What a masterpiece! With beautiful metaphors, poignant case studies, breath-taking science and delectable literary allusions, Siddhartha Mukherjee takes us on a detailed yet panoramic trip spanning centuries. Probably one of the best science books I have ever read.
My favorite parts in the books are the literary allusions that capture the depth and feeling of what is being described so well, such as Cancer Ward, Alice in Wonderland, Invisible Cities, Oedipus Rex and many more.
The most memorable of all is when he encapsulates Cancer with a play on the favorite opening lines from Anna Karenina – “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” becomes “Normal cells are identically normal; malignant cells become unhappily malignant in unique ways.” This unacknowledged transmutation of the famous lines encapsulates the book for me, in more ways than one.