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Book Review: The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

It’s not an ordinary book for the readers who finish books in a matter of few days. Even those who have read and grasped it fairly would dread to review it extensively because it's an inspiring book, thus, exaggerating its one–sided content doesn’t yield better fruits. It is good in its simplest form.

Reviewers know that it is a pretty difficult book to review. Well, it's fascinating in a morbid kind of way. It is converging at the two poles at a same time: hopelessness and hope. The USP of this book is that it has made horrid subject like cancer disease so accessible and fascinating to people who aren’t even distantly connected to medicine. In short, it's a remarkable effort and deserves to be read widely.

However, after all reading and dreadful fascination with the disease lasting over 400 pages detailing the 4000 year war waged by various people to find a cure for the disease, one paragraph in the final chapter chillingly resonates: "Perhaps cancer defines the inherent outer limit of our survival. As our cells divide and bodies age, and as mutations accumulate inexorably upon mutations, cancer might well be the final terminus in our development as organisms". This one sentence summarizes the mortality of life and the immortality of the uncontrollably dividing cancer cell which, in essence, is a more flawless form of ourselves.

This is an amazing book even though when this book underestimates the unremitting power of science and human originality. Invalids longing for hope and courage to face their own time will definitely need this book.


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