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When the Air Hits Your Brain Audiobook

When the Air Hits Your Brain: Tales from Neurosurgery

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Publisher's Summary

With poignant insight and humor, Frank Vertosick, Jr., MD, describes some of the greatest challenges of his career, including a six-week-old infant with a tumor in her brain, a young man struck down in his prime by paraplegia, and a minister with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in his skull. Told through intimate portraits of Vertosick's patients and unsparing-yet-fascinatingly detailed descriptions of surgical procedures, When the Air Hits Your Brain - the culmination of decades spent struggling to learn an unforgiving craft - illuminates both the mysteries of the mind and the realities of the operating room.

©2008 Frank T. Vertosick, Jr., MD (P)2016 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"A riveting report that shatters the mystique of the brain surgeon as a wizard of technical prowess." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (9 )
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4.8 (6 )
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Performance
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  • Andrew
    MASPETH, NY, United States
    15/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Finished in 1 and 1/2 days"

    One of the best medical books written, imho. Empathetic, yet aware of irreconcilable errors. Funny and honest. I'm not sure I would ever want to go to him or someone trained by him in an ethically complex situation, but if my treatment only required skill and someone I could laugh with and relate to before I could be healed, I would go to him without hesitation.

    32 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Largactil
    03/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sensitive and Enlightening"

    I appreciate the respectful and sensitive way the author, a neurosurgeon, talks about the patients who were a big part of his training and practice. I appreciate the enlightening level of detail about the procedures and customs that create doctors, good patient outcomes, and poor patient outcomes. I highly recommend this book.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Wendy Glosser
    19/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing!"

    Im an RN and learned so much from this but enjoyed most the victories achieved! I never wanted to put it down!

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Atis
    26/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just a great book :)"

    Loved it, serious but with nice humor. Narrator is really good. The best I heard so far.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Aksana
    03/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How a neurosurgeon deals with issues of the Brain and Heart"

    Whether good timing or destiny brought Dr. Vertosick into the field of neurosurgery, this book promises an explanation of the birth and evolution of a doctor who ends up in the right place. If doctors have a "calling" to their profession, it is most certainly demonstrated in this story.

    Neurosurgeons may appear to be blunt, unapologetic superheroes (as they are better with matters of the brain, rather than the heart), but these professionals rise to the top of their fields , sparing no emotions, especially their own, to give people everything. Putting excessive emotions in the back seat is a part of caring for the patient who is a less than a millimeter away from death during an operation. Pushing the boundaries of what it is means to be alive, dead and human , they play with the most valuable organ in the human body hoping to preserve and salvage what it means to be human.

    This book lifts away the blanket of mysticism that covers these heroic servants to show us that even superman fails, cries, shuts down, and breaks. I enjoyed every part of peeking over the surgeon's shoulder and into his heart.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Gordon Wilson
    Salt Lake City, UT USA
    18/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absolutely Riveting!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. The author does a great job of not just describing the profession, but also providing perspective and insight to the science of living as well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Clearly, the individual cases are fascinating. But, I really enjoyed the author's profound insights on life and death, generally.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The "alzheimer's patient" with the massive brain tumor.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No. But, it did cause me to think. And, I fear death less now.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it. You'll not regret it.

    34 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Sean Stagner
    20/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome story about a budding neurosurgeon"

    A very compelling account of the arduous life of a neurosurgical resident in training, which abounds with many poignant and touching scenes, with enough technical details that satisfies the curiosity of what they do in the OR and in the hospital.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • D. J. Brandner
    Ohio USA
    21/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cured My Depression"
    Where does When the Air Hits Your Brain rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The BEST time you will ever spend listening to a man's tale of his life. A man with great compassion and humility and the ability to immerse you in sheer terror and greatness all at the same time. I could not wait to hear more. I would rate it right up with greats like You Can't Win. Here is a man with a story to tell!


    What other book might you compare When the Air Hits Your Brain to and why?

    Grouch Marx's autobiography floored me. You Can't Win was some of the best hours I have spent on this planet listening to a man tell me about himself. Pull up a chair and soon you too will swept up into a world too fantastic not to envy and too terrifying to make you think
    you could face his day. Really! The most fascinating man I have ever listened to!


    What about Kirby Heyborne’s performance did you like?

    Perfect. The contrast of his innocent voice and the sheer weight he must carry is , well , perfect for the role.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I'm not about to do anything but let the Dr. tell you about himself. I would not spare you a moment of the emotional roller-coaster ride greatness demands.


    Any additional comments?

    Doctor, thank you. You have cured my depression. What a wonderful story about life and
    achievement. I admire you and you have my greatest respect. What a great writer you are as well! Bravo!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Exploring
    Costa Rica
    16/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "About medical ethics"

    This book can be used to discuss medical ethics, although the chapters are about neurosurgery.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Douglas
    Auburn, WA, United States
    22/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Joining the Ranks..."

    of Oliver Sacks and Richard Selzer, Vertosick renders a compelling account not only of neurology and its procedures, but also of what it is like to be a doctor in the most complicated and challenging branch of medicine. A must read.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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