Top critical review
28 people found this helpful
Decent fact coverage, but his writing style is very spotty
on September 16, 1999
Dr. Nuland seems to have an amazing command of the form and function of much of the body. Unfortunately, his decriptions are often marred by overly verbose language that detracts from the topic at hand. For example: "As alarming and jarring as the page was, it was at the same time stangely exhilarating. At once supplicating and commanding, part outcry for help and part call to arms, the clamorous message spoke to me like some suddenly recalled ancestral imperitive." The book continues on like this for some time. It takes almost an entire page for Dr. Nuland to get from the front door of the hospital to the emergency room. This might not be so bad if it did not interrupt (read: stop cold) the flow of a quite riveting medical case study. It seems that much of this book has suffered from the overuse of a thesaurus. "Clamorous"?, "ancestral imperitive"?, give me a break.
Unlike another reviewer, I did not at all mind the long descriptions without illustrations of many of the body's vital systems. Since this is not intended to be an anatomy textbook, the fact that you cannot fully understand how these systems work had no bearing upon the point Dr. Nuland is trying to get across.
Overall, an interesting book, but severly hurt by his writing style. Perhaps another edition of this book can be run past a good editor.