• Under the Knife

  • A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations
  • By: Arnold van de Laar
  • Narrated by: Rich Keeble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The history of surgery in 28 famous operations - from Louis XIV to JFK, and from Einstein to Houdini.

In Under the Knife, surgeon Arnold Van de Laar uses his own experience and expertise to tell the witty history of the past, present and future of surgery. From the story of the desperate man from 17th-century Amsterdam who grimly cut a stone out of his own bladder to Bob Marley's deadly toe infection, Under the Knife offers all kinds of fascinating and unforgettable insights into medicine and history via the operating theatre.

What happens during an operation? How does the human body respond to being attacked by a knife, a bacterium, a cancer cell or a bullet? And, as medical advances continuously push the boundaries of what medicine can cure, what are the limits of surgery?

From the dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today's sterile, high-tech operating theatres, Under the Knife is both a rich cultural history and a modern anatomy class for us all.

©2018 Arnold van de Laar (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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What listeners say about Under the Knife

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Großartige Darstellung der gesamten Chirurgie

Dieses Buch ist besonders gut und einfach in seiner Form zu verstehen. Eine gut gelungene Auswahl an Beispielen, die die Chirurgie in ihrem Umfang klar und einfach, für jeden zu verstehen, darlegt.

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  • Lynette Crisp
  • 04-12-18

Amazing stories

I was enthralled and amazed by the stories. this could have been a bore but was delivered in such a way to keep the listener wanting to know more. Great book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Molly bby
  • 04-27-20

enjoyable, funny, informative.

an easy listen with lots of explanations and definitions to make the experience enjoyable for everyone with no details spared from some very amusing examples of surgery through the ages!

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  • Jonathan Craig
  • 12-26-18

Excellent reading, fascinating subject

Entertaining and informative, and a fascinating tale of humankind's discovery of ways to cut into the body to cure all kinds of ailments. My attention never wandered. Highly recommended - but you must not be afraid of gore, body parts and bodily functions!

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  • Mark
  • 08-11-18

A perfect book on surgical history and principles

Enthralling from start to finish. The first audiobook I could listen to from go to wo without banality. By the end of this book you will understand surgical history and terminology and principles in an enjoyably way with famous historical examples which adds joy including Houdini and Jfk and Louis 14th and Abraham and pope John Paul and a plethora of others. This book deserves 20 stars since the content keeps you interested. The most difficult part of an audiobook is remaining interested in the subject and this book of history plus famous individuals melded with surgery is second to none. This will not disappoint

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  • Chris
  • 01-23-18

An eyeopener to surgical progress

A riveting meander through surgical history with the most lucid and entertaining tales of the horrors and immense progress that has been made. It makes you so glad to be living nowadays. Excellent narration.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-22

Fascinating!

A fantastic introduction to the world of surgery. The author introduces really interesting case studies with great technical back story. A great listen.

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  • Lee
  • 12-27-21

Wonderful

Loved this book. The story of ‘surgery’ through the ages and told by a surgeon who recalls his favourite antidotes. It’s not a book for the squeamish but it’s a wonderful book if you want to learn. Brilliant narration too!

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  • laizydaizy
  • 11-07-21

Not at all what I expected !!

But what a treasure although some may find it a bit gruesome I found it fascinating
It came to an end quite suddenly and I was left wanting more
A real eye opener

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  • Sarah
  • 06-27-21

Really interesting facts and anecdotes

As a scrub nurse it was amusing to hear the stories behind some of the instruments we regularly use and hand over to the surgeons. busmans holiday. Love the story about the first TSR

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  • Mike Bell
  • 05-20-21

excellent! a great listen history, goriness

a great listen. absolutely loved it, a tongue in cheek roaring account of surgery over the ages

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  • David Wright
  • 09-15-19

Entertaining

This is one of the few books I have listened to I the car with my entire family. It’s very entertaining and educational.
I did find some of the pronunciation a bit off as well as some of the more technical aspects of medicine but overall, a great book.

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  • K A Sandford-Clisby
  • 03-02-18

Fascinating!

An enthralling look at the history of surgery. The patients involved ranged from peasants to royalty. The chapter on JFK was fascinating. Highly recommended for anyone interested in medicine or history.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-15-21

Overall great, just not the second narrator

I literally had a fright when the second narrator started his section in the first chapter with a high-pitched voice.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-26-20

Amazing insights!

Fascinating stories which have a real insight into the life of a surgeon, thanks to the author being a surgeon himself. I also really enjoyed the snippets regarding the etymology of the names used. Fascinating!