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Henry Marsh Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Evolution Of Light From Living Human Subject (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Finally: Matters of Life and Death (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Henry Marsh is an English author of memoir and nonfiction books and a leading neurosurgeon and also spearheaded Ukraine’s neurosurgical advances. Marsh is famously known for his memoir Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery published in 2014. The memoir gives insight into the highs and the lows of a man dedicated to performing operations on the human brain. With extraordinary compassion and candour, Henry Marsh unravels the exciting drama of neurosurgery, the chaos and confusion of a 21st-century hospital and the best of all, the need for hope when one is faced with life’s hard decisions.
Henry Marsh studied Philosophy, Economics and Philosophy at Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in the United Kingdom. In 1984, Marsh joined the Royal College of Surgeons and was later worked as a consultant for the St George Hospital/Atkinson Morley in London where he works fulltime to this day.

The author has been subjects of two best documentary films The English Surgeon and Your Life in The Hands which won Emmy Awards and The Royal Television Society Gold Medal respectively. Henry Marsh is married to Kate Fox, a writer and an anthropologist.

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

In his debut book, Henry Marsh tells the story of how he started his career as a neurosurgeon. As a young doctor, when starting his career, Henry watched a neurosurgeon operate on a woman’s brain. The surgeon was after an aneurysm that could bust and kill the woman. This kind of brain surgery- took place a couple of inches inside the woman’s head- was risky and can be compared, as Henry Marsh writes in his memoir to a bomb disposal job through the kind of bravery need, in this case, is of a different kind since it’s the patient’s life at risk and not the surgeon’s.

There’s “the chase” as the neurosurgeon “hunted down” his pray within the patient’s head and the climax, as the doctor finally caught the prey, trapped it and destroyed it with a spring-loaded titanium clip hence saving the patient’s life. Additionally, the author goes on to further explain that the operation delicate, dangerous, elegant and full of profound meaning.

Doctor Henry Marsh would later become one of the English respected and well-known neurosurgeons and in his first memoir, Do No Harm, he gives the readers an extraordinarily compassionate, intimate, and sometimes scary understanding of his career. He writes with uncommon frankness and power and while the book might unsettle the readers since so many things can go awry with the brain and in the hospital. The book will at the same time leave you with a burning appreciation of the awe of the human body and a recognition that great surgeons like Dr Henry Marsh exist and with their hard-won skills, they save and repair lives.
At the start of his career, the author recalls that he used to feel intense excitement after a successful operation. While Henry Marsh has made many patients happy, he admits that there also have several failures and these failures are what punctuates a neurosurgeon’s life.

Rather than focusing only on his successful operations, Dr Marsh also explains a list of surgical disasters that have also shaped his career as a neurosurgeon. For example, a young woman was almost left paralyzed after he ignored the early signs of post-surgical infection. An 11-year-old girl who suffered a bad stroke after her second brain operation and died 18 months later and a patient who underwent pituitary gland surgery but suffered stroke days after the procedure which left him utterly unable to speak.

Such stories confirm the role that terrible mistakes coupled with bad luck can play in medicine, resulting in a common dreaded word “complications. A tumor can turn out to be sticky hence impossible to completely remove, surgical equipment can malfunction, a vein can burst and flood the brain with blood, poor decisions can be made, and a trainee supervised by a veteran like Henry Marsh can ruin a surgical procedure. These are some of the many painful truths concerning neurosurgery- and a proof that you only get good at handling difficult cases only if you get lots of practice but that means making many mistakes at first and leaving a trail of broken patients behind you.

Amid all the life or death scenes of neurosurgery in this story, some humorous comic scenes are narrating the ridiculousness of hospital bureaucracy in the NHS not only the never-ending bed shortages but also what the author terms as the “loss of regimental spirit”. The author provides a splanchnic account of the anxiety and dread he experiences every time before he commences a complicated surgery and the guilt he feels when things go wrong.

Admissions: Life as a Brain Surgeon

Henry Marsh has spent his career on the surgical front line. Waves of high and low tides characterize his career, but his love for neurosurgery has never diminished and not a single day.

Following the release of his Do No Harm memoir which appeared in New York Times bestselling list, Henry Marsh retired from his job in England to work pro bono in Nepal and Ukraine. In his second book, Dr Marsh describes the difficulties he experiences working in these impoverished and troubled countries and the insights of the experiences working in these countries has given him.

