• Do No Harm

  • Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
  • By: Henry Marsh
  • Narrated by: Jim Barclay
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 05-27-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audio
  • 4.3 (21 ratings)

Regular price: $19.41

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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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Leo Saumure on 06-29-16

Pompous but none the less informative.

I can't say that I loved this book, but I did learn a few things.

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By Gis on 04-17-16

Interesting and revealing

Some chapters are better than others, especially the first ones if compared to the last ones... But nonetheless, very good!

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By David on 07-15-14

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.<br/>The authors honesty.<br/>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

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30 of 31 people found this review helpful


By vectisdodge on 04-23-15

neurosurgeons, problems and protocol

This is an excellent read (listen). Clearly narrated and wonderfully expressed.
Marsh's description of surgery is amazing and puts you right there in the operating theatre. His description of the protocols he has to deal with are enlightening. This book shows the difficulties faced when having to make life or death decisions and also having to communicate with families. A great book which I will listen to again and again.
Roger Brown

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By The Lazy Book Reviewer on 05-28-15

Brain Surgery Is Not Like You Think

I went into this book like a expect a lot of readers do knowing not much about Neurosurgery. Dr Marsh delivers a crash course for the layman in a way that engages the reader well. He is brutally honest about the high & lows of his career and I found his self-reflections very engaging. This book managed to bring a tear to my eye and had me laughing at loud, mind you not at the same time.

I was left with a much better understanding of the mysteries of the human brain and those who we rely to care for it. The author gets the mix spot on between the technical and personal sides of his profession.

I do think though the book could have been better structured with it jumping around his long career a bit too much for my liking. I also found that some of the facts were repeated over and over again. Overall an engaging and good read that just could have done with some tweaking.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Jeremy on 05-07-15

Surpisingly easy to listen to and fascinating!

I must admit to having an interest in this area, having worked in the medical device industry for many years and seeing a lot of neurosurgery in the operating theatre. However, this book would appeal to anyone with an interest in medicine.

Mr Mash has written a really good book, which is essentially divided in to chapters telling the story of a particular patient with a specific condition. Throughout chapters and the book, he also provides his personal story and comments.

The book gives a very interesting insight into the life of a senior surgeon, showing their worries, stress, joy and humanity.

Jim Barclay does an excellent job narrating and is totally convincing as a neurosurgeon!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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