The Pleasure Shock: The Rise of Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Forgotten Inventor

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Product Details

Dutton Books
Publish Date
6.3 X 1.1 X 9.2 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author

LONE FRANK is an acclaimed science writer and the author of two previous books in English, My Beautiful Genome (Oneworld, 2011)--which was shortlisted for the Royal Society's Winton Prize for Science Books--and Mindfield (Oneworld, 2009). She has also been a presenter and coproducer of several TV documentaries with global distribution and is currently working on a feature-length, internationally financed, English-language documentary about Heath and deep brain stimulation. Before her career as a science writer, she earned a PhD in neurobiology and worked in the US biotech industry. She lives in Copenhagen.


Praise for The Pleasure Shock

"[A] wide-ranging, thoughtful exploration...Frank has written an excellent, balanced portrait of an inventive psychiatrist with a complicated legacy."
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A thoughtful, always interesting look into the workings of the mind--and the sometimes-surprising implications of how those workings have been revealed."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Frank has traced and interviewed surviving patients, former collaborators, family members and current DBS scientists. The result is a rarity: a thrilling, well-researched read."

"Compelling... engaging... an accessible and entertaining description of this relatively unknown chapter in the history of DBS."
-The Lancet

"Nuanced and thoughtful."
-The Washington Free Beacon

"A beautifully written, nuanced compendium that unfurls like an engrossing mystery, filled with colorful characters, gripping drama and mind-blowing scientific history in the making, definitely one of the most mesmerizing nonfiction books with New Orleans roots ever."
-New Orleans Living

"The Pleasure Shock is a page-turner full of fascinating characters, high-stakes drama, and profound ethical dilemmas. Lone Frank--a trained neuroscientist and gifted storyteller--illuminates the dark roots of a modern-day medical marvel, and her book should be required reading for anyone interested in our ongoing efforts to tame the human mind by tinkering with the human brain."
-Luke Dittrich, award-winning author of Patient H.M.

"Scientists who are ahead of their time are often odd characters. Robert Heath is a dramatic example. Lone Frank brings his history and dramatic personality to life. She tells the untold story of his work on deep brain stimulation as a treatment for mental disorders. Was it pioneering or premature? Her nuanced portrait reveals Heath as a scientist-clinician who is neither monster nor hero, but passionate and persistent. I am astounded that I never knew this story despite decades in psychiatry. Others will be as fascinated as I am."
-Dr. Randolph Nesse, author of Why We Get Sick

"The Pleasure Shock is an illuminating expose on yet another dark, misunderstood time in our medical past. I could not put this book down."
-Paul Ruggieri MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon

"The Pleasure Shock
is not only a fascinating biography of brain-implant pioneer Robert Heath. It also explores a profound and disturbing question: Can we, and should we, use technology to eradicate suffering and evil?"
-John Horgan, Director, Center for Science Writings, Stevens Institute of Technology, and author of The End of Science