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One in Three


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Wishart's title refers to the number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer and his belief that we need to stop talking about the disease in hushed whispers as it becomes something "to live with rather than only die from." Wishart (Leaving Reality Behind), a British TV director and producer, juxtaposes an unflinching account of his father's diagnosis and treatment with a wider look at cancer research. The constant shuttling between past and present has the unfortunate effect of disrupting the emotional momentum of the Wishart family's struggle. Miniportraits of cancer research activists like Mary Lasker and Penny Brohn tell an important story, but never fully mesh with the scenes of the father's slow decline. Individual moments from the personal saga, as when Wishart's father reads a newspaper in a hospital bed because books have become too heavy for his weakened arms, have strong emotional resonance, but too often, when Wishart manages to hook readers into the drama, he veers off into another historical digression. Either narrative strand could have been an effective book in its own right; in putting them together, Wishart hasn't quite created an integrated whole. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"A different type of cancer book. It is calm, factual, beautifully written, intelligent, and moving. . . . This book brings understanding, and most of all it also brings some hope." -- Dr. Des Spence
"A remarkable meld of medical history, scientific fact, and the human experience of cancer. Enthralling." -- Clare Rayner
"A truly remarkable book . . . No other writer has dipped so easily between the personal world of a family coping with illness and the wider public context of the medical battle against that illness. . . . One in Three demystifies the illness and gives the battle against it a proper context. But its lasting achievement is the superb portrait it paints of Wishart's father, a fascinating, courageous and inquisitive man who seems to have passed on these qualities to his son." -- Dermot Bolger
"An amazing book--combining the personal story of one man's cancer journey seen through the eyes of his son with the history of cancer from the Ebers Papyrus of 1600 BC to the molecular therapies of the twenty-first century. It's a mine of extremely well-researched information, written with great clarity and style. It explains the background to treatments--surgery, radiotherapy, and drugs whilst dealing with society's ultimate goal of cancer prevention. Simply the best in its class today. Essential reading for anyone who has cancer or loves someone with the disease." -- Karol Sikora
"An imaginative fusion of anecdotal detail, medical science, and poignant, elegiac narrative marks every chapter of this unusual book. . . . [It] inhabits a remarkable genre of its own." -- John Cornwell
"By interweaving a moving, but unsentimental, account of his father's last illness with a lucid history of cancer and the efforts of medical science to find a cure for it, Wishart has produced a book that is informative, balanced, accessible, and absolutely riveting." -- David Lodge
"Perhaps the most readable and comprehensive account out there of our battle with the big C." -- Michael Bond
"Wishart succeeds brilliantly in constructing a narrative that is a tribute both to his father and to the scientists who have partly unpacked the mystery of cancer." -- Simon Singh

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