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Still Alice Audiobook

Still Alice

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Audible Editor Reviews

The heart-wrenching tale of 50-year-old Alice Howland and her early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis is narrated eloquently by author Lisa Genova. Alice, a successful linguistics professor at Harvard, is married to John, an equally esteemed Harvard professor, and together they have three grown children. Her biggest worry in life is her youngest daughter's move to L.A. to pursue acting — until Alice starts forgetting things. It begins innocuously enough: misplacing her BlackBerry, missing unimportant appointments on her to-do list, searching her mind for tip-of-the-tongue phrases. But when she goes on her familiar daily run through Cambridge, and becomes disoriented just one mile from home, Alice knows something is terribly wrong.

A battery of tests and multiple doctor visits later, her worst nightmare is confirmed — she is in the first stages of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Told from Alice's perspective, it's a frighteningly keen insight to the slow deterioration of a debilitating disease. Every nuance of pain, frustration, fear, and sorrow is captured in Genova's voice and she expertly utilizes the pregnant pause, and short, choppy sentences to convey the confusion and pain of Howland's thoughts during testing and diagnosis.

Genova's slight Boston accent lends authenticity to the story, and she doesn't oversell the emotion behind the words. Her transitions between character dialogue are smooth and subtle, but she so embodies the main character Alice, it's hard to remember that it is Genova, and not Howland herself, telling her story. Knowing its being read exactly as it was intended by the author creates an even stronger connection to the work. Equally present is the devastating effect this illness has on Alice's husband, children, and coworkers. And while there's obviously no happy ending in sight, Genova still manages to paint a story of hope, reminding listeners that even in the midst of great loss and suffering, love remains. —Colleen Oakley

Publisher's Summary

What if every memory you've ever had will be erased from your mind, and you have no choice but to carry on...powerless to stop it?

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At 50 years old, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world - forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, this extraordinary debut novel by Lisa Genova is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer's Disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Ordinary People.

©2009 Lisa Genova; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"After I read Still Alice, I wanted to stand up and tell a train full of strangers, 'You have to get this book.'" (Boston Globe)
"With grace and compassion, Lisa Genova writes about the enormous white emptiness created by Alzheimer's." (The Improper Bostonian)
"A masterpiece that will touch lives in ways none of us can even imagine." (Alzheimer's Daily News)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (98 )
5 star
 (57)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (4)
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4.6 (89 )
5 star
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4.0 (92 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Evelyn 27/02/2015
    Evelyn 27/02/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Still Alice"

    This book was so close to home as my mother had dementia and I wish I had read this story before my mother had died - we could have become even closer by my understanding a little more of what she was experiencing
    Please Lisa continue writing your brilliant stories but let narrators like the brilliant Kate Rudd do so much more justice to your book than you did

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 17/07/2015
    Philip 17/07/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still Alice promotes understanding and not pity."

    I'm not a person with dementia but have met people with dementia including people with Early Onset Dementia—what is known as Younger Onset Dementia (YOD) here in Australia. Lisa Genova's writing of Alice's experience rings so true to me as a mere observer. Brilliantly crafted and honed, this book seems not a fiction but a memoir; it made me think throughout of a friend of mine with YOD and the journey she travels with her husband and family. Genova's novel incites understanding and not pity. It is a must read for everyone who seeks to understand the beautifully complex world around them. Lisa's reading brought a real sense of what she wanted to say to the story, great stuff!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cordelia 29/05/2015
    Cordelia 29/05/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    "I didn't like the way she read it."

    I felt like she was a reluctant teenager reading a prescribed book. it was a great story though

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela 01/08/2015
    Angela 01/08/2015 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    1
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    Story
    "Insights into the mind of someone with Alzheimers"

    It was so interesting being on the Alzheimers journey with Alice and her family. The different responses to the diagnosis were very believable and effective. A sad story but told with a feeling of underlying hope and dignity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 27/07/2015
    Anna 27/07/2015 Member Since 2015
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    19
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    Story
    "Amazing!"

