We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
When the Air Hits Your Brain Audiobook

When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

Regular Price:$26.59
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick, Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick's patients and unsparing-yet-fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain - the culmination of decades spent struggling to learn an unforgiving craft - illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.

©2008 Frank T. Vertosick, Jr., MD (P)2016 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A riveting report that shatters the mystique of the brain surgeon as a wizard of technical prowess." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1589 )
5 star
 (1128)
4 star
 (342)
3 star
 (97)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.6 (1471 )
5 star
 (1056)
4 star
 (311)
3 star
 (81)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (5)
Story
4.6 (1474 )
5 star
 (1047)
4 star
 (324)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Largactil 02-03-17
    Largactil 02-03-17 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    49
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sensitive and Enlightening"

    I appreciate the respectful and sensitive way the author, a neurosurgeon, talks about the patients who were a big part of his training and practice. I appreciate the enlightening level of detail about the procedures and customs that create doctors, good patient outcomes, and poor patient outcomes. I highly recommend this book.

    32 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Glosser 12-19-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    31
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!"

    Im an RN and learned so much from this but enjoyed most the victories achieved! I never wanted to put it down!

    23 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew MASPETH, NY, United States 04-15-17
    Andrew MASPETH, NY, United States 04-15-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    36
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Finished in 1 and 1/2 days"

    One of the best medical books written, imho. Empathetic, yet aware of irreconcilable errors. Funny and honest. I'm not sure I would ever want to go to him or someone trained by him in an ethically complex situation, but if my treatment only required skill and someone I could laugh with and relate to before I could be healed, I would go to him without hesitation.

    37 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aksana 03-03-17
    Aksana 03-03-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How a neurosurgeon deals with issues of the Brain and Heart"

    Whether good timing or destiny brought Dr. Vertosick into the field of neurosurgery, this book promises an explanation of the birth and evolution of a doctor who ends up in the right place. If doctors have a "calling" to their profession, it is most certainly demonstrated in this story.

    Neurosurgeons may appear to be blunt, unapologetic superheroes (as they are better with matters of the brain, rather than the heart), but these professionals rise to the top of their fields , sparing no emotions, especially their own, to give people everything. Putting excessive emotions in the back seat is a part of caring for the patient who is a less than a millimeter away from death during an operation. Pushing the boundaries of what it is means to be alive, dead and human , they play with the most valuable organ in the human body hoping to preserve and salvage what it means to be human.

    This book lifts away the blanket of mysticism that covers these heroic servants to show us that even superman fails, cries, shuts down, and breaks. I enjoyed every part of peeking over the surgeon's shoulder and into his heart.

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon Wilson Salt Lake City, UT USA 09-18-16
    Gordon Wilson Salt Lake City, UT USA 09-18-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    54
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Riveting!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. The author does a great job of not just describing the profession, but also providing perspective and insight to the science of living as well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Clearly, the individual cases are fascinating. But, I really enjoyed the author's profound insights on life and death, generally.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The "alzheimer's patient" with the massive brain tumor.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. But, it did cause me to think. And, I fear death less now.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it. You'll not regret it.

    38 of 41 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Atis 11-26-16
    Atis 11-26-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just a great book :)"

    Loved it, serious but with nice humor. Narrator is really good. The best I heard so far.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Stagner 09-20-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    45
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome story about a budding neurosurgeon"

    A very compelling account of the arduous life of a neurosurgical resident in training, which abounds with many poignant and touching scenes, with enough technical details that satisfies the curiosity of what they do in the OR and in the hospital.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas 11-22-16
    Douglas 11-22-16 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2843
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    525
    413
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    426
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Joining the Ranks..."

    of Oliver Sacks and Richard Selzer, Vertosick renders a compelling account not only of neurology and its procedures, but also of what it is like to be a doctor in the most complicated and challenging branch of medicine. A must read.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Exploring Costa Rica 03-16-17
    Exploring Costa Rica 03-16-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    18
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "About medical ethics"

    This book can be used to discuss medical ethics, although the chapters are about neurosurgery.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    erin 03-22-17
    erin 03-22-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book!"
    Any additional comments?

    If you don't like this book... Get your brain checked, there's something wrong with you.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Santiago
    Madrid, Spain
    11/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book"

    A collection of neurosurgery anecdotes during the author's residency programme. Well written, presents important ethical and professional challenges.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.