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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery | [Henry Marsh]

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

What is it really like to be a brain surgeon, to hold someone's life in your hands, to drill down into the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason? In this brutally honest account, one of the country's top neurosurgeons reveals what it is to play god in life-and-death situations. Henry Marsh gives us a rare insight into the intense drama of the operating theatre and the exquisite complexity of the human brain.
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Publisher's Summary

What is it really like to be a brain surgeon, to hold someone's life in your hands, to drill down into the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason?

In this brutally honest account, one of the country's top neurosurgeons reveals what it is to play god in life-and-death situations. Henry Marsh gives us a rare insight into the intense drama of the operating theatre and the exquisite complexity of the human brain.

©2014 Henry Marsh (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (3 )
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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • David
    7/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Brain surgeon in the 21st century nhs"
    Where does Do No Harm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have enjoyed this book the most of any I have listened to in the past year.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The insights into the stresses and strains of being a surgeon.
    The authors honesty.
    The brilliant description of our present nhs.


    Have you listened to any of Jim Barclay’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This is the first one I have heard and it was excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this audio book with huge pleasure. It details the stories of a series of patients with neurosurgical problems who have been treated by Mr Marsh. With great humility and compassion he details the stories of those patients who have done well and those who have not done so well. He interweaves this with the story of his own life as a neurosurgeon. I am an abdominal surgeon myself and have never read an account which so accurately catches the highs and lows of surgical life; the dread of complications and the continuing sense of guilt and failure when patients do badly. The author also brilliantly captures the way medicine is practiced in NHS hospitals with poor computer systems, insensitive hospital management and lack of continuity of care from inexperienced juniors. This book might be rather disturbing reading for patients just about to undergo surgery in the NHS, but if you want to know what it is like to be a neurosurgeon, you couldn't do better and some of the NHS incidents had me roaring with laughter

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • Reikisue
    UK
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rare insight into the real nhs and its surgeons"
    What made the experience of listening to Do No Harm the most enjoyable?

    As a retired nurse who trained in the 1970s I could relate to the experiences Henry Marsh writes about. He is brutally honest and I recognised many of the situations he describes. The victories and the disasters, they are all here.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The honesty and the nostalgia generated by Henry Marsh's account of his career within the NHS. The touching, moving accounts of the many different patients stories.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The voice suited the " surgeon " status, as you might imagine Henry a Marsh to speak but listening, on headphones in particular, was annoying due to the frequent noisy intakes of breath between sentences.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The truth behind the nhs and the people who look after us.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. Perhaps my nursing background helped as there is a lot of medical jargon but on the whole Henry Marsh does try to keep it simple without losing his professional expertise coming across loud and clear. Yet, he isn't afraid to admit his mistakes and I think that is the main thing I will remember about this book.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Bookie
    UK
    12/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Astonishing insight"
    Where does Do No Harm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    An outstanding, warts and all, account. Henry Marsh's narrative of his life as a neuro surgeon is compelling in every way. Told with honesty and integrity, it's one of the most amazing biographies I've ever read or listened to.


    What other book might you compare Do No Harm to, and why?

    It's in a league of its own


    What about Jim Barclay’s performance did you like?

    His reading sounds the way I imagine Henry Marsh would recount events. Sometimes short tempered or irritated, particularly over irrelevant bureaucracy, often compassionate, always informed nd above all, human.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, some chapters are quite harrowing, dealing with difficult medical conditions and sometimes loss. But always compelling listening.


    Any additional comments?

    The chapter dealing with his mothers final days was particularly moving. Although presented from an almost clinical perspective, it was filled with observation and love.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • l
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it is more a memoir than a scientific book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I am neutral.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Henry Marsh? Why or why not?

    Neutral.


    What aspect of Jim Barclay’s performance might you have changed?

    Too dramatic. it is a non-fiction to be honest


    Was Do No Harm worth the listening time?

    For me. no. i was looking for a more technical book. but it could very well be interesting to other people. it is just my personal taste.


    Any additional comments?

    This book should not be under medicine.
    audible should again really sort out the category. find a phD librarian!
    this is not the first time.
    so hard to find books I want from your category. full of unrelated books

    6 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs D Glover
    6/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The human side of medicine"

    What a disarming, honest, warts and all account of both the practicalities and emotional minefield of being a brain surgeon. I have the greatest respect for Henry Marsh who tells us about his career in a series of short stories that dip randomly into his experiences and, yet in their totality, form an incredibly cohesive picture of both the man and his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roystoned
    6/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enthralled"

    A witty and somber insight into the working life of a Neurosurgeon. Mr Marsh has a lifetime of stories and I hope he brings out another book of anecdotes from his professional life. Books of this ilk are few and far between the fatuous fluff of the "celebrity" crap that is churned out.
    Thank you for educating me regarding your world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ros Foster
    6/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    Great book for anyone interested in brain surgery but more importantly the pressure of the operating theatre and the personal impact on surgeons. The author was candid about his dark times and his failures as well as his successes. Would recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • david
    6/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating but badly edited. "

    Disjointed and badly edited, this book is fascinating but long-winded and the narrator appears to think he is reading a thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Russell Harbison
    6/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Did me no harm!"

    Excellent insight to being a brain surgeon. Now glad I didn't follow that career path but so glad that Henry did. Sad, amusing, dramatic and joyful it was a very human book without pretence or side. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vincent Jones
    6/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read it"

    So much humanity, humour, sadness and refreshing honesty from a unique individual who restores faith in mankind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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