War Doctor | David Nott | Book Review

Spoiler Free Review

I really am not sure how I stumbled upon this book, but the title was super intriguing and I just fell in love with the cover. This book turned out to be everything I wished to be. Growing from humble beginnings to work for humanitarian grounds! This book has definitely caught my eye and this review is something that is close to me.

Title: War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line
Author: David Nott
Genre: Non-Fiction / Memoir / Medicine
Pages: 355
Rating: 5/5
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Image Credits: Goodreads


For more than 25 years, surgeon David Nott has volunteered in some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993 to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out lifesaving operations in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major metropolitan hospital. He is now widely acknowledged as the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world.

War Doctor is his extraordinary story, encompassing his surgeries in nearly every major conflict zone since the end of the Cold War, as well as his struggles to return to a “normal” life and routine after each trip. Culminating in his recent trips to war-torn Syria—and the untold story of his efforts to help secure a humanitarian corridor out of besieged Aleppo to evacuate some 50,000 people—War Doctor is a blend of medical memoir, personal journey, and nonfiction thriller that provides unforgettable, at times raw, insight into the human toll of war.

Source: Goodreads

My Thoughts

This book is about David Nott’s journey as a doctor in war-torn areas through his own eyes as a trauma surgeon. He talks about the atrocities in wars, how children are affected, how lives of civilians are in danger (neither are doctors and peacekeepers) and his role as a doctor to save lives irrespective of them being the terrorists or children. He brings the extreme acts of altruism of his and the fellow doctors in such conditions to light and commands respect for the work he has done.

This book definitely met my expectations. And it certainly is one of my favourite books of 2020, and one of my all-time Favourites too! The story David narrates brings the front lines to your couch and it makes everything so real that you hear patients scream in pain in your head, feel the tremors of bombs being dropped and the void of abandonment when everyone runs away to save themselves as David stands in the dark with his medical instrument and a patient of the operating table as the area around the hospital he works at are bombed.

I had always wanted to volunteer in a refugee camp, help people and all. This book showed the reality to me. I now have a better idea of how serious the situation is and how high the stakes are. Mainly, I learnt how doctors work and how tough life is for them. Also, I learnt quite much about medical procedures as well, as he goes into a good amount of detail! Sometimes the medical procedures are a little intense and I needed to stop and then go ahead.

The language was fluid and easy to grasp. This was entirely a book in the 1st person, life as seen and experienced by David. His decision-making process, his successes, his failures, his weakest moments, yes they did humanize him and made him very relatable and I had begun to respect him for everything he as done and perhaps I can go on to claim that he in many ways is a role model to me. The sheer amount of mental strain and trauma when he goes back home truly speaks about the horrors one has to witness in those hard areas.

The descriptions are what make this book stand apart. The situations he’s been in are terrible and he captures all of those moments in the best way possible. He doesn’t tell what to feel, as a person reading his descriptions you begin to feel your gut wrench and feel breathless and there are times you just have to stop, for a while to take a break. This is really awkward

What I really liked about the book: I really loved the honesty in this book as he talks about his own mistakes equally as much as the good he has done and this is a really great effort towards helping us understand the cause of saving lives where people are sniped by the government and terrorists just to win bets!

What I didn’t like about the book: The only thing I can complain about this book was the slightly messed up chronology. It was a little confusing when he jumped between events before and after his current mission.

My Recommendation

This book definitely is not for the faint hearted. Reading the events in the book at times hurts you physically. But, it’s just not all doom and gloom. This book brings hope, goodwill exists.

This is a book for anyone who is interested in reading about warzones and people’s experiences there and anyone remotely interested in medicine and lives of doctors and Trauma Surgeons. If anyone is really interested in volunteering in such areas, you could pick it up.

This book also helps the David Nott foundation which sponsors doctors all over the world to be trained in Trauma Surgeries and buying a copy of this book definitely would be a small contribution to a cause of perhaps saving lives of people.

I Would Rate it:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have watched a documentary called “The Cave” which is about doctors in the war torn Aleppo. I would implore you to please check out this trailer.

Until Next Time,
Stay Home, Stay Safe,
More Power To You

3 thoughts on “War Doctor | David Nott | Book Review

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