I'm at a loss on how to describe this book in an efficient way. There are stories from Shaw's career as a transplant surgeon. They are mostly stories of failure, as if he's contemplating the ones that bother him over time. There are stories of the people he worked with in the OR. There are also stories of his personal life. All are told with a simple narrative style that is fairly engaging.
But the organization of the book lost me. He jumps to and fro in his life, back, forward, back again but not so far. But he never gives us the linear bio that's needed in the intro to allow him to do it. He had three wives (serially), and in one story when he referred to his wife, I literally had no idea which one he meant. Does that matter? It doesn't really make a difference in the story, but it was hard to keep track. He also had other family members coming and going with little intro. Over 200 pages in was when we learn he has kids, and he's spent some serious narrative time in that part of his life already. His first mention of his own cancer is almost passing. Wait a minute, did he just say...?!?
It's as if all his stories start in the middle, with no beginnings and very few endings. I was really lost, and it gave the impression that his family and personal life wasn't all that important, and yet he spent a lot of time talking about it. There are three titled sections of the book, but I couldn't figure out how the heck they were organized or why stories were in there. There's a random story about his sister's childhood concussion in the second story. I still have no idea why what or several other stories are even in the book.
So... if you're looking for some stories about life in the OR, especially in the early days of liver transplants, this is the book for you. Go for it. Just don't get hung up on making sense of the overall story line.
Got a free copy of this from First to Read.