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COMPLICATIONS: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science Paperback – 1 April 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 835 ratings

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  • COMPLICATIONS: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
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  • Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance
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  • Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
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"None surpass Gawande in the ability to create a sense of immediacy, in his power to conjure the reality of the ward, the thrill of the moment-by-moment medical or surgical drama. Complications impresses for its truth and authenticity, virtues that it owes to its author being as much forceful writer as uncompromising chronicler." --The New York Times Book Review

"No one writes about medicine as a human subject as well as Atul Gawande. His stories about becoming a surgeon are scary, funny, absorbing....Complications is a uniquely soulful book about the science of mending bodies." --Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon

"Gawande is arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around....He's prescient and thoughtful...the heir to Lewis Thomas' humble, insightful and brilliantly crafted oeuvre." --Salon.com

"Complications is a book about medicine that reads like a thriller. Every subject Atul Gawande touches is probed and dissected and turned inside out with such deftness and feeling and counterintuitive insight that the reader is left breathless." --Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point

"Gawande is a writer with a scalpel pen and an X-ray eye.... He turns every case--from gunshot wounds to morbid obesity to flesh-eating bacteria--into a thriller in miniature. Diagnosis: riveting." --Time

"Gawande's prose, much like the scalpel he wields, is precise, daring, but never reckless....Much like reading George Orwell, the reader emerges entertained, enlightened, transformed and immensely satisfied." --Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country

"Wrenching human tales...Gawande has pushed the medical yarn in a new direction." --The Boston Globe

"Atul Gawande is a rare and wonderful storyteller who portrays his profession with bravery and humanity." --Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist

"The stories in Complications are gripping medical mysteries that always have something extra. Gawande draws you in with the story but leaves you wiser about science, about health care issues, and even about the human condition." --Michael Kinsley

About the Author


Atul Gawande
is author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by Amazon.com as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. His latest book is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, and two National Magazine Awards. In his work in public health, he is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top international reviews

Brian R. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Daily dilemmas of a junior surgeon
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 December 2014
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Damaskcat
5.0 out of 5 stars Complications
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 September 2013
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Barbara Macdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Surgical practice
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 October 2015
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Tunde
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 March 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 May 2012
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Lily
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it and recommend it
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 June 2018
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Mrs v m wheeler
5.0 out of 5 stars My kind of book on real life.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 November 2019
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Joyce F
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary Stuff!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 May 2015
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Shree
4.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking and an honest account of a resident's training years
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 July 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 23 June 2013
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Kevin McCarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars in a nutshell.....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 September 2016
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The Five Sisters
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful essays on the problems of practising medicine
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 April 2014
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MP2020
4.0 out of 5 stars Speedy delivery but damaged book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 December 2019
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R. Merriman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, which can be read by the layman
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 May 2015
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Jeffrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Whatever a surgeon is doing there was always a moment when he did it for the first time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 January 2020
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