Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Under the Knife

Under the Knife

The history of surgery in 28 famous operations – from Louis XIV to JFK, and from Einstein to Houdini.

In Under the Knife, surgeon Arnold Van de Laar uses his own experience and expertise to tell the witty history of the past, present and future of surgery.

From the story of the desperate man from seventeenth-century Amsterdam who grimly cut a stone out of his own bladder to Bob Marley’s deadly toe infection, Under the Knife offers all kinds of fascinating and unforgettable insights into medicine and history via the operating theatre.

What happens during an operation? How does the human body respond to being attacked by a knife, a bacterium, a cancer cell or a bullet? And, as medical advances continuously push the boundaries of what medicine can cure, what are the limits of surgery?

From the dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today’s sterile, high-tech operating theatres, Under the Knife is both a rich cultural history, and a modern anatomy class for us all.

(P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
Read More

Genre: Medicine / Surgery / General Surgery

On Sale: 11th January 2018

Price: £25

ISBN-13: 9781473674417


This is history with a surgeon's touch: deft, incisive and sometimes excruciatingly bloody . . . A fascinating combination of art, medical science and - still - daring butchery
The Sunday Times
Utterly eccentric and riveting
Mail on Sunday
Irresistible . . . Van de Laar renders complex surgical procedures not only understandable, but also immensely entertaining . . . A lot of fun
The Times
[A] fascinating history of surgery . . . eye-opening and, frequently, eye-watering . . . a book that invites readers to peer up the bottoms of kings, into the souls of rock stars and down the ear canals of astronauts
Helen Brown, The Daily Telegraph, 5* review
Fascinating . . . a brisk but revealing tour of the human body. Each story shines a light on the wonders and weaknesses of our biology, and on the science we have used to treat it
Irish Independent
Fascinating . . . The author's sense of humour is as sharp as his scapel
In this witty chronicle, surgeon Arnold van de Laar dissects thousands of years' worth of remarkably gruesome stories. From anaesthetic-free amputations and bloodletting to Albert Einstein's aneurysm, these are key insights into the cut and thrust of medicine