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4.8 out of 5 stars34
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 20 April 2013
There aren't many people better qualified to write about the extremes of human survival than Kevin Fong. His engaging and enthusiastic personality comes across as he brings to life human stories from the edge on every page.

As a final year medical student I found the medical aspects particularly interesting and of course relevant to starting work as a doctor in a few months' time. But there's plenty for everyone here - the science is made accessible throughout the book and regardless of your background or area of interest the whole book is captivating. He covers survival in the cold, diving, trauma and of course space exploration with much more besides. I can't recommend it highly enough to anyone with an interest in medicine, space, human exploration or even just science in general. You'll love it.
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on 7 April 2013
This book is fantastic. I approached it with some trepidation expecting a barrage of science and medical terms that I would find impossible understand and while it is true that there is some of that it is the authors gift that he is able to explain these terms in way that a lay person can understand and grasp with relative ease. He tells the story of the onward March of medical science against its greatest foe,death, and how medical pioneers refuse to give in without a fight against the inevitable.
It is clear the author has lived a quite extraordinary life achieving much in what is his pursuit for the knowledge of what it is that makes the human body so fragile and yet so resilient in the face of the perils of existence, and he considers what is needed to prolong it when the chances of survival seem slim. It also makes you realize just how lucky you are to make it to old age considering just how much there is out there to get you.
This is a well written , informative book that no one will be disappointed to read and I thoroughly recommend it. You won't be disappointed.
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on 28 March 2013
Dr Kevin Fong tackles some complex medical concepts, in an interesting and engaging way. It is a must read for anyone with an interest in science or medicine. As a medical student this book is highly recommended!
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on 25 May 2013
"Extremes" by Dr Kevin Fong may be non-fiction, but the characters and stories contained within it are so extraordinary it can be hard to accept they are true. But true they are. This book encompasses Kevin Fong's twin loves of space exploration and the frontiers of medicine.

Fong's first book is intelligent and informative, and is illustrated by stories of human endeavour that make it entirely grounded and personal. His descriptions are vivid, the stories are gripping, and the science is simply explained.

"Extremes" explores the physiological limits of the body, and how advances in medicine have pushed these limits further and further, paving the way for exploration in extreme environments and saving lives in ways that would have been impossible only a few short decades ago
You don't have to have a degree in astrophysics or medicine to enjoy this book, just an interest in humanity and the human body. In fact it is essential reading for anyone in possession of a human body. That would be me then. And probably you.
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on 7 April 2013
As an aspiring medic I read and watch anything 'doctor' related! Having watched Dr Fong's 'Extremes' documentary, I had high hopes and this book did not disappoint! The stories are educational and gripping, and the science behind the medicine is explained very well - easy to understand but not 'dumbed down'. I've learnt so much! I thoroughly recommend it for anyone with an interest in medicine or science.
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on 9 July 2013
Having a similar childhood dream of flying in space with Dr Fong, reading the book is much like discovering the career I did not choose but wish I had. Like Dr Fong I grew up in a Cantonese family emigrated to the west. Unlike Dr Fong I didn't possess the capacity to study science of living after learning the science of the dead. After reading the book I really wish I had fought for the chance to study it.

Dr Fong's experience in presenting medical knowledge in understandable and personable fashion makes the book very interesting and inspiring. The book brilliantly relates medical science with real life cases and product is an easy to read medical book for the public with thrilling stories to make for exciting reading. After reading the book I crave for similar reading to expand my horizon.
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on 17 April 2013
We're quite privileged at the moment to have a whole heap of excellent popular science books for our reading pleasure. Extremes by Kevin Fong is easily one of the best I've read recently. He has a wonderfully relaxed way of writing that makes you feel as if an old friend is regaling you with interesting stories, and it keeps you hooked throughout the entire book. It's particularly nice to get insight into the kinds of things that medical doctors have to go through as part of their training, and I think Fong's personal experiences add a hugely rich dimension to the book. Also, if you ever get the chance to watch him give a talk, do so - he's one of the most engaging and witty speakers I've seen in a long time. In short, this is a fantastic book that you'll find an utter joy to read. Well worth getting.
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on 8 May 2013
As a student nurse with an interest in trauma, and having watched Kevin Fong's TV shows Extreme A&E and How To Avoid Mistakes in Surgery, I thought I might like this book...So glad I bought it, I have found it incredibly interesting and complicated things are well explained.

Fantastic book!
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on 17 May 2013
From the very off-set I gripped, reading tales of incredible human survival. From zero-gravity to open heart-surgery, Dr Kevin Fong doesn't give the reader much chance to come up for air; sometimes literally!

Fong explores the limits of human physiology and how these limits have been extended through pioneering-surgeons and the use of technology. Informative, without the boredom of a textbook; fascinating, full of unbelievable stories and personal experiences and the enjoyment of Fong's passion, which is very evident through-out.

Easily one of the most enjoyable books I have read to date. Highly-recommend!
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on 24 March 2013
If there were such a thing as a book that behaved like the Tardis......this would be it! Packed within this deceptively light weighted book is an almost unending collection of anecdotal tales, experiences and inspiring accounts from our distant and more recent past. Kevin Fong is undoubtedly fast becoming the David Attenborough of the medical world! A truly gifted author, he is able to weave his in depth knowledge of historical events in between the threads of his own experiences as a medic, and former astrophysics and engineering graduate. In so doing he has created a rich tapestry that is the book appropriately entitled 'Extremes'. The narrative content is unquestionably appealing to those among us who work within the health services, but perhaps the true gift hidden within is the undeniable attraction it holds for those of us who have a general enquiring mind. I would highly recommend this text to anyone who enjoys the experience of not being able to put down a good book and will guarantee that it would also provide a fitting accompaniment to many of Dr Fong's TV documentaries that have been well received by the general public.
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