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  • Published: 24 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241461853
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

Life on a Knife's Edge

A Brain Surgeon's Reflections on Life, Loss and Survival




A raw and unflinching account from leading neuroscientist and neurosurgeon of the valuable lessons we can learn from patients confronted with their own mortality.

As one of the world's leading brain surgeons, Dr Jandial is the last hope for many patients who have extreme forms of cancer - patients who can't be saved, but deserve more time.

Life on a Knife's Edge is his account of the resilience, courage and belief he has witnessed in his patients, and the lessons he has learned from them. Both an unflinching account of extreme surgeries and a profound, moving and introspective memoir, this book reveals the depths of a surgeon's psyche who is pushed to his limits, day in, day out.

From keeping a gun victim's heart pumping with his own hand, to saving a woman from paralysis and performing brain surgery while time is running out on a haemorrhaging patient, we see how making life and death decisions and facing unimaginable pressure has shaped one man's life.

In this breathtaking memoir, Dr Jandial shares what he's learned about human nature, from balancing the line between life and death everyday.

  • Published: 24 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241461853
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

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Praise for Life on a Knife's Edge

A beautifully written and fearless depiction of both brain surgery and the mind of a surgeon. Riveting.

Jim Down, author of Life Support

A reminder that what makes us stellar physicians and surgeons are not our skills with our hands and/our knowledge but rather our empathy and ability to connect with our patients.

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

Is this a memoir or a science book? An exposé of the shortcoming of our healthcare system or a paean to the wonders of modern medicine? The answer is YES, to all those things and more. Jandial takes us deep into the day-to-day life of his profession as a brain surgeon while simultaneously taking us even deeper into the inner-workings of our own biology. It's an unconventional approach, and a bit disarming at first blush, but pays off in spades. I loved this book.

James Nestor, New York Times bestselling author of Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

Most of us say 'it's not brain surgery' when we talk about our work. But Rahul Jandial's work - and life - is just that. And he loves both enough to fight for every moment of every life. A searingly honest, fascinating account of lives and minds entwined.

Stevie Spring CBE, Chairman of the British Council and the charity Mind

A powerful testimony to the skill of a world-class surgeon, and a soul-searching exploration of the vulnerability that makes him human.

Leah Hazard, author of the Sunday Times bestseller Hard Pushed

Incredible storytelling

Dr Rangan Chatterjee

Filled with powerful stories of human trauma and resilience - including his own

Telegraph

'It's a brilliant book... There are lessons in every paragraph....Get it now.' Chris Evans

Chris Evans

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