A provocative and heartfelt new book written and narrated by the brain surgeon and bestselling author of Do No Harm.
Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered. Prompted by his retirement from his full-time job in the NHS, and through his continuing work in Nepal and Ukraine, Henry has been forced to reflect more deeply about what forty years spent handling the human brain has taught him.
Moving between encounters with patients in his London hospital, to those he treats in the more extreme circumstances of his work abroad, Henry faces up to the overwhelming burden of responsibility that can come with trying to reduce human suffering. Unearthing memories of his early days as a medical student, and the experiences that shaped him as a young surgeon, he explores the difficulties of a profession that deals in probabilities rather than certainties, and where the consequences of your decisions alter not just the life of a patient but also of those around them. The overpowering human urge to prolong life can often come at a great cost to those who are living it, and to those who love them.
In this searing, provocative and deeply personal memoir, the bestselling author of Do No Harm finds new purpose in his own life as he approaches the end of his professional career and a fresh understanding of what matters to us all in the end.
Reviews, News & Interviews:
Disarmingly frank storytelling. Marsh is, in spite of himself, hugely likeable...his reflections on death and dying equal those in Atul Gawande's excellent Being Mortal. Economist
Marsh is wise and insightful about the balance and confidence, truth and uncertainty faced by doctors...his insights about life, death and professional purpose are irresistible. Hannah Beckerman, Sunday Express
Superb...a eulogy to surgery and a study of living. I didn't want this book to end. Henry Marsh is part of a growing canon of superb modern medical writers...whose storytelling and prose are transportative...His timing is also impeccable...His sentences, too, feel like works of the finest craftsmanship, made with the love that goes into both his woodwork and surgery. Jessamy Calkin, Daily Telegraph