Arnold van de Laar is a surgeon in the Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam, specialising in laparoscopic surgery. Born in 1969 in the Dutch town of 's-Hertogenbosch, van de Laar became fascinated by how the human body works in school biology lessons and went on to study medicine at the Belgian University of Leuven. Having travelled the world - the Himalayas, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, Kashmir, and extensively in Africa - van de Laar took his first job as general surgeon on the Caribbean Island of Sint Maarten. He started writing pieces on surgical history in the Dutch medical journal Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Heelkunde in 2009. He now lives in Amsterdam with his wife and two children where, a true Dutchman, he cycles to work every day. This is his first book.
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 TimesUtterly eccentric and riveting - Mail on SundayIrresistible . . . Van de Laar renders complex surgical procedures not only understandable, but also immensely entertaining . . . A lot of fun - The TimesIrresistible . . . 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 - The Daily Telegraph, 5* reviewFascinating . . . 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 IndependentFascinating . . . The author's sense of humour is as sharp as his scapel - SpectatorIn 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 - Nature