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

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

4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Winner of the PEN Ackerley Prize and the South Bank Sky Arts Award for Literature Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award; Duff Cooper Prize; Wellcome Book Prize; Guardian First Book Award; and Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize Longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9781780225920



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

Anecdotes from the life of a brain surgeon. Unpolished in a good sense, Marsh seems to be not too concerned about what people think of him. E.g. he is very old style in having little respect for work hour regulations etc., and is not afraid to say so. Think specialization is lacking among surgeons in the UK. Much discussion about the risks, uncertainties, and trade-offs involved in brain surgery. Ok.

Review by

Superb! Medical science in clear accessible style, intriguning life-story including his having studied PPE and coming into medicine via dropping out, dramatic and moving stories and a sense of a genuinely decent bloke. His accounts of NHS managers more frightening than anything in surgical theatre.

Review by

Henry Marsh's autobiography of life as a neurosurgeon is a gripping read but not for the faint hearted. There's quite a lot of gory detail of just about everything that can go wrong with the brain and Marsh is brutally frank about the dangers of neurosurgery and the daily dilemmas that these surgeons face. Some heart warming tales and some chilling ones too.