Threats of Pain and Ruin (Paperback)
What is written without pain, said Doctor Johnson, is rarely read with pleasure. Rarely perhaps, but not, I hope, never: for the little essays in this book were written, I must confess, without much angst. In part this was because, in writing them, I had no thesis to prove, no axe to grind, except that the world is both infinitely interesting and amusing, and provides us with an inexhaustible source of material for philosophical reflection. Many of the subjects treated of in this book were found by serendipity or came to me in flashes - it would be immodest to call them of inspiration - of previously unsuspected connection and interest. I can only hope that they entertain the reader as they have entertained me. At least they will do no harm, in compliance with the first principle of medical ethics. - Theodore Dalrymple.