A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
By Atul Gawande
(Picador, Paperback, 9780312421700, 288pp.)
Publication Date: April 1, 2003
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In gripping accounts of true cases, surgeon Atul Gawande explores the power and the limits of medicine, offering an unflinching view from the scalpel's edge. Complications lays bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is--uncertain, perplexing, and profoundly human.
Complications is a 2002 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction.
Atul Gawande is a surgical resident at a hospital in Boston and a staff writer on medicine and science for The New Yorker. A graduate of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, he has had his writing selected to appear in The Best American Essays 2002. Gawande lives with his wife and three children in Newton, Massachusetts.
None surpass Gawande in the ability to create a sense of immediacy, in his power to conjure the reality of the ward, the thrill of the moment-by-moment medical or surgical drama. Complications impresses for its truth and authenticity, virtues that it owes to its author being as much forceful writer as uncompromising chronicler.
No one writes about medicine as a human subject as well as Atul Gawande. His stories about becoming a surgeon are scary, funny, absorbing....Complications is a uniquely soulful book about the science of mending bodies.
Gawande is arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around....He's prescient and thoughtful...the heir to Lewis Thomas' humble, insightful and brilliantly crafted oeuvre.
Complications is a book about medicine that reads like a thriller. Every subject Atul Gawande touches is probed and dissected and turned inside out with such deftness and feeling and counterintuitive insight that the reader is left breathless.
Gawande is a writer with a scalpel pen and an X-ray eye.... He turns every case--from gunshot wounds to morbid obesity to flesh-eating bacteria--into a thriller in miniature. Diagnosis: riveting.
Gawande's prose, much like the scalpel he wields, is precise, daring, but never reckless....Much like reading George Orwell, the reader emerges entertained, enlightened, transformed and immensely satisfied.
Wrenching human tales...Gawande has pushed the medical yarn in a new direction.
Atul Gawande is a rare and wonderful storyteller who portrays his profession with bravery and humanity.