New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2009
Another excellent book from Audible, up there with "The Lotus Eaters" for my favorites of the year.
I listened to this book when I was in the hospital recovering from collarbone surgery, so the fact that the main character was a surgeon, as well as the frequent discussions about surgery and medical history, were at times difficult to listen to because of their realism. The author, a surgeon himself, depicts medicine and its practitioners in a glorious, almost idealized way -- if it weren't for the frequent deaths and sicknesses that befall the patients.
Although I was sad when the book left Ethiopia during the narrator's exile, I was pleasantly surprised to find how interesting the section about medical practice in the U.S. was. Like myself, the narrator works in an inner-city hospital that serves the poorest of the poor. In my own training (in clinical psychology) I have seen the preponderance of doctors with foreign degrees in these kinds of hospitals, but this novel gave me new insight into the division of labor in American hospitals (one kind of care for the wealthy, another for the poor). LIke the main character, I work with and for the poor, and I could appreciate his struggles understanding and being understood by the doctors from the "Mecca" hospital.
Well done, Verghese!
The narrator of "The Indian Clerk" is a reserved, gay mathematician (G. Hardy, a historical figure) from a middle-class background who, despite belonging to one of the most elite intellectual societies of his day, always feel a bit out-of-place in pre-WWI Cambridge. With a fellow mathematician, he manages to bring an obscure Indian mathematical genius, Ramanujan, to study and work at Cambridge. The book is a nostalgic account of an imagine relationship between the two men, one English, one Indian, who are united by their love of mathematics and divided by their cultural differences. A superb depiction of the pre-WWI and WWI era (one of my favorites to read about), as well as a bittersweet tale of a man's love for another.
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