The Goal

To continue to read one book each week
To find authors who inspire me
To teach myself discipline
To share my experiences with others


Friday, September 9, 2016

Book 133: The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery by Sam Kean

It's been weeks since I finished reading this book but it still stick in my memory forever. What a great book about the history of neurosurgery. Author Sam Kean has a way of telling stories about discoveries in science that make them come alive. I loved this book the moment I picked it up; I couldn't put it down and finished it in four days.

Neurosurgery has never been an exact science, and those who dove headfirst into its study were branded sick or crazy. Not surprisingly, a good many of the discoveries in neuroscience were made by mistake or by sheer luck. The author provides a variety of stories from the middle ages with a jousting match gone bad, to a Philadelphia institution where a famed physician studied phantom limbs in Civil War amputees.

Sam Kean is a wonderful storyteller who uses metaphors (thank goodness) to describe complex medical conditions and practices. In some cases, the stories are utterly hilarious. In some cases, totally disheartening, or disgusting. But trust me, if you like history and can handle a mild dose of gore, this book will keep you riveted.





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