Summary and book reviews of In Pursuit of Memory by Joseph Jebelli

In Pursuit of Memory

The Fight Against Alzheimer's

by Joseph Jebelli

In Pursuit of Memory by Joseph Jebelli X
In Pursuit of Memory by Joseph Jebelli
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Oct 2017, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

For readers of Atul Gawande, Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Henry Marsh, a riveting, gorgeously written biography of one of history's most fascinating and confounding diseases - Alzheimer's - from its discovery more than 100 years ago to today's race towards a cure.

Alzheimer's is the great global epidemic of our time, affecting millions worldwide - there are more than 5 million people diagnosed in the US alone. And as our population ages, scientists are working against the clock to find a cure.

Neuroscientist Joseph Jebelli is among them. His beloved grandfather had Alzheimer's and now he's written the book he needed then - a very human history of this frightening disease. But In Pursuit of Memory is also a thrilling scientific detective story that takes you behind the headlines. Jebelli's quest takes us from nineteenth-century Germany and post-war England, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the technological proving grounds of Japan; through America, India, China, Iceland, Sweden, and Colombia. Its heroes are scientists from around the world - many of whom he's worked with - and the brave patients and families who have changed the way that researchers think about the disease.

This compelling insider's account shows vividly why Jebelli feels so hopeful about a cure, but also why our best defense in the meantime is to understand the disease. In Pursuit of Memory is a clever, moving, eye-opening guide to the threat one in three of us faces now.

Preface: 'A Peculiar Disease'

Science is public, not private, knowledge.
Robert King Merton, Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-Century England, 1988

WHEN I WAS twelve years old, my grandfather began to act strangely. I had known Abbas Jebelli as a self-effacing man, whose strong sense of family frequently carried him from volatile Iran to our quiet street in Bristol, England. He used to arrive with suitcases filled with pistachio nuts and Persian sweets, smiling until the corners of his eyes wrinkled as he handed us our gifts.

It started with inexplicable walks. When he was visiting, he'd leave the dinner table and then we would find him, half an hour later, aimlessly wandering the neighbourhood. 'Please stop doing that,' my father would say. 'Bebakhshid,' ('forgive me') was all Abbas ever replied in his native Farsi. His bright smiles were gradually replaced by a fearful, withdrawn expression, as if he'd lost something...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Jebelli's writing style is comparable to that of Siddhartha Mukherjee, Ed Yong and Atul Gawande. His prose is perhaps not quite as lively and literary as theirs, but his book's importance outweighs any minor infelicities of style. What matters most is that he conveys scientific facts in a clear way the layman can understand; in addition, as in Mukherjee's The Gene, he balances history and research with a personal medical story almost any reader can relate to.   (Reviewed by Rebecca Foster).

Full Review Members Only (653 words).

Media Reviews

The Times (UK)
Joseph Jebelli's wonderfully clear, vividly readable and comprehensive survey of the search for a cure ... The world is closing in on Alzheimer's. There is nowhere left for it to hide.

The Observer (UK)
A moving, sober and forensic study of the past, present and future of Alzheimer's from the point of view of a neurologist who has lived with the disease, at home and in the lab, from a very young age. The story Jebelli tells illustrates the tantalizing mystery of Alzheimer's: it's both highly visible yet agonizingly elusive...a timely analysis [that] might give comfort.

The Sunday Times (UK)
An accessible, diligently researched and well-travelled overview of the disease that is more deadly than cancer. Jebelli poignantly weaves the current science with the tragic stories of affected families, not least his ow

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Jebelli's exploration of the vexed science of Alzheimer's is lucid and emotionally rich in its portrayal of those who investigate the illness and those who endure it.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Jebelli analyzes every facet of Alzheimer's with personal empathy and scientific rigor, a combination that makes for enthralling reading.

Author Blurb Matt Ridley
In Pursuit of Memory is a remarkable combination of fine writing, personal honesty, and deep scientific insight - about a devastating and baffling disease that is becoming all too common.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Did You Know? Eight Alzheimer's Facts

Joseph Jebelli's In Pursuit of Memory is full of fascinating facts about Alzheimer's disease. We've picked out a handful you might not know already.

  1. The specific mutation associated with Alzheimer's disease was discovered on chromosome 21 in 1991. Because Down's syndrome also involves chromosome 21 (specifically, an extra copy of it - which is why Down's syndrome is also known as trisomy 21), virtually all Down's patients will develop Alzheimer's.
  2. William Utermohlen was an American artist who lived in London and found out in 1995 that he had Alzheimer's. Over the next five years he painted a series of self-portraits that became increasingly blurry, reflecting his decline.
  3. Measures that may help prevent Alzheimer's include avoiding ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked In Pursuit of Memory, try these:

  • The Inward Empire jacket

    The Inward Empire

    by Christian Donlan

    Published 2018

    About this book

    In the vein of The Noonday Demon and When Breath Becomes Air, a father's gorgeous account of navigating his own neurological decline while watching in wonder as his young daughter's brain activity blossoms, a stunning examination of neurology, loss, and the meaning of life.

  • Mercies in Disguise jacket

    Mercies in Disguise

    by Gina Kolata

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More books by this author

    The phone rings. The doctor from California is on the line. "Are you ready Amanda?" The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most had begged her not to be tested--at least, not now. But she had to find out.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Unsheltered
    Unsheltered
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    Willa Knox's house is falling down. She recently inherited a Victorian residence in Vineland, ...
  • Book Jacket: Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
    by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
    Ya Ta, the main character in Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's novel, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Boneless Mercies
    The Boneless Mercies
    by April Genevieve Tucholke
    The Mercies are assassins, part of a long tradition of killers who serve to end the suffering of the...
  • Book Jacket: Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen
    Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen
    by Sarah Bird
    Sarah Bird's historical novel, Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, imagines, with a grand flourish, ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Code Girls
by Liza Mundy

The riveting story of the USA's courageous and accomplished WWII female American code breakers.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kennedy Debutante
    by Kerri Maher

    "An engrossing tale of family, faith and love in the life of one remarkable woman." - Booklist
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Gone So Long

Andre Dubus III's First Novel in a Decade

A masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G H E Rope A H Will H H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.