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Short Synopsis
A magnificent, beautifully written epic "biography" of cancer—in the tradition of Andrew Solomon's The Noonday Demon, this is a brilliant exploration of the past, present, and future of a complex disease that defines us and our time.

Full Synopsis
Written by cancer physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies is a stunning combination of medical history, cutting-edge science, and narrative journalism that transforms our understanding of cancer and much of the world around us. Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a novelist's richness of detail, a historian's range, and a biographer's passion.

The story of cancer is one of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, arrogance, paternalism, and misperception, all leveraged against a disease that, just decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out "war against cancer." It's a story of science and scientists, of centuries of discoveries, of setbacks and victories and deaths, told through the eyes of Mukherjee's predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary.

From the Persian Queen Atossa, who instructed her Greek slave to cut off her malignant breast, to the radical surgeries of the nineteenth century, to the first recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy, to Mukherjee's own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is a story of people—and their families—who soldier through toxic, bruising, and draining regimens to survive and to increase the store of human knowledge.

Riveting and magisterial, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments and offers a bold new perspective on the way doctors, scientists, philosophers, and lay people have observed and understood the human body for millennia.

"An inspiring account of a very personal battle against 'the plague of our generation.'" ---Kirkus

"An unusually humble, insightful book." ---The Los Angeles Times

"This is an ambitious work but one that is very accessible and is made even more so by Hoye's narration." ---AudioFile

"[A] powerful and ambitious first book.... Mukherjee has undertaken one of the most extraordinary stories in medicine." ---The New York Times

"Two-time Audie Award winner Stephen Hoye does a great job of conveying all of the nuances of the narrative.... This highly accessible and quality audio production will greatly satisfy audiences liking titles that similarly attempt to humanize otherwise clinical topics, such as Seth Mnookin's The Panic Virus, Mary Roach's Stiff, and Atul Gawande's Complications." ---Library Journal Starred Audio Review

"A sweeping epic of obsession, brilliant researchers, dramatic new treatments, euphoric success and tragic failure." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Mukherjee has a storyteller's flair and a gift for translating complex medical concepts into simple language." ---The Wall Street Journal

"It's time to welcome a new star in the constellation of great doctor-writers." ---Washington Post
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BookPage Top 40 of 2010

The Emperor of All Maladies

A Biography of Cancer

Author Siddhartha Mukherjee

Narrated by Stephen Hoye

Publication date Nov 17, 2010

Running time 21 hrs

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