Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is neurosurgery denuded of it majesty. Mr. Marsh peels away the pomp from top to bottom and what is revealed is the simple nuts and bolts of fixing brains. Although it is surely quite complicated, his diffident style of describing the mechanics of his work make it highly accessible - limpid. You don't need to know a thing about medicine or neurosurgery to throughly enjoy and learn volumes from this book.
I sorely wish I could meet this man.
His writing is spry, comedic, and, at times, scorching - especially on the topic of the abominations of his country's national health care system. Strongly showcased throughout the book is his own fallibility and the enduring misery his failures have engrafted on his life. This was enormously touching and I don't think it was meant to be self-serving. When you dig into a brain, things can and sometimes do go horribly wrong. Mr. Marsh seems to have made a decision that these errors should not be swept under the carpet. Nor does he want to shroud or suppress the often brutally honest deliberations by doctors on whether or not to offer hope at all to many of their patients.
His honesty is bracing. His work in Ukraine - vital.
It bears repeating - I sorely wish that I could meet this man.
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