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241 of 243 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding reflection on medicine, neuroscience and the human experience
I graduated from St. George’s Hospital Medical School in 1991 and well remember doing a neurosurgical attachment at Atkinson Morley’s Hospital in Wimbledon, where Mr. Marsh was a consultant before the hospital moved to the St. George’s site. I found the experience horrifying and the visions of people lying in rows of beds on the old Nightingale wards,...
Published 13 months ago by David W. Berger

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted!
This book is an interesting read in lots of ways, bearing in mind that it is about things that can go wrong with the brain - but therein also lies the problem. Chapter headings say it all - Pineacytoma, Aneurism, Tic Doloreux, etc. If you are in any way a hypochondriac, don't read it - or if you are prone to headaches, or are a person who can't cope with too much...
Published 1 month ago by A. M. Harvey Williams


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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift, 17 April 2015
By 
Shell (West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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I bought this book for my partner and read it before she got a chance to (because she's too slow and it looked really good!). And there we are, it turned out to be as good as it looked. I love the structure of the book, with each chapter named after the condition that the author is treating in the recollection about to be told. I'm not a medic (I have a BA) but the book is very readable and is a lovely, subtle mix of medical drama and emotional and philosophical wonderings. It is a very human book - sad at times and a relief at others. It brings into stark recognition the fact that life-threatening illnesses can be very sudden and are nearly always so unexpected.

This book is by no means easy reading, but a page-turner nevertheless.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It gives a rather worrying insight into the state of the NHS but it was good to read Mr Marsh's refusal to lie down under ..., 5 July 2014
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Henry Marsh treated our son for a brain tumour and I ordered the book out of interest and to support his work. It gives a rather worrying insight into the state of the NHS but it was good to read Mr Marsh's refusal to lie down under those difficulties. Mr Marsh comes over as a man completely dedicated to his profession, with a strong sense of the successes and failings which attend the neuro-surgeons of today. The book is often clinical but does not hide the human aspect of those involved with the terrors of treatment in these areas. Well done Mr Marsh. We owe our son's life to you and your book is testament to your skill and care.
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4.0 out of 5 stars excellent read, 28 Feb. 2015
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I am a Consultant working in the NHS and found as I read this book vague connections with my past as medical student In London where characters such as Mr Marsh were revered and their exploits often discussed in the student bar or doctors mess. His descriptions of encounters with patients and relatives should strike a chord with all practicing senior doctors. His story is truly one of extreme highs and lows and we all share the agonies of making the wrong decision at some point in our careers. How he, dare I say we get up after the huge lows, acknowledge our failures, learn from our mistakes and get back to treating patients is the hardest lesson to learn and cannot be taught in the lecture theatre.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely fantastic !, 23 Mar. 2014
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What a book ! One of the best I've ever read. Like everyone, I tend to admire surgeons for their capacities. Henry Marsh is right when he says that we, simple patients, see them as Gods and beacons of hope. However, this book tells you the human part of the God. His doubts, his fears, his joys and his pains. Reading this book, I smiled, I cried, I cringed my teeth but it made feel good. I don't know Mr Marsh and I sincerely hope I won't have to arrange a meeting with him but I'm in awe of the man.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read - and a privilege to spend time in the company of a great and humane man, 10 April 2014
By 
David "David" (Malvern, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery (Hardcover)
There are so many aspects that I loved about this book. I found it provided a rare insight into the human side of being a surgeon. There cant be many jobs that so regularly bring you into contact with life and death decisions. Henry Marsh's honesty is incredible - there aren't many surgeons who would commit to paper their mistakes as well as their triumphs. His take on things is so perceptive - for instance the way we see doctors as superheroes if all goes well and villains if not. I'm normally a bit squeamish but I found his descriptions of operations absolutely fascinating. I was amazed at the absolutely tiny tolerances and spaces that he is operating in. I can't recommend this book enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 18 Jan. 2015
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J. McDonnell "Make time to read" (Glos, England) - See all my reviews
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I take my hat off to Henry Marsh, this book is an incredibly interesting read. The thing that really stood out for me is the factual, honest way it is written. He shows us the highs and lows of his work and difficulties he faces on a daily basis, not just with the actual operations and treatment of patients, but also with how the NHS works / doesn't work, resulting in delays and cancellations due to administrative reasons and lack of beds. If ever you wanted to see what it is like to be a neurosurgeon through the eyes of a neurosurgeon then this is it, it gives you the whole picture warts and all and not just the 'glamour' (<sorry, couldn't think of a better word there). Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book, 19 Jan. 2015
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Absolutely excellent book and everyone should read it. The highs and lows of being a neurosurgeon, told by the man himself. He writes as he feels, he doesn't write for sympathy and he tells it as it is- even when he knows he is being grumpy or unfair.

Coping with surgery whilst also trying to cope with NHS reform and HR rules that sometimes appear to hinder rather than support the role of the clinician.
It is very well written , you can feel the raw emotion and anger he sometimes has with the system, and the true compassion he has when faced with certain patients and situations.

I hope Henry Marsh writes another book as I will be pre ordering it as soon as he does.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, an honest, 28 Dec. 2014
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A great read, an honest, no nonsense Doctor who shoots from the hip and tells it how it is. He, like many of us who work within the NHS have watched in dismay as political bollocks gets in the way of patient care.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read that provides an insight and overview of the ..., 15 Nov. 2014
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An excellent read that provides an insight and overview of the life of a neurosurgeon.The highs, lows, triumphs and tragedies are all included, with moving accounts of the difficulties faced by the patients, families and those performing the procedures. The book is well written skillfully combining the science and technology with humanity and emotion. The author appears to provide an honest appraisal through considered reflection including self criticism Albeit one person's perspective on the NHS many healthcare professionals and indeed patients, will easily identify and probably despair at the bureaucracy and inept management in the examples cited that so characterize public services.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sad, human, 8 Jan. 2015
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Honest, wise, sad, human, frustrating (NHS). Quite remarkable.
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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh (Hardcover - 13 Mar. 2014)
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