How do you get to be the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world? You front up to the world's war and disaster zones, year in, year out. Taking regular leave from the NHS in Britain, David Nott has spent the last twenty-five years performing field surgery in a list of hot spots from Afghanistan through to Yemen. Not content to just save lives directly, he also offers other doctors 'Surgical Training for Austere Environments'.
Honest and confronting, this is an extraordinary account, not for the faint-hearted, from a courageous and compassionate humanitarian.
Our group were at extremes over this book. Four found it too gruesome and overly detailed, they viewed Nott as arrogant. At the other extreme six of us viewed Nott as a hero and very brave - an exceptional person. Many had seen him interviewed on TV recently.
We were filled with admiration ( and disbelief) for this extraordinary man and his confronting story of the years he spent as a war doctor. Difficult to read but informative and fascinating; particularly relevant at this time.
Not a book to be enjoyed but a gripping read.Some were particularly interested in the medical details, all were horrified by the accounts of war injuries and impressed by the dedication and skills of Nott and other doctors and nurses working in such difficult conditions.
Wonderful read - insight into war and the work of medical volunteers.
A comment frequently heard was "Terrific, fascinating, highly readable". 2 of our members could not read it, or parts of it (too graphic) on the futility and brutality of war. "Simply written and painfully clear" (Sunday Times comment) was agreed with.
While everyone in the group agreed this book was not always the easiest to read due to the content, we would highly recommend it to other groups. David Nott is a hero in the truest sense , and his willingness to put himself in danger for the benefit of those who need his life-saving skills is an inspiration.
Enjoyed book immensely. Some members found some of the medical descriptions overly technical and others were 'squeamish', but generally humbled by David Nott's humanitarian goals. His relationships with the Syrian medical staff in particular gave the book depth and human interest.
This book created much interest on the part of all the readers. Admiration for those who went to the war zones to work. Horror at the conditions they worked under, and we all learned a lot about war, particularly civil war and its nature, which seems so much worse than wars fought for other reasons. Brother against brother described so brutally and in such detail.
Wide ranging discussion elicited from the book's contents. Several members found it was unwise to read it at night, as the content disturbed them. Agreement that the man was outstanding in his field.
A fascinating book, and a clever, humble, good-hearted man. Amazing to hear detail from places we only knew of as news headlines. Wonderful openness about the trauma of PTSD. Such a wonderful charity to fund the training of more surgeons for the front line.
Thought provoking read.
Fantastic read. Incredible. Uplifting. Astounding. Fascinating.
The group all appreciated the work of David Nott. Although it may have been too descriptive for all of us, his skills, leadership, time and efforts in the real world of war was a revelation. Today's war in the Gaza will be using his knowledge and skills.
Grim reading, and we found the writing style a bit monotonous. Didn't get much info about his colleagues, it just seemed to focus on the operations and David.
We all felt we should give feedback on this book. It was stunningly good: thought-provoking, a very honest account of David Nott's personal experiences as a war doctor, an insight into the great personal effects on the civilian population and the horrors of war. A great read.