- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery Paperback – 9 Oct 2014
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Neurosurgery has met its Boswell in Henry Marsh. Painfully honest about the mistakes that can 'wreck' a brain, exquisitely attuned to the tense and transient bond between doctor and patient, and hilariously impatient of hospital management, Marsh draws us deep into medicine's most difficult art and lifts our spirits. It's a superb achievement (Ian McEwan)
An enthralling read . . . a testimony of wonder . . . Marsh's style is admirably clear, concise and precise . . There is no forcing of a narrative arc or a happy ending, just the quotidian frustrations, sorrows, regrets and successes of neurosurgical life (Gavin Francis GUARDIAN)
An elegant series of meditations at the closing of a long career. Many of the stories are moving enough to raise tears, but at the heart this is a book about wisdom and experience (Nicholas Blincoe DAILY TELEGRAPH)
[Do No Harm] simply tells the stories, with great tenderness, insight and self-doubt . . . Why haven't more surgeons written books, especially of this prosaic beauty? Well, thank God for Henry Marsh . . . What a bloody, splendid book: commas optional (Euan Ferguson OBSERVER)
Incredibly absorbing . . . an astonishingly candid insight (Bill Bryson)
Riveting . . . extraordinarily intimate, compassionate and sometimes frightening . . . [Marsh] writes with uncommon power and frankness (NEW YORK TIMES)
Offers an astonishing glimpse into this stressful career. This is a wonderful book, passionate and frank. If Marsh is even a tenth as good a neurosurgeon as he is a writer, I'd let him open my skull any time (Leyla Sanai INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
Henry Marsh . . . sets a new standard for telling it like it is . . . His love for brain surgery and his patients shines through, but the specialty - shrouded in secrecy and mystique when he entered it - has now firmly had the rug pulled out from under it. We should thank Henry Marsh for that (Phil Hammond THE TIMES)
When a book opens like this: "I often have to cut into the brain and it is something I hate doing" - you can't let it go, you have to read on, don't you? . . . I trust completely the skills of those who practise [brain surgery], and tend to forget the human element, which is failures, misunderstandings, mistakes, luck and bad luck . . . Do No Harm by Henry Marsh reveals all of this, in the midst of life-threatening situations, and that's one reason to read it; true honesty in an unexpected place (Karl Ove Knausgard FINANCIAL TIMES)
As gripping and engrossing as the best medical drama, only with the added piquancy of being entirely true, this compelling account of what it's really like to be a brain surgeon will have you on the edge of your sunlounger (Sandra Parsons DAILY MAIL)
An astonishingly candid insight into the life and work of a modern neurosurgeon - its triumphs and disasters. A SUNDAY TIMES bestseller, and shortlisted for the GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD and the COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD, as well as longlisted for the SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION.See all Product description
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-6 of 1,631 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is a fascinating look into neurosurgery and life as a neurosurgeon, written by such a surgeon at the end of his career. As often seems to be the case with life's strange coincidences Marsh's son suffered from a brain tumour as a little boy, his wife developed epilepsy late in life, and he himself has had a few surgeries (although nothing related to the brain specifically) so his stories are not only from the surgeon's viewpoint, but also from that of the patient and the frightened family member.
We all on some level know that doctors are only human and all surgery comes with some level of risk, but it was refreshing to really hear that from the surgeon's experience. One of the biggest surprises for me was the observation that most surgeons can cope relatively well with patients who are beyond saving, the certainty that surgery won't help and the patient will definitely die being easy to come to terms with. It's the cases where you can't be sure whether operating will help or not that are the most difficult. It makes sense when you think about it, uncertainty is always the hardest thing to cope with, but I'd never thought about it that way before.
Also fascinating was learning all about different types of brain tumours and other afflictions. Having never known anyone closely with a brain tumour, it was an education to learn how many types there are and how they differ in terms of symptoms, surgery and other treatments.
Overall the memoir felt honest and it was definitely quite humble which is not the stereotypical depiction of a surgeon who we are often led to believe have something of a God-complex! As a surgeon who worked in the NHS and some private practice for several decades it was interesting to see how things had changed, both in surgery and in the wider world of secondary care. Unfortunately it did lead to quite a few chapters including a lamentation on lack of beds, but that's a sad truth of the NHS these days and so probably hard to avoid.
Definitely a great read for pretty much anyone, unless you are squeamish at detailed descriptions of surgery!
Henry Marsh gives us the view of people who realise that their power is God like, but show human failings in knowing that a person’s life or well-being depend on your accuracy to the millimetre.
He describes his emotions and feelings on finding his baby son was seriously ill as a means of understanding how it feels to have a job with such responsibility and risk.
The problems of the NHS appear insignificant compared with his experience of working in a Ukrainian hospital. Where patients’ and families’ fears are the same, but their prospects are dependent on ageing equipment and methods.
Most of the chapters are named after various benign and malignant tumours of the brain. This reminds us of the many things that can go wrong and equally what amazingly complex and delicate organs our brain are.
The reader is left in no doubt that if they needed brain surgery, they would be safe with Henry Marsh.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?