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One in Three: A Son's Journey Into the History and Science of Cancerby Adam Wishart
Synopses & Reviews
When his father contracted cancer, writer and documentary director Adam Wishart wanted to find a book that answered his most basic questions: What was the disease, how did it take hold and what did it mean? What is it about cancer's biology that makes it hard to eradicate? How close are we to a cure? There was no such book, so Wishart wrote it. Here is his personal, journalistic take on the history of cancer and the encouraging story of science's progress in changing the outlook on cancer from a disease that we die from to one that we live with. Where the mere use of the "c" word used to be enough to terrify people, now that attitude is about to change, as genetics and effective treatments become better understood. One in three of us will contract cancer in our life times; uniquely comprehensive and, amazingly enough, optimistic, this book will help us to understand the disease without fear.
"Wishart's title refers to the number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer and his belief that we need to stop talking about the disease in hushed whispers as it becomes something 'to live with rather than only die from.' Wishart (Leaving Reality Behind), a British TV director and producer, juxtaposes an unflinching account of his father's diagnosis and treatment with a wider look at cancer research. The constant shuttling between past and present has the unfortunate effect of disrupting the emotional momentum of the Wishart family's struggle. Miniportraits of cancer research activists like Mary Lasker and Penny Brohn tell an important story, but never fully mesh with the scenes of the father's slow decline. Individual moments from the personal saga, as when Wishart's father reads a newspaper in a hospital bed because books have become too heavy for his weakened arms, have strong emotional resonance, but too often, when Wishart manages to hook readers into the drama, he veers off into another historical digression. Either narrative strand could have been an effective book in its own right; in putting them together, Wishart hasn't quite created an integrated whole. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Mr. Wishart has done copious research and used it to shape a story more gripping than frightening." Janet Maslin, New York Times
"[A] fascinating look at a disease that is destined to affect 1 in 3 of us at some point in our lives....Wishart has written a story that will educate and enlighten anyone dealing with this dreadful disease." San Francisco Chronicle
"A loving portrait of one man and an accessible account of what cancer is, where research and treatment are now and how they got there." Kirkus Reviews
"Together father...and son...undertook an in-depth exploration. What they learned the son relays here in an engaging presentation of facts reported with the cool detachment of a professional journalist." Booklist
Book News Annotation:
When his father was diagnosed with cancer, documentary filmmaker Adam Wishart began searching for basic information about this disease that afflicts one person in three at some point in their lifetime. In this accessible text, he describes what cancer is, explains why it is so hard to eradicate, and traces the two hundred-year history of cancer research. This information is woven together with Wishart's personal account of coping with his father's illness.
Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Book News Annotation:
When his father was diagnosed with cancer, documentary filmmaker Adam Wishart began searching for basic information about this disease that afflicts one person in three at some point in their lifetime. In this accessible text, he describes what cancer is, explains why it is so hard to eradicate, and traces the two hundred-year history of cancer research. This information is woven together with Wishart's personal account of coping with his father's illness. Annotation Â©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In Wishart's personal, journalistic take on the history of cancer, he offers an encouraging story of science's progress in changing the outlook on cancer from a disease that one dies from to one that can be lived with.
About the Author
Adam Wishart is an award-winning British television producer and director who has also written for The Times (London), New Scientist, The Guardian, and The Independent. He is the author of the book Leaving Reality Behind.
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