John Sweeney

Harrowing Dispatches

Contact Wounds: A War Surgeon’s Education


Picador 416pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

The final lines of Lermontov’s ‘The Sail’ – ‘Restless, he begs for storms, / As though in storms there is rest’ – sum up the spirit of this book. Raw courage, skill and knowledge are on show in these dispatches of a battle surgeon from harrowing places. But there is also a saddening sense of personal dislocation, as if the author is not a man who is at ease with himself. 

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