    The best audible book so far. Strongly recommend it!
    I previously watched a movie and loved it. The book is even better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kylie Blackburn North, Australia 15/06/2015
    Kylie Blackburn North, Australia 15/06/2015 Member Since 2015
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    "Heart wrenching"

    I enjoyed this book however the narration was flat and slow. The story was unique in that it is written from the sufferers point of view which I loved and at time brought me to tears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tess 12/06/2015
    tess 12/06/2015
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    REVIEWS
    8
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    Story
    "a pleasant, eye opening read"

    To be honest I only read this because I wanted to see the movie. I was pleasantly surprised. Do not expect any twists and turns or drama or romance- it's pretty flat all the way through. But still I really enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josie 17/03/2015
    Josie 17/03/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    70
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    "Loved this book"

    Now I can't wait to see the movie. It's wonderful how the author lets you Ito inside the mind and share the joys, fears and grief.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Foster 13/03/2015
    Lisa Foster 13/03/2015 Member Since 2015
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    REVIEWS
    1
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    "First audio book"

    This was my first audio book and I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved that the author read it to me.
    I really believed the story and came to wonder if I or someone I knew could one day live Alice's story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Maree Tindale 06/03/2015
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    2
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    "Still Alice"

    Great story, well read, very moving, enjoyed every minute. Great to listen to while driving.
    Would recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • P Stanley
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    7/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Please pay for a professional Reader"
    Would you try another book from Lisa Genova and/or Lisa Genova?

    yes


    What didn’t you like about Lisa Genova’s performance?

    Monotone. The author is a good writer but a horrible reader. I don't understand why a professional reader was not used. The flat and emotionless voice made the book unbearable to listen to at times. I wish that I had purchased this book in book form and not audio. It's a struggle to stay with that flat voice reading this compelling story.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ira
    United States
    9/08/10
    Overall
    "Incredibly stimulating and thought-provoking"

    This is my first review after 7 years of membership listening to over 200 books. I am 64 and in good health, but this book raised profound questions for me about mortality, how to leave your family and friends when the time comes, and what to do when the time comes. I laughed and cried throughout, but now I have to figure out what I do when (if) something like this happens to me. I can't remember when a book affected me so profoundly. There are not enought stars in the rating -- it deserves 7.

    49 of 60 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    2/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Disappointing Look at Early Onset Alzheimer's"

    Flat and monotone narration by an inappropriately juvenile, flip, teenage sounding voice. Really wish the author had not done the narration. The story is technical and told from a cold observing distance. It is a perfect example of being talked at about the story rather than seeing it unfold and develop through plot and character driven detail. The frequent use of the word "she" (almost every sentence starts with she) nearly drove me over the edge. To me the book just did not ring true. I know great numbers of listeners loved the book, I am not one of them. A much better look at the experience of Alzheimer's Disease through fiction is the book Elizabeth is Missing.

    30 of 38 people found this review helpful
  • Jean
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
    20/08/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Poor narration!!!"

    The book itself was interesting enough although a little technical in places but the narration was so bad that I was tempted to give up on the book altogether. The author's narration was flat and stilted making the reading of her dialogue especially jarring. Her voice was also too young sounding to be believable as a 50 year old woman. Some authors should simply not narrate their own work.

    54 of 69 people found this review helpful
  • Bruce
    Dixon, CA, United States
    13/10/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Made for TV Movie .."

    I'm ambivalent about this book. The author did a pretty good job of capturing 'key' points about what folks experience with Early Onset Alzheimers - so if you prefer a narrative over dry descriptions of what faces Alzheimer sufferers and their families - this book is for you. Yet the book misses the true challenges that face the rest of us. I titled my review "Made for TV Movie" because that's what it appears to be. Well written but superficial.

    My complaint is that the author apparently had a 'check list' of points she wanted to cover, so one-by-one she checked them off. Most problems popped up long enough for the author to tell us about them - and then she moved on. The problem rarely occurred in a significant way again. For someone who supposedly suffered from significant language problems, Alice always managed to be fully articulate when necessary. Yeah, right.

    Despite Alice's dark plans at one point (another check mark), she didn't really seem to mind having Alzheimer's. Sure it got in the way - but she was not upset for long about anything. There was no fear, no distrust, no chronic anxiety ... it was just a frustrating experience that could be handled and planned for.

    I speak from some experience, since my own wife, Barbara has early onset Alzheimer's, although not the fast-acting genetic variety. Comparing Alice to Barbara: Barbara is three years older than Alice. She had symptoms that go back at least six years before diagnosis. Her first mention to her physician about the problems were passed over the first time she made them. It was only a year later that they took us seriously when I accompanied her to a visit, and nearly a year after that before she was diagnosed; ironically the same week as Alice.

    Alice has such a perfect life. Professionally successful. Great doctors. Lightening fast diagnosis. Apparently no financial issues. No crazy legal issues. Grown children. (Barbara's were in high school). Everything was manageable except for that pesky disease and her ambitious husband. Good grief, she even got to see and know her first grandchild.

