join us on facebook debuts of the month likeyoulove
Search our site
The Course of History Ten Meals That Changed the World by Struan Stevenson, Tony Singh Read the opening extract of the brand new Struan Stevenson, Tony Singh book before its publication on 24/10/2017

Fragile Lives A Heart Surgeon's Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table by Stephen Westaby
  

Fragile Lives A Heart Surgeon's Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table

Biography / Autobiography   Books of the Month   Lifestyle & Health   The Real World   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   

RRP £14.99

Download an extract Share this book

Lovereading view...

February 2017 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.

Heart surgery is by its very nature a high-risk business and as Professor Stephen Westaby says ‘the grim reaper sits on your shoulder’, but when it is successful it is transformative, to say the least.

With his 11,000 heart operations behind him Professor Stephen Westaby has been at the forefront of the advances in heart surgery for the last 35 years. Through his boundary-pushing, ethics-bending sometimes maverick approach he has helped make highly radical techniques, with a pretty poor chance of success, mainstream treatments for once fatal conditions.

Fragile Lives is a candid and affecting biography, taking the reader to the heart of the operating theatre and into the lives of the patients whose courage help forge a path to safer and more effective heart surgery for us all.

Win a SIGNED FIRST EDITION of How to be Champion!

Get into the Spirit of Christmas with our special SIGNED FIRST EDITIONS competition! We are giving away THREE first edition hardback copies of Sarah Millican's fabulously funny autobiography How to be Champion, each signed by the author!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 4 December 2017. The winners will be notified by 11th December 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 04/12/2017

Synopsis

Fragile Lives A Heart Surgeon's Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table by Stephen Westaby

Grim Reaper sits on the heart surgeon's shoulder. A slip of the hand and life ebbs away. The balance between life and death is so delicate, and the heart surgeon walks that rope between the two. In the operating room there is no time for doubt. It is flesh, blood, rib-retractors and pumping the vital organ with your bare hand to squeeze the life back into it. An off-day can have dire consequences - this job has a steep learning curve, and the cost is measured in human life. Cardiac surgery is not for the faint of heart. Professor Stephen Westaby took chances and pushed the boundaries of heart surgery. He saved hundreds of lives over the course of a thirty-five year career and now, in his astounding memoir, Westaby details some of his most remarkable and poignant cases - such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks by six months old, a woman who lived the nightmare of locked-in syndrome, and a man whose life was powered by a battery for eight years.

Reviews

`Raw and moving... the writing is thrilling. Fragile Lives is a frank and absorbing memoir by a man who has done about as much good to his fellow human beings as it is possible to do in one lifetime.' - The Times, Book of the Week

`The stakes could not be higher in this bloody, muscular and adrenaline-charged memoir from a pioneering heart surgeon... at points it made my own heart race dangerously. `Surgeons are meant to be objective,
Westaby tells himself

, `not human'. What makes this book so fascinating, and so moving, is the terrible tension between these necessary qualities.' - Sunday Times

`A full-frontal and thrilling portrayal. Each story in this fascinating book brings a new nail-biting surgical adventure... A gifted surgeon, Westaby is also a natural writer... Fragile Lives succeeds on many levels: political battle cry, chronicle of bloody feats, history of modern cardiology, tribute to patients and paean to surgery.' - Daily Telegraph

`Westaby is everything you would hope from a maverick surgical genius: authoritative, engaged, passionate and opinionated. His book, annoyingly well written for someone who has penned only medical papers and handbooks, reads like a thriller, except with rather more corpses. You race to each chapter's end to see if his certain-to-die patient survives.' - The Times

`The book is a cracking example of a thriving sub-genre of autobiography, the medical memoir. Anyone who enjoyed the 2014 bestseller Do No Harm by the brain surgeon Henry Marsh, a friend of Westaby's, will relish Fragile Lives, too. Each story is gripping, written in a vivid, almost brutal way that matches the blood and gore of cardiac surgery.' - Financial Times

'At the cutting-edge of scalpel-lit... I love getting a window into this world... I enjoyed so much in this book - the anatomy lesson, the vivid descriptions, the fervour Westaby feels for his work' - Evening Standard


About the Author

Stephen Westaby

Steve Westaby is a celebrated world-famous heart surgeon who is renowned for being the first surgeon in history to fit a patient with a new type of artificial heart. During his 35-year career as a surgeon he worked at several of the UK's top hospitals and performed over 11,000 heart operations. He won the Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement (2004). In 2004 Steve Westaby was featured in the BBC documentary Your Life in Their Hands, which is a long-running series on the subject of surgery.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

9th February 2017

Author

Stephen Westaby

More books by Stephen Westaby
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Hardback
320 pages

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
Books of the Month
Lifestyle & Health
The Real World
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Cardiothoracic surgery
Memoirs

ISBN

9780008196769

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

Lovereading is not only an amazing site, but it's one of my very favourites. It's like visiting a fascinating bookstore, but better.

Rebecca Jayne Barrett

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!

Lindsay

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

As for why I'd recommend Lovereading, it's simple - it's a great place to get information and reviews about new books!

Margaret Freeman

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools