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Interesting, despite awful tabloid journalistic style of author Richard Hollingham
on 13 April 2014
Having had heart surgery, I was interested in reading up about the history of surgery and this book gives quite a good overview for the layman. However, be prepared for the most awful writing style, akin to many tabloid newspapers and reality TV producers. Each surgical procedure is introduced by a preamble that is intended to exemplify a particular milestone in history. But when the actual course of the operation commences, the author, Richard Hollingham, switches to present tense! Like I just did! You don't notice at first, but after several chapters, you realise that he has a habit and he's going to stick to it come what may. I should think all his writing is quickly identifiable as his. (Note that Michael Mosley's contribution is merely the Foreword.)
There are plenty of fascinating facts to discover. I was astonished to find that the first successful operation on a heart was performed in Germany in 1896. The terrible pain suffered by victims of surgery before the advent of ether and chloroform is unimaginable today, when even a toothache can make us wish we were dead. All surgical patients today have to thank their lucky stars for the great strides that have been made in the past 150 years.