    Like Alice, Barbara is loved and cared for. Unlike Alice, Barbara stays in her original home. Her husband is her full-time caregiver, while still working full time.

    So nice try, Lisa. I hope you get your TV movie deal.

    26 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Laura
    sierra vista, AZ, United States
    26/01/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very poor narrator, I returned it"
    What would have made Still Alice better?

    A different narrator, ie: Caroline Lee


    What could Lisa Genova have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Have it read by somebody else


    What didn’t you like about Lisa Genova’s performance?

    Her voice is very monotone and she sounds much younger than the character's age


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I have not finished reading it yet but it seems very interesting so far


    Any additional comments?

    Thanks Audible for allowing us to return a book!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Kathy C.
    18/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Authors-please stop narrating your own books!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Still Alice to be better than the print version?

    No-This might be the third book that I am having a problem finishing because the actual author is narrating. Please, unless you're Amy Poehler or an actual entertainer, please allow Audible to hire a trained reader.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This horrible disease runs in my family and I am always interested to read about different experiences.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been listening to books from Audible for over 12 years and have rarely been disappointed with the readers. This is actually the first time I have written a review because I am compelled to beg Audible to stop having the author narrate their own books. When you are used to exceptional readers, these narrators fall short and almost always ruin the experience!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Shannon
    Delta, British Columbia, Canada
    6/08/11
    Overall
    "Authors (or some of them) shouldn't narrate"

    The story was brilliant and the writing was excellent. I think I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it myself as the narrator/author really did not do it justice. Unfortunately she had minimal depth, inflection, emotion. At times it was quite mundane to listen to. Excellent story though.

    20 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Sally Smith
    San Diego, Ca
    6/07/09
    Overall
    "wrong voice for Alice"

    Although I usually appreciate when the author is involved in an audio book, I think Genova was an inappropriate reader. I was put off by how young her voice sounded.... like that of a 30 year old woman, which I suspect is what Genova is. Her voice didn't have the depth and maturity that was needed for the 50 year old Alice.
    For me it was a constant irritant, and I never fully engaged in the book because of this.

    47 of 63 people found this review helpful
  • Susan
    Afton, VA, United States
    10/09/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A compelling read!"

    I was a bit hesitant about reading this book - what a sad and scary topic. But the author did a fine job of portraying the impact of this hideous disease through her fictional characters and their various struggles with the resulting reality. Touched my heart and gave me a realistic view inside the world of Alzheimer's Disease. Offered great fodder for discuss in our book club.
    Thank you Lisa Genova!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Solesio
    France
    21/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent insight, weak narration"

    Oh how I wish writers would avoid narrating their own books. Lisa Genova is an excellent writer and offers real insight into Alzheimer's. I am witnessing my own mother's awful crawl towards absolute dementia, so at times it wasn't easy to listen to. Nevertheless I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sara
    Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
    30/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    A beautiful story, touching without being over sentimental. An interesting and thought provoking account that brings to life what it must be like to be affected by Alzheimer's.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel Ramage
    20/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing"

    Was extremely moving, realistic and grabbed me with every word. Would definitely recommend.
    Heartfelt and devastating at the same time

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Cinders
    20/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "an easy story to listen to"

    a glimpse into a world of people and families trying to cope. Allows more understanding of how someone with dementia struggles.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Colette Dunford
    Romsey, Hampshire United Kingdom
    2/03/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very moving and impactful...."

    As a woman of the same age, with many of the same fears about my memory/mental agility and competence, I found Alice's journey powerful and intimate. I was mesmerised by the story and totally immersed in her choices and feelings in relation to others and her family. Very touching story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs K L Byron
    26/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"

    Compelling listening. Thoroughly enjoyed this book which was sensitively read making all the characters come alive. The interpretation of the debilitating affects of Alzheimer's was plausible and understandable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Chelsea Powell
    19/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    Beautifully written book with so many interesting ideas and insightful views into Alzheimer's. Loved that the author read it but could have shown more expression and emotion in parts of the dialogue.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Lock
    11/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredibly moving"

    I did not want to stop listening. It was fantastically written. So true to life, very moving and real. Would strongly recommend

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    17/01/15
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    This book is beautiful and inspiring. I loved listening to every word and finished it in but a few days. It is addictive.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sonia
    Kent
    6/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Alice"

    Loved it , a great and enjoyable listen which is loving, deep and thought provoking.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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