May 28, 2013

An Irish Country Doctor

by Patrick Taylor

This novel is about a young doctor who works in an Irish country practice under the direction of a gruff older physician, well-respected (even feared) in the community but whose practices make Barry Laverty raise his eyebrows. At first I enjoyed reading about the interesting characters and run-ins the young doctor has with his patients, the older man's questionable ways of getting around their ignorance and stubbornness. There's also the intriguing details about medical practice in the sixties, and a little bit of romance. But in the end I found myself bored and loosing interest quickly. I skimmed a lot, barely finishing enough to avoid tagging this one as abandoned. It's an easy read but there's just not enough meat there for me. I found the little glossary in the back curious reading though, and not because it explained all the quaint local expressions used in the novel (soft hand under a duck = very gentle or good at something; not as green as you're cabbage looking = you're more clever than you seem). But also because there were a lot of expressions defined in there that were so familiar to me I'd think they would not need to be included. Such as bigger fish to fry, bit my head off, hold your horses, no spring chicken, you're on, among others. Did the author really think these were phrases particular to Ulster dialect?

Rating: 1/5 ......... 351 pages, 2004


bermudaonion said...

Sorry this was a stinker for you.

Bybee said...

Oh maaannn! This would have been the perfect book for you if it had been better! Sympathy.

Shelley said...

I saw the word "Irish" and had to see what this book was about. But I trust your judgment--I'll pass.