Ruben's Reviews > The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011
Read from December 17 to 23, 2011

It's one thing to write an exciting novel; it's quite another to write nonfiction in a captivating way. From its conception to its execution, The Emperor of All Maladies is brilliant. It is a valid wholly comprehensive look at the history and significance of cancer in its many forms. The subtitle, "A Biography of Cancer", provides a unique frame of reference, showing that cancer is something we have historically lived with, not avoided or conquered. Although a few Mr. Mukherjee's attempts at being clever miss the mark, most of them succeed at brightening up what could have been a clinically cold look at cancer. And, naturally, not every chapter is equally gripping or important. Most fascinating for me was the medical acceleration that occurred in the last 150ish years, as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy all come together from different oncological angles to form the modern course of treatment. I can see why this masterpiece won the Pulitzer Prize.

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