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Publisher's Summary

An unborn baby with a fatal heart defect . . . a skier submerged for an hour in a frozen Norwegian lake . . . a comatose brain surgery patient whom doctors have declared a "vegetable."

Twenty years ago all of them would have been given up for dead, with no realistic hope for survival. But today, thanks to incredible new medical advances, each of these individuals is alive and well . . .Cheating Death.

In this riveting book, Dr. Sanjay Gupta - neurosurgeon, chief medical correspondent for CNN, and best-selling author- chronicles the almost unbelievable science that has made these seemingly miraculous recoveries possible. A bold new breed of doctors has achieved amazing rescues by refusing to accept that any life is irretrievably lost. Extended cardiac arrest, "brain death," not breathing for over an hour-all these conditions used to be considered inevitably fatal, but they no longer are. Today, revolutionary advances are blurring the traditional line between life and death in fascinating ways.

Drawing on real-life stories and using his unprecedented access to the latest medical research, Dr. Gupta dramatically presents exciting accounts of how pioneering physicians and researchers are altering our understanding of how the human body functions when it comes to survival-and why more and more patients who once would have died are now alive. From experiments with therapeutic hypothermia to save comatose stroke or heart attack victims to lifesaving operations in utero to the study of animal hibernation to help wounded soldiers on far-off battlefields, these remarkable case histories transform and enrich all our assumptions about the true nature of death and life.

©2009 Sanjay Gupta (P)2009 Hachette

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What listeners say about Cheating Death

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book!

One reviewer said the author was monotone and should not have narrated his own book. I totally disagree. Sanjay did a great job because like he said, he is passionate about what he does. There was nothing monotone about it. Great book with great insight with relevant patient stories to accompany.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting and insightful

As a non-physician medical professional, this was a great book. I don't know the long term outcome of his ideas and/or observations, but if ANY of them become part of the accepted medical culture, it'll be worth it. I recoommend to all medical, pharmacy and nursing students, residents, and practicing clinicians.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read

Well written and well narrated. Angie Shelton
Stanford University Medical Ctr

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great informative read

Dr Gupta seems to do it all perfectly. I enjoyed his book and TV shots. He is very much enjoyed.
Bill Longpre

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Beyond my expectations

Wonderful stories. Hated to have this one end.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A Journey to the Edge of Life

How many of us, at one time or another, have wondered about the end of life, either our own or that of a loved on already gone? In this outstanding narration of his own book, practicing clinical neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, M.D., explores and explains just how far modern medicine has been able to push the envelope between life and death, and what defines the very limits of both. Using plain english for the lay person, with enough medical detail to capture those medical professionals alike, Dr. Gupta takes us on a tour of one of those areas that is a frequently tabooed subject in medicine-after all-death is in a way medicine's 'arch-enemy'. Yet after listening to this Audible presentation, a first for me, and an experience unlike any before, I felt as though I had spent many hours one on one with the good doctor himself, as he delves into areas I've never heard another highly acclaimed physician talk about before, and I came away with a whole new appreciation, and understanding!

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Scientist as narrator

Why oh why do scientists and medical doctors insist on narrating their own writings? Sanjay Gupta is a great doctor and the book was fairly interesting but he narrated it himself in a monotone and with bad punctuation, and said the word "quote" so many times I could barely listen. Pay an actor or professional reader! Please!

3 people found this helpful

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Must read!

I love this book from start to finish. The storytelling and the medical specifics are captivating. The perfect mix of science and spirit. I will be purchasing the hard copy and reading it again. I've already recommended it to several of my patients. Cheating in Death is the most highly recommended book to read. Sanjay Gupta is an amazing individual, doctor, husband and father. He is worthy to model and look up to. His work is transformative and it makes a difference. Thank you to the author and the entire team that I put this amazing book together. I'm looking forward to the documentary.

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What an interesting read

This book clearly raises topics that many people avoid. Through the use of examples that people can often relate to, the reader’s curiosity is piqued. What happens to those who have had near-death experiences? What happens when we die?

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Our obsession with living forever.

Unlike some critics, I enjoyed Dr. Gupta's narration of his book. I was a bit wary of the subject matter- everyone dies and as a culture we have a hard time acknowledging this and to have such an influential MD write a book on "cheating death..." well, I was prepared for the worst. The first chapter was a bit maddening- extraordinary feats of survival in mostly extraordinary circumstances become the base for suggesting cooling therapy after MIs and strokes. While the take away was important- cooling therapy, though poorly adopted in the US, has great potential for reducing harm, I didn't appreciate the emphasis on "and you too could live forever!" As so often is the case, scant mention was given to quality of life versus quantity of life. As it went on, the book got better. I enjoyed that he delved into the unknown, tying together near death experiences with the physiology of death, sleep etc, and the piece on intrauterine surgery was interesting. As a follow up I suggest Katy Butler's Knocking on Heaven's Door, a Path to a Better Way of Death.

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  • Alistair
  • 03-11-11

Didn't finish it

I have a particular interest in this sort of thing and sadly there wasn't enough interest generated by the text to keep me listening and I gave up. I suspect this book might be better if abridged. Don't bother.