The Tenth Nerve: A Brain Surgeon's Stories of the Patients Who Changed Him (Paperback)

The Tenth Nerve: A Brain Surgeon's Stories of the Patients Who Changed Him By Dr. Chris Honey Cover Image

The Tenth Nerve: A Brain Surgeon's Stories of the Patients Who Changed Him (Paperback)


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Combining a humane perspective, lively anecdotes, and a deep curiosity about the uncharted territories of the human brain, The Tenth Nerve is a richly fascinating memoir that will fill you with wonder.

“The scalpel can only go so deep, and technical skill can only take one so far.”

In this absorbing narrative, Dr. Chris Honey, an accomplished neurosurgeon at Vancouver General Hospital, weaves his personal journey together with case studies that reflect the thrill of scientific discovery and the limitations of medicine. Operating on a terminally ill child amid an Ebola outbreak in Liberia, he questions his preconceptions about what it means to "win" against a disease. Reflecting on his own path into neurosurgery, he brings to life a relatively new, high stakes field of medicineone that historically demanded emotional detachment and often attracts extreme personalities.

With a compassionate eye, he traces the courage and determination of several patients suffering from mysterious, unrecognized illnesses, and  invites us into the operating room with Dr. Honey and his team to witness the extraordinary discoveryinvolving the tenth cranial nerveof an entirely new disease and its cure. And, outside the OR, an unusual friendship with a former patient alters his perspective on clinical detachment, and what "quality of life" really means.

Riveting and dramatic, The Tenth Nerve offers a rare window into the world of a pre-eminent neurosurgeon and seven exceptional patients that made him a better doctor.
Dr. Chris Honey is a neurosurgeon at Vancouver General Hospital and Head of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of British Columbia. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Toronto and his doctoral degree from Oxford University as a Canadian Rhodes Scholar. Dr. Honey lives in Vancouver with his family.
Product Details ISBN: 9781039001183
ISBN-10: 1039001181
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Publication Date: August 29th, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English
“[Honey is] a caring and compassionate physician and an impressive prose stylist. Writing well for a general audience about the complexities of the brain and the challenges of neurosurgery can be a daunting task. . . . Honey takes on the challenge in this compelling human document and tells his stories in polished, engaging prose that moves smoothly from vivid descriptions of brain surgery to profiles of his patients and colleagues, to good-humoured wit, often at his own expense. . . . If The Tenth Nerve confined itself to a mere display of the author’s impressive erudition and clinical experience it would be a perfectly adequate addition to the world of popular science, but it would be a lesser book than the one that Honey has crafted here. . . . This is a terrific book. Highly recommended.” —The Vancouver Sun

“A new book by the Head of Neurosurgery [at the University of British Columbia] offers a fresh perspective about medicine and a riveting look into neurosurgical operating rooms…. Honey’s new book brings the reader into the operating room and reveals the impact that patient and surgeon have on each other's lives.” —The Ubyssey

“In The Tenth Nerve, Chris Honey shows us more than the neurosurgeon’s hidden world—the chaos of the emergency, the ache of the hopeless patient, the subtly pulsing moonscape of the brain under an operating microscope. His is a heartfelt and informed story about crafting a working wisdom, an acumen, about his patients, his profession and, ultimately, himself.” —Dr. Liam Durcan, author of The Measure of Darkness and Garcia's Heart

In this revealing memoir, Chris Honey weaves impressive surgical knowledge and thrilling medical history together with real patient cases, allowing the reader to bear witness to a modern-day medical breakthrough. Beautifully written and accessible, The Tenth Nerve features the touching stories of patients who profoundly impacted Dr. Honey’s career and transformed him personally.” —Dr. Christian Smith, author of The Scientist and the Psychic: A Son’s Exploration of His Mother’s Gift