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Pain: the Gift Nobody Wants Hardcover – Oct 1993

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (Oct. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060170204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060170202
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,188,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


In a work that is part biography and part medical history, the author recalls how his work treating leprosy in India forces him to confront his own notion pain.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm so glad that a copy of this book is still available. It is the sequel to an earlier one in a series about the life of Dr Paul Brand. An English medical missionary/world reknowned hand surgeon, specialising in pioneering treatment of leprosy in India in the 1940s. His life story is encouraging and honourable and his research in this topic has formed the basis for modern day treatments which are used today.
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By ronit broder on 8 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
A 'must read' for anyone. Excellent
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 16 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
High praise for a refreshing insight. 4 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Audio Cassette
As a clinician who works with chronic pain, I found Brand's book to be truly inspiring. People who get negatively obsessed with (non malignant) physical discomfort face the challenge of reconfiguring their perceptions about pain. Dr. Brand not only lays the groundwork for changing the context and meaning of pain - He does a good job of exploring the modern day paradox that more (ie overindulgent, materialistic, obsessive pursuit of creature comforts) is often less (in terms of true happiness). A great read!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Biographical reflections on the two edged nature of pain 4 Feb. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
You don't have to be a physician, philosopher, or theologian to enjoy reading Paul Brand and Philip Yancey's thoughtful comments about pain, the gift nobody wants. Most of us view pain as our nemesis, something to be avoided or at least minimized, and yet our lives depend upon its presence in ways we seldom stop to think about. We need to feel pain, for example, when we handle something too hot, lest we burn ourselves, we need muscular pain to let us know if we are building our bodies up or tearing them down, and we need the painful discomfort of dryness to cause us to blink our eyes and keep them moist. Whether you are in perfect health or suffering physically, this book is quite useful in helping us appreciate - and cope with - something that is so essential, yet noxious. This book draws richly from the well of common daily life, with many of the stories and examples coming from Dr. Brand's experiences as an English missionary surgeon in India. The writing style is fluent so that reading it is both easy and enjoyable. The approach is ecumenical, so people of any philosophical or religious persuasion should not feel uncomfortable with the author's background. I recommend this book highly.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Interesting and insightful reading 7 May 1999
By Laura Murphy ( - Published on
Format: Audio Cassette
The book gives a very insightful look into why we have pain and why it's important for maintaining good health. I found it easy to read (I almost couldn't put it down!) and very informative. I think it's a must-read for anyone in the medical profession or anyone who suffers reccurent pain of any kind.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Republished under the title "The Gift of Pain" 3 July 2009
By Alison - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you are having a hard time finding this particular book, please note that the republished version is also available.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating, Informative, Perspective-changing 13 Jan. 2009
By Dallas Gamer Family - Published on
Although it is technically an autobiography, in most places this book reads as easily as a novel, while being as informative as most science textbooks.

The barebones story goes like this: Dr. Paul Brand was raised in rural India by medical missionary parents. He went to university in England and became a doctor, specializing in how nerves work. He learned what causes us to feel pain (or not feel it, in some cases). His brilliance saved lives when he went back to India and discovered the cause of the disease leprosy. Eventually he moved to America and made discoveries that now protect millions of people with diabetes from limb loss.

However, just telling you that this story is about someone who has saved thousands, perhaps millions of limbs (if not lives!) doesn't begin to scratch the surface of how awesome Dr. Brand is. His life has been fascinating, and the book is full of stories of his encounters with people who have partially or completely lost the sensation of pain.

The technical information does not overwhelm the drive of the story; it's explained simply enough that most lay people can follow and therefore learn really HOW pain works, and understand why pain truly is a gift.
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