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Direct Red

Narrated by: Claire Wille
Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

How does it feel to hold someone's life in your hands? What is it like to cut into someone else's body? What is it like to stand by, powerless, while someone dies because of the incompetence of your seniors? How do you tell a beautiful young man who seems perfectly fit that he has only a few days left to live?

Gabriel Weston worked in the big-city hospitals of the 21st century; a woman in a place dominated by Alpha males. Her world was one of disease, suffering and extraordinary pressure where a certain moral ambiguity and clinical detachment were necessary tools for survival. Startling and honest, her account combines a fierce sense of human dignity with compassion and insight, illuminating scenes of life and death the rest of us rarely glimpse.

©2010 Gabriel Weston (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"Hard to imagine a better book, or a more original one.... [Weston] writes at least as well as many good novelists...funny, and honest, and beautifully done." (Claire Tomalin )
"A valuable and unflinching account, for all its gruesomeness, since it so clearly tells us the truth." ( Sunday Times)
" Direct Red is Gabriel Weston's memoir of the years she spent pursuing a surgical career.... She examines these with an honesty that is both brave and uncomfortable." ( Guardian)
"Her wisdom, empathy, morality and self-awareness are very revealing.... Her writing is as incisive, precise and clean as keyhole surgery." ( The Times)
"Anyone remotely interested in medicine should read this book...bringing us a front-line report from an often alien territory." ( Daily Telegraph)

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Profile Image for India Marie Clamp
  • India Marie Clamp
  • 24-09-19

Poetic divinity by Gabriel Weston!

Surgeons are characters, yet to the contrary we discover British surgeon Gabriel Weston in a unparented state. Dichotomy apparent in “Direct Red: A Surgeon’s View of Her Life-or-Death Profession” as we give breath to an image of her as a hippie arts major lacking scientific education and feeling like a total imposter in the surgical theatre.

Direct Red is infused with British-isms and accompanying accent (if you happen to take it in via Audible). Tension is realized when a Surgeon Weston cries for help during a tonsillectomy. And the only answer to her cry is refusal. From breast removals, tonsils and the formation of crafting surgical terms into pure poetry defines Direct Red.

“Saffron, Malachite Green. My back is cold with sweat under a synthetic, unsoakable surgical gown. My mask feels suffocating, its visor as dirty as a windscreen, spattered with today’s roadkill.”
---Gabriel Weston, ENT Surgeon, U.K.

“Direct Red: A Surgeon’s View of Her Life-or-Death Profession” unfolds and reveals an auspicious form of love in the grotesque. We then think of Linnaeus’ phrase “to live by medicine is to live horribly” however Weston transforms the horrible into a divine soup of “gratia plena” we stand in line for on a dreary, gray cold British day. Buy.