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Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery

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’I would definitely recommend giving this book a try if you fancy something personal, reflective and an interesting read.’

Title: Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery 

Author: Henry Marsh

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson 

Reviewer: Claire Docherty, staff nurse, NUH 

What was it like?

The author, Henry Marsh, is a known previous bestseller, so I was intrigued to read his work. This book discusses his memoirs following retirement, where he reflects on personal and professional experiences, providing an honest and interesting perspective on life. He travels the world, and from the confines of a surgical theatre, to the open landscape of Nepal, his descriptions are beautiful and flawless. There is no difficulty in visualising his reflection, it’s as if he allows the reader to take a glimpse into his own mind.

What were the highlights?

Throughout the book, Marsh provides accounts of real-life situations that he has encountered. He allows the reader a glimpse of his perspective, seeing life through the eyes of an experienced brain surgeon and allowing us to feel and reflect on these. He made me feel something for strangers on the other side of the world who were going through terrible situations and decisions, and feel humbled at how lucky I am to live where I do.

Strengths and weaknesses?

It’s hard to establish weaknesses from this particular book, as it is well written and is an interesting read. It is emotive and descriptive, so it wasn’t always the best choice for a book to read after a hard day at work. However, the chapters are broken down nicely and it is easy to put down and pick up where you left it. 

Who should read it?

Easy answer - this book can be read by anyone. It’s interesting, and considering. It’s written by and from the perspective of a brain surgeon, it is easy to read and explains in detail what is necessary, not going into too much medical depth. I would definitely recommend giving this book a try if you fancy something personal, reflective and an interesting read.





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