Fourteen spellbinding vignettes about hospital procedures and medical training are related through the eyes of a well-established surgeon, some of them experienced as the patient. They expose the reader to the reality of the responsibility taken on when a violent act is performed in the name of healing. We learn what it feels like to lose a patient and how difficult it is to let them go while consoling family and loved ones. We learn what a trained surgeon is thinking when he goes under the knife. Karl reveals much about his character and integrity along with his relationships to his students, patients, friends, family and coworkers in this little volume. Every reader will be glad he shared it. Medical terms used are carefully explained for the layperson. This book is entertaining in some parts, but very intense in others, making it difficult to put down. It has value for anyone interested in medical matters or simply a good read, and will be helpful for prospective medical students to decide whether surgery interests them. KLIATT Codes: SA*Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Temple Univ. Press, 147p., Ages 15 to adult.