorbs blue and violet light progressively more along with aging, are new and interesting.
However, those moments were sparse and far in between.
the biggest issue I have with this book is that it completely misses the fact that aging is a genetic phenomenon as much as it is a typical wear-and-tear process.
in other words, our body is programed to fail slowly in addition to being subjected to the harassment of time.
to quote some part of the introduction to Nature's review article section on aging in March 25th, 2010 issue,
"the realization that time does not have to take its toll came with the discovery of mutant nematodes that far outlived their normal fellow worms. Not only did they live substantially longer, but they seemed to stay younger for longer too. And, remarkably a single mutation in a single gene was all it took to slow down the wheels of time(503). "
Indeed, significant part of aging can be attributed to the genetic programing that facilitate aging with various signal pathways and etc.
Granted, this discovery was made only in this decade, and is still the forefront of biology. However, biology always has been one of the most trendy branch of the science, and time goes by in the field in dog years. I still could not accept the fact --especially considering the title--that the author did not mention any of this aspect of aging in his book and instead put his effort in composing bad quality poems on aging.
oh, what the heck, may be Robert Weale is too old to follow up on the changes in biology.
a mean twist on his poem :)
"The lasso is too short to catch
The Fleeing words,
Too loose to seize the Thoughts
That follow them, The nought`s
--amnesia is the term--now stretch
The widening gaps in memory's net, ,
the net once tightly knotted of words
And knots that knitted them
Into thoughts. But not any more...."