Top critical review
informative but slightly irritating
on 14 August 2011
The author is himself a surgeon, and is therefore able to bring authority and sometimes the experience of an eye-witness to his accounts of surgical operations carried out by his subject in the 18th and 19th centuries, and again by his own peers in the 20th and 21st. However - and this is a matter of personal taste - I found the interjections of personal experience, particularly where he recalls his emotional rather than his professional reactions to pain, dissection, truculent patients and so forth, impeded the narrative and were unnecessary. I would have preferred to know more about Astley Cooper and his life, and less about Dr Burch and his. Nonetheless, it was informative and enjoyable.