Henry Marsh - Do No Harm - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9780297869887
    • Publication date:13 Mar 2014

Do No Harm

Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery

By Henry Marsh

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

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.

'A SUPERB ACHIEVEMENT' IAN MCEWAN

* * * * *

What is it like to be a brain surgeon?

How does it feel to hold someone's life in your hands, to cut through the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason?

How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong?

DO NO HARM offers an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain, in all its exquisite complexity. With astonishing candour and compassion, Henry Marsh reveals the exhilarating drama of surgery, the chaos and confusion of a busy modern hospital, and above all the need for hope when faced with life's most agonising decisions.

* * * * *

Winner:
PEN Ackerley Prize
South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature

Shortlisted:
Costa Biography Award
Duff Cooper Prize
Wellcome Book Prize
Guardian First Book Award
Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize

Longlisted:
Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

Biographical Notes

Henry Marsh read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St George's Hospital in London in 1987, where he still works full time. He has been the subject of two major documentary films, YOUR LIFE IN THEIR HANDS, which won the ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY GOLD MEDAL, and THE ENGLISH SURGEON, featuring his work in the Ukraine, which won an EMMY. He was made a CBE in 2010. He is married to the anthropologist and writer Kate Fox. Visit his website at http://www.theenglishsurgeon.com/

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781780225920
  • Publication date: 09 Oct 2014
  • Page count: 304
  • Imprint: W&N
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
A mesmerising, at times painful journey through a neurosurgeon's extraordinary career. As delicate as he can be brutal, Marsh's account of himself is always honest and moving. Human frailty at its strongest — Jessie Burton, author of THE MINIATURIST
A strikingly honest and humane account of what it means to hold the power of life and death in your hands . . . elegant, edifying and necessary — Erica Wagner, NEW STATESMAN 'Books of the Year'
Marsh has written a book about a love affair, and one cannot help feeling similarly smitten . . . 'Elegant, delicate, dangerous and full of profound meaning'. All four of those epithets might describe this book — Ed Caesar, THE SUNDAY TIMES
A fascinating look inside the head of a man whose job it is to fiddle around in ours. He acknowledges that surgeons are arrogant, that they play God, but that they are also afflicted by despair, sorrow and doubt. He is scathing on NHS bureaucracy and his picture of doctors doing their best but basically flailing in the dark made me respect the profession more — Nick Curtis, EVENING STANDARD
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Henry Marsh
Authors:
Henry Marsh

THE SUNDAY TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLERHenry 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 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 overwhelming urge to prolong life can come at a tragic cost for both patients and for 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.

W&N

Admissions

Henry Marsh
Authors:
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THE SUNDAY TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLERHenry 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 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 overwhelming urge to prolong life can come at a tragic cost for both patients and for 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.

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