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**AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4**
**A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE TIMES, DAILY TELEGRAPH AND FINANCIAL TIMES**
As a neurosurgeon, I lived in a world filled with fear and suffering, death and cancer. But rarely, if ever, did I think about what it would be like if what I witnessed at work every day happened to me. This book is the story of how I became a patient myself.
Retired brain surgeon Henry Marsh thought he understood illness, but he was unprepared for the impact of his diagnosis of advanced cancer. And Finally explores what happens when someone who has spent a lifetime on the frontline of life and death finds himself contemplating what might be his own death sentence.
As Henry navigates the bewildering transition from doctor to patient, he is haunted by past failures and projects yet to be completed, and frustrated by the inconveniences of illness and old age. But he is also more entranced than ever by the mysteries of science and the brain, the beauty of the natural world and his love for his family. Elegiac, candid, luminous and poignant, And Finally is ultimately not so much a book about death, but a book about life and what matters in the end.
‘Magnificent’ Rachel Clarke, author of Breath-taking
‘Given its subject – broadly, death and disease – the book is unexpectedly fun, and the author pretty much irresistibly likable’ Guardian
‘Facing his own mortality, Marsh has written a vividly wry and honest book’ The Times
‘Marsh shares his journey with a dark yet whimsical humour, and ponders too the eternal mysteries of time’ Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year 2022
In the contemplation of death Marsh illuminates the gift of life, rendering it even more precious. And Finally has all the candour, elegance and revelation we’ve come to expect from Marsh. I read it straight through carried along by the force of its prose and the beauty of its ideas. It’s a book to treasure and reread; I’m very grateful for it. — Gavin Francis, author of ADVENTURES IN HUMAN BEING and SHAPESHIFTERS In this superb meditation on life and death, Henry Marsh tackles the matter of mortality with all his trademark wit, wisdom, grace and humility. He turns his formidable intellect and scalpel-sharp prose on himself as well as the medical profession – with marvellous results. Unflinching, profound and deeply humane, And Finally is magnificent. — Rachel Clarke, author of DEAR LIFE And Finally is a close and courageous look at the prospect of death by someone who has seen it more clearly and more often than most of us, and who writes with great fluency and grace. Henry Marsh is a great neurosurgeon: he is also a very fine writer. I admire this book enormously. — Philip Pullman, author of HIS DARK MATERIALS Who better to ponder immortality, the threshold between states, fear, regret and what gives us meaning, than somebody who has lived a life constantly in-between. We should give thanks to Marsh, who despite facing his own mortality, allows us to come along for this poignant and vivid journey. — Molly Case, author of HOW TO TREAT PEOPLE Vividly wry and honest… this slender, elegant book… is very much a memoir of enlightenment; the humbling, late in life, of a man of great skill and status… A wise and warm narrator, and his book will bring comfort to many – and educate doctors. — Melanie Reid * The Times *
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