Skip to product information
1 of 1

Notting Hill Editions



Adventures in Neurology

by A.J. Lees

Regular price $19.95
Regular price Sale price $19.95
As a trainee doctor, A. J. Lees was enthralled by his mentors: esteemed neurologists who combined the precision of mathematicians, the scrupulosity of entomologists, and the solemnity of undertakers in their diagnoses and treatments. For them, there was no such thing as an unexplained symptom or psychosomatic problem—no difficult cases, just interesting ones—and it was only a matter of time before all disorders of the brain would be understood in terms of anatomical, electrical, and chemical connections.

Today, this kind of “holistic neurology” is on the brink of extinction as a slavish adherence to protocols and algorithms—plus a worship of machines—runs the risk of destroying the key foundational clinical skills of listening, observation, and imagination that have been at the heart of the discipline for more than 150 years.

In this series of brilliant, insightful, and autobiographical essays, Lees takes us on a kind of Sherlock Holmes tour of neurology, giving the reader insight into—and a defense of—the deep analytical tools that the best neurologists still rely on to diagnose patients: to heal minds and to fix brains.

Additional Book Information

Series: Notting Hill Editions
ISBN: 9781912559367
Pages: 184
Publication Date:


A fascinating and riveting book. A.J. Lees is that rare phenomenon: a literary stylist of the first rank who combines a fine aesthetic sensibility with deep scientific knowledge. . . . After reading this book, you will never feel the same about the words mind, body and soul.
—Andrew Hussey

“An exceptional compendium of marvellous phenomena that can captivate the imagination of students and neurologists to this day. . . . Lees’ writing style combines anatomical precision with ethereal poetry, which is reflected in his practice and teachings. . . . Brainspotting is a vibrant testimony of Lees’ love for clinical neurology, the value of observation in a world of randomised trials, and a melancholic battle cry against hasty, profit-driven, virtual, touchless, ‘scan-negative’ medicine. The book reminds us that the art of clinical neurology allows for remarkable discoveries nearly everywhere, provided that our senses remain open and clear.
The Lancet

The inevitable comparison of Lees with the late, great Oliver Sacks is entirely just.
—Raymond Tallis

A subtle, brilliant and unputdownable appeal for the place of the human factor in the practise of neurology during the age of fMRI and Google. . . . A remarkable book.
—Robert McCrum

This slim book of ten autobiographical essays functions, in a way, as a ward round. It’s a circumambulation of Lees’s clinical career. . . . Lees’s attempt to bring more soul to medical practice would surely have sat well with Oliver Sacks (and even Dr. House).
—Peter Bricklebank, Bellevue Literary Review

View full details
  • Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? Give them the gift of choice with a New York Review Books Gift Card.

    Gift Cards 
  • A membership for yourself or as a gift for a special reader will promise a year of good reading.

    Join NYRB Classics Book Club 
  • Is there a book that you’d like to see back in print, or that you think we should consider for one of our series? Let us know!

    Tell us about it