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I'd been ready to give this book 3-stars as, for 4-stars, a book has to be an engrossing cover-to-cover listen, and this wasn't. It'd been... too folksy? or something with its narration? But as I was kinda zipping through it again to get some stories for my review, well, talk about engrossed! One would've thought I'd never heard it before! It was so engaging! The things I liked about it before, I loved: people faking blindness and neurologists catching them out by sticking notes on their foreheads that read, "F- You," or by waving $100 bills around were there. The things I disliked, I passionately hated (hey, passion's a good thing!): glib mea culpas for what is really heinous malpractice--yup, still there, pretty cool. Emotionally evocative stories about two people facing the horrors of ALS in entirely different ways, and a man making a difficult, difficult decision that turns out to have a devastating outcome despite everyone's best efforts. These are all things a neurologist sees day in day out, and it's utterly fascinating.
Yeah, sometimes the narration is quaint and folksy, but this book is really interesting, really a treat.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful
Anyone with an interest in medicine--especially anyone interested in neurology--would love this. I actually liked it even better than One Doctor, by Brendan Reilly (a book I liked so well that I gave a copy to our beloved family doctor of 26 years when he retired this year). The only downsides: the chapter on ALS goes on so long you'll be tempted to skip past it; the chapter on brain death vs body death annoyingly never even mentions cessation of heartbeat/pulse in a seemingly endless recitation of Ways Most People Would Judge Whether Somebody's Dead; and the narrator's delivery is jarringly cheerful at times in a way horribly at odds with the material, as in the chapter in which the author relates a particularly tragic and troubling tale of borderline malpractice. (The narrator also mispronounces several key medical terms in a way that will grate on the nerves of anyone who knows, for example, that Guillain-Barre is not pronounced "GEEL-on BAR-ray.") Otherwise: This is a solid, absorbing and supremely educational listen, and there are even a few laughs. Grade: A.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful