Book Review : Survival of the sickest — By Dr Sharon Moalem


Hey, Bud, Can You Do Me A Fava …..

‘This is a book about mysteries and miracles. About medicine and myth. About cold iron, red blood, and never-ending ice. It’s a book that wonders why, and a book that asks why not. It’s a book in love with order and a book that craves a little chaos.’

This is how Dr. Sharon Moalem, author of the book ‘Survival of the Sickest’, commences the introductory chapter. And then he treads in a pleasantly exciting territory of human evolution and through this territory, he takes the reader comfortably into the zone of detestable diseases and their mechanics; the unspeakable diseases, mere mentioning of which makes you feel depressed and direful. His linking of these diseases and their origin with the evolutionary history of mankind is engaging and refreshing.

As Dr. Moalem narrates how he transformed his high school hunch (which was rather triggered by a very sad incident of his life; his grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease) into a Ph.D. in Neurogenetics, (which he claims as a bittersweet victory), we are presented with a revelatory book, which if not make you fall in love with diseases, then certainly will change the way you think of them. Despite the usage of some heavy words such as Hemochromatosis, Dracunculus Medinensis and such others, the book is written lucidly with some oddly fitting yet intriguing facts (I didn’t know that personalities like Halle Berry, Mikhail Gorbachev and George Lucas all have diabetes!).

I would suggest booklovers to read this book or rather plunge into what the author calls ‘magical medical mystery tour’.

In the end, as the book says: READ IT. YOU’RE LIVING IT.

—– Reviewed By N Madani Sayed

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