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  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 20
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  • This Is Going to Hurt

  • Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
  • By: Adam Kay
  • Narrated by: Adam Kay
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 308
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 284

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not for the prudish but well written/read

  • By Carron on 11-08-2018

To laugh when you want to cry

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-04-2018

Would you listen to This Is Going to Hurt again? Why?

I will listen to this again, just to enjoy the reader's gorgeous patois and to catch some of the details I missed the first time through.

What was one of the most memorable moments of This Is Going to Hurt?

Always quirky, often surprising, frequently informative and sometimes revelatory; always witty and peppered with the truly funny, and sometimes sheer laugh-out-loud. Yet despite the author’s exquisite repartee and unfailing banter, despite his air of apparent detachment and his inviolable self, there resides a man who feels more than most, who suffers enough for two, who carries the weight of many. To hear Mr Kay tell his tale is like witnessing someone dear to you crack a joke when they’ve just stubbed their toe… it’s so funny but inside you double over with sympathetic pain.

Any additional comments?

This is a profoundly moving book. It makes one laugh and cry, and makes one glad and incandescent with anger. And although the 'lessons' in the book are somewhat specific to the NHS in the UK, the underlying truths are applicable to any country that professes to offer universal health. The NHS - and variants of it like Medicare in Australia - are a gift to their host nations. They must be preserved... actually, fostered, respected, funded and lauded, and above all, protected from the insidious and relentless dismantling by successive governments.

  • When the Air Hits Your Brain

  • Tales from Neurosurgery
  • By: Frank T Vertosick Jr. MD
  • Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
  • Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 28

With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick, Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick's patients and unsparing-yet-fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • must listen!

  • By Amazon Customer on 21-04-2018

A compelling view into the neurosurgeon's world.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-04-2018

Would you consider the audio edition of When the Air Hits Your Brain to be better than the print version?

I haven not read the printed edition.

What was one of the most memorable moments of When the Air Hits Your Brain?

To get a glimpse into the moral, ethical and emotional struggles the author faces in his moments of failure gives one an insight into what attributes a really good practitioner must possess. It’s not his dexterity of hand, his brilliance in diagnosis or his recall of medical learning or case lore, but rather, his contrapuntal ability to care without caring too much.

What does Kirby Heyborne bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I have not read the printed edition. However, Mr Heyborne reads the book with sensitivity and an obvious understanding of the underlying material (not the technical stuff - I mean the author's feelings). I only have one slight reservation about the reading - the attempt at performing various accents. I think if one cannot nail a New York or posh English accent, it’s probably better to leave it to the hearer’s imagination (as it is when one reads a book).

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

In the instances where the outcome is unfavourable, the stories evoke a visceral response which flows in two tributaries from each case narrative: one is the empathy one feels for the doctor with his internal struggles, and the other for the suffering and heartache the patients and their loved ones must endure. Where the outcome is positive, especially when it’s unexpectedly so, it’s hard not to feel a kind on vicarious triumph in the doctor’s achievements.

Any additional comments?

The story is really well paced and has a careful balance between the details of each case and the doctor's travails in learning. I really enjoyed his ontological musings and hearing of the agony one in his profession that surely cannot be avoided.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Admissions

  • A Life in Brain Surgery
  • By: Henry Marsh
  • Narrated by: Henry Marsh
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Henry Marsh has spent a lifetime operating on the surgical frontline. There have been exhilarating highs and devastating lows, but his love for the practice of neurosurgery has never wavered. Prompted by his retirement from his full-time job in the NHS, and through his continuing work in Nepal and Ukraine, Henry has been forced to reflect more deeply about what 40 years spent handling the human brain has taught him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully read, refreshingly honest, touchingly humane and always engaging.

  • By Paul on 20-06-2017

Beautifully read, refreshingly honest, touchingly humane and always engaging.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-06-2017

Mr Marsh is clearly an extraordinary polymath with his hands, his mind and his heart. I love the way his story telling ranges from one continent to another, from culture to culture, patient to patient, agonising outcomes to miraculous cures, touching generosity to excoriating cringe-fests of past indiscretions and vanities.

It is his humanity, laid bare in heartwarming and surprising juxtaposition to his laudable achievements that makes his story so compelling.

Set next to his humanity is the joy of his insatiable curiosity and lust to create with his hands.... slashing weeds, sharpening the blade of a plane, lifting a steel beam into place with fewer tools than the Egyptians probably had at their disposal, or, planting a forest and building new windows. To feel the enthusiasm in his voice is a delight.

Oh, and I love his fulminating outbursts against The Managers and the regressive left. Love it!

Then, of course, are the all too serious existential issues that he discourses on.... something close to my heart given the instances I've twice been faced with regarding "switching off the machine". Thank you Mr Marsh for your candour and forthrightness.

I only have one beef..... I wish Mr Marsh had read his other book as well (Do No Harm).

Cheers,
Paul

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly

  • A Physician's First Year
  • By: Matt McCarthy
  • Narrated by: Matt McCarthy
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

In medical school, Matt McCarthy dreamed of being a different kind of doctor - the sort of mythical, unflappable physician who could reach unreachable patients. But when a new admission to the critical care unit almost died his first night on call, he found himself scrambling. Visions of mastery quickly gave way to hopes of simply surviving hospital life, where confidence was hard to come by and no amount of med school training could dispel the terror of facing actual patients.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Heartfelt, entertaining and a likeable narrator

  • By Paul on 28-12-2017

Tedious self absorbtion

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-03-2017

A litany if self absorption and self pity. Shame, it could I'd have been a wonderful account.