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You know how it is when you go under. The jab, the countdown, the—
—and then you wake.
This book is about what happens in between.
Until a hundred and seventy years ago many people chose death over the ordeal of surgery. Now hundreds of thousands undergo operations every day. Anaesthesia has made it possible.
But how much do we really know about what happens to us on the operating table? Can we hear what’s going on around us? Is pain still pain if we are not awake to feel it, or don’t remember it afterwards? How does the unconscious mind deal with the body’s experience of being cut open and ransacked? And how can we help ourselves through it?
Haunting, lyrical, sometimes shattering, Anaesthesia leavens science with personal experience to bring an intensely human curiosity to the unknowable realm beyond consciousness.
‘The prose is quite gorgeous—simultaneously tough and tender.’
‘A work of splendid richness and depth, driven by a curiosity so intense that it hazards at times the extreme boundaries of the sayable.’