‘A subtle, brilliant and unputdownable appeal for the place of the human factor in the practise of neurology during the age of fMRI and Google... A remarkable book.’ Robert McCrum
As a trainee hospital doctor, A.J. Lees was enthralled by his mentors: esteemed neurologists who in their work combined the precision of mathematicians with the solemnity of undertakers. Today their clinical methods honed at the bedside are in danger of extinction, replaced by a slavish adherence to algorithms, protocols, process and a worship of machines. In this series of brilliant autobiographical essays, Lees takes us on a grand tour of his neurological career giving the reader insight into the art of listening, observation and imagination that the best neurologists still rely on to heal minds and fix brains.
‘A fascinating and riveting book. A. J. Lees is that rare phenomenon: a literary stylist of the first rank who combines a fine aesthetic sensibility with deep scientific knowledge…After reading this book, you will never feel the same about the words mind, body and soul.’ Andrew Hussey
‘A rare glimpse into a hidden world. The skills demanded by neurology overlap with other kinds of noticing and reasoning – which shows us the world afresh at the same time as educating us about neurology.’ Mike Jay
‘An exceptional compendium of marvellous phenomena that can captivate the imagination of students and neurologists to this day ... Lees’ writing style combines anatomical precision with ethereal poetry, which is reflected in his practice and teachings. The intersection between art and science possesses a remarkable transformative power.’ The Lancet
‘This is a wonderful, fascinating and aptly brain-expanding book by A. J. Lees mixing memoir, essay, science and beautifully poetic prose. I loved it.’ Jonathan Taylor
Dr Andrew Lees is a Professor of Neurology at the National Hospital, London. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Academy of Neurology Lifetime Achievement Award, the Association of British Neurologist’s Medal, the Dingebauer Prize for outstanding research and the Gowers Medal. He is one of the three most highly cited Parkinson’s disease researchers in the world. He is the author of several books, including Ray of Hope, runner-up in the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, The Silent Plague, and the critically acclaimed Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment (NHE 2016) and, most recently, Brazil That Never Was (NHE 2020).