Book Review: When Audio Books Go Wrong

*originally published 03/03/2016

51VRVym1+ZLSTILL ALICE Written by Lisa Genova

Narrated by Lisa Genova (author)
2007; 292 Pages; (7 Hours and 51 Minutes)
Genre: fiction, contemporary

Rating: ★★★1/2

Alice, a Harvard professor of Psychology, finds herself starting to forget the little things like words which is difficult as her specialty is Language and Linguistics.  One day she forgets to board the plane to go on her trip and finds herself getting lost on her jogs to places she has been every day for decades.
When she is diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s her husband, John also a professor at Harvard (Biology) refuses to believe it.  Her grown children are thrown for a loop when they realize they too might have the gene that causes early onset Alzheimer and whether they want to be tested and what this means for the future generation.  We get to follow Alice for a little over 2 years as she tries to cope with her disease and new life.
I heard this on audio and I think it was a bit of a mistake.  This audio was read by the author and unfortunately she is a not a great reader.  Her voice was monotone and sounded like a surly teenager who was made to read out loud.
As a writer Genova is not half bad.  I found the novel engaging and realistic.  I really liked Alice and how her relationship with her youngest daughter changed drastically due to her Alzheimer’s. To see how Alice’s Alxheimer’s progresses was quite fascinating and heartbreaking.  My own grandmother had dementia and we missed many of the early signs because she is in her 80s, and we just blamed old age. This novel really makes you wonder what you would do in this situation or if this happened to a loved one.
I would recommend this to all readers as this gives you a bit of insight and compassion of this mental illness.  I would recommend the novel BUT not the audio.

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