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Honest, open account of the terrors and triumphs of brain surgery - unputdownable!,
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This review is from: Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book on a whim, after seeing it mentioned by someone else. As I started reading it, I realised that it was by the same person as the documentary "The English Surgeon" (which is on netflix). Had I known that, I may not have bought the book, which would have been a real shame. Both the documentary and the book are gripping, thought-provoking, and emotional - I loved them both but I swear, I never want to need brain surgery!!
I hadn't realised to what extent brain surgery is still in its infancy, but Henry Marsh is open and unflinching in his description of hopeless cases, unlucky yet horrifyingly critical mistakes (mistakes might be the wrong word - sometimes he doesn't even know what went wrong), and almost miraculous recoveries. He is incisive analysing his own psychology and that of other neurosurgeons, and bitingly critical of aspects of NHS bureaucracy which he feels let both practitioners and patients down. Throughout the whole book, a real sense of his humanity and capacity for empathy arises, and the author is to be commended for his ability to be reflexive and self-aware without sentiment. I am more in awe of neurosurgeons than I was before, but to paraphrase one of his ex-patients - I hope I never need to see him!