The issue of brain texture is on my mind all the time. Why? I am a neurosurgeon. The brain is my business. Many of the brains I encounter have been pushed around by tumors, blood clots, infections or strokes that have swollen out of control. Some have been invaded by bullets, nails or even maggots. I see brains at their most vulnerable.'As Katrina Firlik says in her introduction, if you are about to go under the knife, you don't care if your surgeon has published a paper in Nature or the New Scientist - what you really need is a good brain mechanic and preferably a swift one. In this absorbing and compelling book she opens wide the doors of the operating theatre and invites the reader into the weird and often wonderful world of brain surgery. Using individual stories as the starting point for each chapter - such as the carpenter with a nail in his head or the man with maggots on the brain - she looks at the technical versus the intellectual side of brain surgery, what kind of person becomes a brain surgeon, the tools of the trade, a 'day at the office', the ethics and dilemmas of surgery and the future including 'designer' brains.