(K. Brent Tomer),
Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery. By Henry Marsh. Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 271 pages; £16.99. To be published in America by Thomas Dunne in October; $26.99.
ILLNESS, wrote Susan Sontag, is “the night-side of life”. In his bestselling 2014 memoir, “Do No Harm”, Henry Marsh, a neurosurgeon, gave an elegant account of his role as a gatekeeper of this night-side, an “underworld of suffering”. In “Admissions” he returns to the same territory, but also covers his life before and after the heart of his career.
The book starts at the ignominious end of Mr Marsh’s time in Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). Ground down, as he tells it, by bureaucrats and needless regulations, Mr Marsh sends his resignation letter. His final operation is tricky, but a success. The next day he finds his patient has had an unnecessary nasogastric tube inserted. He asks the nurse to remove it but, without the paperwork,…Continue reading