The author also faces the burden of responsibility that’s often accompanied with trying to reduce human suffering. Revealing the memories of his early days as a student and the experiences that shaped his career as a surgeon, Marsh explores the difficulties of a profession that deals with probabilities than certainties and where the urge to extend human life can come at a cost for both patients and their loved ones.

Reflecting on what his four decades of handling and working on the human brain have taught him, Marsh finally finds a new purpose in life as he concludes his professional career and also finds a whole new understanding of what matters to us all in the end.

Henry Marsh is an English author of fiction. He is an established and renowned brain surgeon.

Marsh was born on May 5, 1950 in the U.K. He would go on to attend Oxford University and then to London to study medicine as part of the Royal Free Hospital located there.

He would go on to join the Royal College of Surgeons as a Fellow in 1984. In 1987, he would be appointed to the prestigious position of Consultant Neurosurgeon as part of the St. George’s and Atkinson Morley’s Hospital.

In addition to being a published author and a surgeon, Henry has been the focus of a documentary film twice so far. One was called Your Life in Their Hands, which was critically acclaimed and would go on to win the Gold Medal from the Royal Television Society. The other was The English Surgeon. That documentary would feature the work that Marsh did in Ukraine. It received an Emmy Award.

Marsh had the distinct honor of being made a CBE in 2010. He is currently married to Kate Fox, a noted anthropologist and a writer just like her husband. Henry’s first ever published novel was called Do No Harm.

Do No Harm came out in 2014 and is a fascinating real life glimpse into what it is like for Marsh to be a brain surgeon. The book fully explores the concept of what living and operating in this field is like. The sensation and responsibility that comes with the job and what it feels like to have someone’s entire life resting in your surgically trained hands.

Readers that are interested in modern medicine as well as science may be curious as to what it is like to actually cut into what makes up the same things that we perceive as our reason, our thoughts, and our feelings. When it comes down to it, you have to know how you’re going to live with the things that happen and go on with an operation– and the same things that can allow you to save a life can also be the very same things that cause it to go wrong.

There is an oath that doctors take in branches of medicine, and that is that they will do no harm to their patients. Neurosurgery is a field that simply takes that oath and gives it an ironic twist. Brain operations come with their own sets of risks and can in particular be very dangerous. This is something that Marsh has come to know intimately.

Henry must make complex and tough decisions that go on to have consequences. He is not always certain about them but often must make them in a short span of time and there is a lot riding on the choice that he makes. It is not always the easy decisions and surgeons are not quite as detached and inhuman as you may think them to be.

The average person may very well believe that surgery is an exquisite and precise art form. They may even think that surgeons are cool and separate from the process that they are partaking in. However, this recollection of his time in surgery from Henry may give you cause to rethink that assumption.

Full of interesting accounts and his own candid perception and compassionate detailing of many subjects and aspects of operating, this is an incredibly engaging novel from one of the best neurosurgeons in the entire country. Open up the first page and you get to experience the various triumphs that he has had and experience what is truly his joy for operating.

See the disasters, the near disasters, the regrets that still haunt him to this day and the dark humor in an account of one of the best neurosurgeons out there. If you ever wanted to know what one day or several in the life of a brain surgeon is like, you will get some insight when you read this book.

Check out Do No Harm and find out why one of the most engaging and human jobs that you have can take place in a present day hospital. The dramas of the human mind can be quite interesting, and this read from a surgeon that knows what it is like first hand may prove to be one of the best books that you read all year.

This book was named a best seller and made the New York Times list of bestsellers in the process. After this book was published, the author decided to retire in England from his regular job working full time in the pursuit of working free of charge in places such as Nepal and Ukraine.

Admissions is another early book from author and brain surgeon Henry Marsh. He is someone that has been working on the front line of surgery for all of his professional life. He has experienced great highs and some lows along the way but retained his passion for what it is that he does.

Even though it may have been challenging, Marsh has always had a great love for practicing neurosurgery that has been constant throughout the years. In this book, he describes the journey that he has taken ever since he retired in England and chose to work abroad (pro bono).

Marsh goes over the complex challenges of working in countries that are impoverished in areas or troubled in some ways as well as things that he has learned about medicine and its practice while being there.

The author also goes into detail about the responsibility that one can feel when they are attempting to reduce overall suffering in human beings. Marsh goes into memories from being a medical student and his early days while studying and what would go on to help form him when he was young.

He also goes into the professional challenge of dealing in probabilities over certainties and when prolonging life can cost the patients and the members of their families. With nearly four decades of surgical experience, the author relays his reflections on life and what is important to all people. Read Admissions to get the full impact of this book!

Book Series In Order » Authors » Henry Marsh

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