Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic
by David Shenk
"A remarkable addition to the literature of the
science of the mind....Shenk has drawn together threads
of neurobiology, art history and psychology into a literary
portrait of Alzheimer's disease perfectly balanced
between sorrow and wonder, devastation and awe."
— The Los Angeles Times Book Review
Among nonfiction accounts [of Alzheimer's disease], David Shenk's beautiful, harrowing 'The Forgetting/Alzheimer's: Portrait of an Epidemic' (2001) remains the standard. It is one of those rare books that lifts journalism — the gathering and dissemination of topical facts — to the level of literature.
— The Chicago Tribune
"Riveting....superb...a must-read for anyone interested
in the wretched ailment that is Alzheimer's."
— The San Francisco Chronicle
"Deeply affecting...a fascinating meditation on
the scientific, political and cultural history of Alzheimer's
— The Washington Post
"Intelligent and unusually circumspect."
— The New York Review of Books
"A graceful, masterful portrait of [the] illness...Readers
can't help but be taken by Shenk's humanity
and compassion, which brim throughout."
— The Los Angeles Times (daily paper)
"Written with a researcher's attention to
detail and a storyteller's ear."
— The New York Times
"Destined to be a classic...Shenk's guided
tour is free of medical jargon, filled instead with clear
and sometimes memorable phrasing."
— The Seattle Times
"An elegant new book .... [Previous Alzheimer's
books] have rarely ventured beyond conventions of anguished
family memoir, caregiver's survival guide or life-in-the-lab
docu-drama. In ‘The Forgetting,' David Shenk
attempts something grander, and succeeds admirably."
"A brilliant and quirky new book on Alzheimer's
[that] offers food for thought on the unthinkable and
a new, deeper understanding of the coming epidemic."
"Compelling and immensely humane . . . . Shenk's
integration of historical and scientific information and
personal stories makes for an absorbing read."
"An excellent new book."
— The New Yorker
"Fascinating...A quirky mix of medical history,
the voices of patients and their families, and accounts
of the search for a cure...Shenk makes the science understandable
and recounts personal stories that are both moving and
— Business Week
"Carefully researched and engagingly written."
— The Wall Street Journal
"A dazzling literary and scientific history of Alzheimer's
— The Detroit Free Press
"A sobering but important book."
— The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
"Fascinating....As good as the science in this book
is, it takes a back seat to Shenk's eloquent reflections
on the meaning of memory and aging, and their connection
to our sense of self."
— The Washington Monthly
"Completely absorbing, fascinating, the best of
— Amy Tan
"The definitive work on Alzheimer's. A truly
— John Bayley
Reviews for the British edition:
"A startling book....[it] unfolds like a film, with
several storylines racing to a finish."
— The Daily Telegraph
"Shenk is a wonderful writer on science....He has
an eye for the social and financial forces that shape
scientific interests and he brings key players, whether
proteins or people, to dramatic life."
— The Independent
"[An] absorbing and enlightening book...an engrossing
— The Times Literary Supplement