Extremes by Kevin  Fong
(Hodder & Stoughton, 2013)


by Kevin Fong

Extremes is a book about life: its fragility, its beauty and its resilience. Drawing on his own experience as an anaesthetist and intensive care expert, Kevin Fong will explore what it means to be alive by looking at life’s boundaries - at the human body’s response when tested by the extremes of heat and cold, vacuum and altitude, age and disease - and show how science, technology and medicine have taken what was once lethal in the world and made it survivable. Chapter by chapter, it will examine the frontiers that medicine has challenged and overcome in the last century. This is a book about medicine, but also about exploration in its broadest sense - and about how, by probing the very limits of our biology, we may ultimately return with a better appreciation of how our bodies work, of what life is, and what it means to be human.


It would be hard to find anyone better qualified to write a book on the limits of human physiology than Dr Kevin Fong. His experiences in human spaceflight at NASA, in frontline medicine, and his deep scientific knowledge, shine through. If you want to know what the human body can take, and why we must continue to push ourselves beyond the limit in the name of exploration, then read this book.”
- Professor Brian Cox
A delight… Fong elegantly balances heroism with rationalism, courage with compassion, shock with humility and humour.”
- The Guardian
Fong’s knowledge and passion are the throbbing pulse of this riveting book. ”
- the Daily Mail
In Extremes, the ever-intrepid Kevin Fong reveals the fascinating link between geographical exploration and medical innovation, with stories that are as strange and intriguing as they are illuminating. ”
- Atul Gawande, surgeon and author of Complications, Better, and The Checklist Manifesto