The Red Devil: To Hell with Cancer and Back

Reviewer: James Metz, MD
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: February 1, 2002

Red Devil front cover Author: Katherine Russell Rich
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0-609-60321-3

OncoLink Rating:

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The Red Devil is the story of a unique woman's journey through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It is much different from the 'typical' narratives written by other cancer survivors. It is witty, humorous, hip, and edgy. Most of all, it is refreshingly honest throughout. No other narrative about cancer and life will captivate the reader's interest like this one.

Katherine Russell Rich is a magazine editor from New York City who was on the fast track to success in her professional career. She was most recently a magazine editor for the magazine Allure. Her writings have also appeared in Double Take, People, and the New York Times. Her first writing about cancer was a freelance piece about being bald after her chemotherapy treatments. This received a tremendous response and led to her writing this book.

At the age of 32 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, she developed metastatic disease a few years later and was treated with a bone marrow transplant. She has also experienced treatment with hormonal therapy and radiation therapy. Although her basic experiences are similar to many women with breast cancer, her writing style and insight make this one of the most unique books ever written by a cancer survivor. The book is filled with wit, humor, and more importantly, soul. It is the type of book that the reader will want to read cover to cover in one sitting. It is impossible to put down once you start.

The Red Devil is one of the best narratives written by a cancer survivor. Her writing style makes the reader feel as though they are having a personal conversation with the author. This story of her 10-year journey through "cancerland", as she calls it, may very well change your perspective on both cancer and life. The Red Devil is highly recommended by OncoLink.


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