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Head of Zeus
The Ministry of Bodies
The Ministry of Bodies by Seamus O'Mahony

Life and death in a modern hospital, from Seamus O'Mahony, the award-winning author of The Way We Die Now and Can Medicine Be Cured?

Seamus O'Mahony charts the realities of work in the 'ministry of bodies', that huge complex where people come to be cured and to die. From unexpected deaths to moral quandaries and bureaucratic disasters, O'Mahony documents life in the halls and wards that all of us will visit at some point in our lives with his characteristic wit and dry and unsentimental intelligence.

Absurd general emails, vain and self-promoting specialists, the relentless parade of self-destructive drinkers and drug users, the comical expectations of baffled patients: this is not a conventional medical memoir, but the collective biography of one of our great modern institutions – the general hospital – through the eyes of a brilliant writer, who happens to be a doctor.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Memoir
04 Mar 2021 * 320pp * £20 * 9781838931926
'Sharp and pithy observations ... An insight into the realities of healthcare that no journalist could hope to capture'
Danielle Barron, Irish Times
'No one writes as clearly and intelligently about modern medicine as Seamus O'Mahony'
Emily Hourican, Sunday Independent
'Wonderfully funny and curmudgeonly, The Ministry of Bodies is a descent into the very bowels of modern medicine, as brilliant and candid as Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward'
Kevin Toolis
'Doctors tend to be seen as saints and heroes, but that's a picture few of them recognise. Seamus O'Mahony, a medical Dostoevsky, gives a much more interesting and much funnier portrayal of a doctor's life'
Richard Smith, former editor of the British Medical Journal
'The Ministry of Bodies has much of what we expect from O'Mahony – it's blunt, witty, erudite, curmudgeonly'
Melanie Reid, The Times
'There's plenty of interesting strangeness'
'Funny, sad, infuriating, heartening and depressing, all in almost equal measure, although the overarching theme is one of deep regret for what has been lost ... There are many parts of The Ministry of Bodies that had me laughing out loud ... O'Mahony has a very keen eye for the absurd. But much of it made me wince too ... The moral conviction of the book is unwavering'
Irish Sunday Independent
Seamus O'Mahony
Seamus O'Mahony
Seamus O'Mahony spent many years working for the National Health Service in Britain. He now lives in his native Cork, in the south of Ireland. He is the author of The Way We Die Now, which won a BMA Book Award in 2017, Can Medicine Be Cured? and The Ministry of Bodies.
ALSO BY Seamus O'Mahony
The Way We Die Now
Can Medicine Be Cured?