Get a free audiobook

Close to the Sun

The Journey of a Pioneer Heart Surgeon
Written by: Stuart Jamieson
Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Taut, elegantly crafted, and ever-attentive to the patients for whom he was the last best chance, Close to the Sun is an adventurous, riveting account based on the experience of over 40,000 heart surgeries, where everything was on the line every moment in the O.R.

Stuart Jamieson has lived two lives. One began in heat and dust. Born to British ex-pats in colonial Africa, Jamieson was sent at the age of eight to a local boarding school, where heartless instructors bullied and tormented their students. In the summers, he escaped to fish on crocodile-infested rivers and explore the African bush. As a teenager, an apprenticeship with one of Africa's most fabled trackers taught Jamieson how to deal with dangerous game and even more dangerous poachers, lessons that would later serve him well in the high-stakes career he chose. 

Jamieson's second life unfolded when he went to London to study medicine during the turbulent 1960s, leaving behind the only home he knew as it descended into revolution. Brilliant and self-assured, Jamieson advanced quickly in the still-new field of open-heart surgery. It was a fraught time. For patients with terminal heart disease, heart transplants were the new hope. But poor outcomes had all but ended the procedure. 

In 1978, Jamieson came to America and to Stanford - the only cardiac center in the world doing heart transplants successfully. Here, Jamieson's pioneering work on the anti-rejection drug cyclosporin would help to make heart transplantation a routine life-saving operation, that is still in practice today as he continues to train the next generation of heart surgeons. 

Stuart Jamieson's story is the story of four decades of advances in heart surgery. Taut, elegantly crafted, and ever-attentive to the patients for whom he was the last best chance, Close to the Sun is an adventurous, riveting account based on the experience of over 40,000 heart surgeries, where everything was on the line every moment in the O.R.

©2019 Stuart Jamieson (P)2019 Recorded Books

What members say

No reviews are available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela Gjoligu
  • 2019-09-13

Such a wonderful history

I actually worked for Dr. Jamieson and he used to tell me these stories during my time with him. I loved those stories. I have been telling them to my children and anyone else who would listen. It was a great honor to work for this living legend. I am so glad he has recorded this history! This book is very well written. It made me laugh and cry. I have learned so much from Dr. Jamieson and now his wisdom, kindness and genius is available to everyone.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daniel
  • 2019-07-20

Life of a Cardiac Transplant Surgeon

I really enjoyed this book. Dr Jamieson is a true pioneer in the field and participated in the early days of cardiac transplant and open-heart surgery. He was born in Rhodesia and his growing up in Africa brings a special touch to the narrative. He went to medical school in England and eventually went to Stanford under Dr Norman Shumway . All legends in the field particularly my favorite Dr Walter Lilehy. After a bad experience in Minnesota, he moved to San Diego and never left building an outstanding surgical cardiac center. What is missing in the book is even a minimal insight into his personal life. Dr Jamieson never mentions his wife and children. Maybe with a record number of surgeries, there was no time for personal activities. There were days that he apparently did not sleep. He constantly mentions performing record number of lung and heart transplant as well as coronary bypass and pulmonary endarterectomies as if he wanted to win a contest in the Guinness book of records. I was disappointed with the frequent references to the number of operations he performed. He is a pioneer and legend in the field and the constant references to breaking records diminish his accomplishments. There is a big emptiness in his narrative when it comes to what kind of a person was he.?. Was there a family life? Did he spend all his life (24/7) on call and available for emergencies without suffering like most of us physicians from burn-out syndromes that include family disruption, divorce, and suicide.

Nevertheless, this is an excellent book giving the reader (listener ) a historical perspective of this exciting field..

Daniel Sette Camara, MD


  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 2019-05-20

Informative and Enjoyable

A very well written account of heart surgery history coupled with an enjoyable and exciting story of a doctor’s journey from child hood in Africa to pioneering heart and lung surgery in the US.