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    An education about ALS

    Granted, got this book on the coat tails of Still Alice.... However, it is excellent in its own right. So many texts and sub-texts. Of which some and all magnificently, tenderly written about..... A 5* read
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    Human Dissolution

    Every Note Played is a very difficult book to read, dealing with the effects of ALS on the human body and so on to the relationships between the sufferer and their families and friends. The descriptions of how the disease works on the muscles of the body are thorough (to the point where I would not recommend anyone with hypochondriac tendencies picks this book up) and graphic. None of this I have an issue with. I will note that I did become confused by the early references to Stephen Hawking so I had to go a-googling and discovered that ALS is a form of Motor Neurone Disease so that would explain why I could not make the connection (I am British and we generally use MND). My issues came with the characters that the book is about. Richard is that stereo-typical classical musician who cares for nothing and no-one outside his selected oeuvre. Strangely he reminded me of Jilly Cooper's Rannaldini in his selfishness and high opinion of himself - very odd comparison to make I know. Although he does achieve some sort of personal epiphany as the disease progresses through him and laying his body waste it felt, to me, rather forced and at odds with what little we know of his personality. His ex-wife Karina is similarly unappealing and I just could not get on board with her actions in the book and her internal monologues did little to make me warm to her. That said, this is a very sensitive subject and it is dealt with very well. I appreciated the author's attention to the detail of how being a Carer is completely and utterly relentless and how you may harbour "bad" thoughts towards the patient. The way the patient interacts with the variety of carers is also well-wrought with some being taken for granted and others appreciated - sadly (as is the case in this book) it is usually the main carer who is taken for granted and seen as no more than an extension to the machinery keeping the patient alive. I feel a little mean only giving the book 3 stars but the lack of connection between myself, as the reader, and the characters meant that I could not mark it any higher. The writing itself is adequate and does become a little hectoring about what a vile illness MND is in places which did serve me to back off a little bit - we know it is horrendous and not something we would wish on our worst enemy. This book will garner a slew of praise and a lot of 5 Star reviews I am sure and, never forget, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
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    Painful

    This book was incredible to read about this horrific disease. It was tragically sad at the end and to think real people have to suffer this way is unbearable. A very well written and researched tragedy.
5

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