How Death Becomes Life by Joshua Mezrich #BookReview

how death

Author: Joshua Mezrich

Genre: Autobiographical memoir 

Format: Hardcover 384 pages

Release Date: 2 May 2019

Publisher: Atlantic Books

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book from Readers First. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


Leading transplant surgeon Dr Joshua Mezrich creates life from loss, moving organs from one body to another. In this intimate, profoundly moving work, he examines more than one hundred years of remarkable medical breakthroughs, connecting this fascinating history with the stories of his own patients.

Gripping and evocative, How Death Becomes Life takes us inside the operating room and presents the stark dilemmas that transplant surgeons must face daily: How much risk should a healthy person be allowed to take to save someone she loves? Should a patient suffering from alcoholism receive a healthy liver? The human story behind the most exceptional medicine of our time, Mezrich’s riveting book is a poignant reminder that a life lost can also offer the hope of a new beginning.

My Thoughts

I was incredibly intrigued to read this book as the concept of organ transplantation is hugely interesting to me. My grandfather received a kidney transplant some years ago now and went on to live a further 15 years and I just find the whole idea that that was because he received an organ from an unknown donor to be mind blowing. 

This book does contain quite a bit of medical language and there were times when the author is describing procedures that it all went a bit over my head, but for the most part, even a complete layman like myself can still read this book and get enjoyment from it. 

I really enjoyed the sections dedicated to the donor’s and the people that received the organs. I’m definitely more fascinated by the human interest side of organ transplant, having said that though, there are sections where the author gives a bit of history and background and into how organ transplant came to be what we know it today and I found those sections very interesting also. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I definitely learned a lot about the subject. If you can manage to make your way through the medical speak there are some really interesting sections in this book and I think it would make everything think twice about becoming a donor. 

About the Author

A graduate of Cornell Medical School, Joshua Mezrich, MD, is an associate professor of surgery in the division of multi-organ transplantation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds great and hopefully it will encourage organ donation too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so. I think it’s just the most wonderful gift you could possibly give

      Liked by 1 person

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