The older physician, whose motto is to never let the patients get the upper hand, has his own way of doing things. At first, Barry can't decide if the pugnacious O'Reilly is the biggest charlatan he has ever met, or the best teacher he could ever hope for. Through O'Reilly, Barry soon gets to know all of the village's colorful and endearing residents, including a malingering Major and his equally hypochondriacal wife; an unwed servant girl, who refuses to divulge the father of her upcoming baby; a slightly daft old couple unable to marry for lack of a roof; and a host of other eccentric characters who make every day an education for the inexperienced young doctor.
Ballybucklebo is long way from Belfast, and Barry is quick to discover that he still has a lot to learn about the quirks and traditions of country life. But with pluck and compassion and only the slightest touch of blarney, he will find out more about life - and love - than he ever imagined back in medical school.
An Irish Country Doctor is a charming and engrossing tale that will captivate listeners from the very first page - and leave them yearning to visit the Irish countryside of days gone by.
©2007 Patrick Keating; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
If you loved the James Herriot series that began with "All Creatures Great and Small," it will be next-to-impossible not to recognize the similarities in this first of the "An Irish Country Doctor" series. Young doctor with a newly minted degree travels to the wilds of Ireland to work for the irascible local country doctor that the community loves...and meets, perhaps, the love of his life. You may also feel ripples of "Ballykissangel" if you are/were a fan of that BBC series. While this is an enjoyable book, and John Keating does a great job with the narration, this novel fell short of "All Creatures..." and "Ballykissangel" for me. It has charm, but lacks the warmth.
This book should come with a warning. If you are traveling with children, you may want to choose another story. The "F bomb" is dropped regularly throughout the story, and in some places very liberally.
All of that being said, I'll buy the next in the series to see if Mr. Taylor warms up to his characters.
Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.
Yes, I am recommending it to you!
It is a happy, heartwarming, village tale that brings to my mind Herriot's "All Creatures Great & Small". Some readers might not agree with the comparison but I think it is inevitable. The new (Laverty) & old (O'Reilly) doctors are human medical doctors, in a village (Ballybucklebo) in Ireland, in the 60's. Views of our drives across Ireland came to my mind mixed with scenes from PBS TV series "All Creatures Great and Small". I loved that show.
I enjoyed both the young and the more experienced doctors. I think Patrick Taylor likes both too, maybe puts a little of himself into them. They reflect his medical knowledge & confidence. This harkens to a time we are all nostalgic for when we felt a personal connection with our own doctor (if it did ever exist).
Keating did an excellent job with the voices of the educated doctors, the villagers, the women, & the children.
Listen to this gentle series. You will feel rewarded!
I read a lot of action-based fiction with fast moving plots, but decided to try something a bit different. This was a fantastic read that really makes you feel like part of the small town in Northern Ireland where it is set. The characters are interesting, different, and well developed and there is just enough of plot to keep you going to the end. The narrator does a terrific job with all the different Irish accents.
The good news about this book is that is it the first of a series. When I had finished listening, I wanted to know more about these endearing characters. And the series will satisfy this in many ways.
At first I had to get used to Keating's narrative style. His Irish voice initially suggests the lilt that is often associated with reading children's books. But he creates excellent voices, enjoys the Irish accent, and I quickly found him a pleasure to listen to. As a side point, I found myself identifying the many phrases -- 'saying' -- used in everyday Australian colloquialisms as coming from Ireland. Hardly surprising, given our immigration history, but it was entertaining to recognise them.
The writer, Patrick Taylor, is an Irish ex pat, now living in Canada -- an eminent medico. This explains the confident presentation of symptoms and solutions. It also explains the nostalgia for people and place that characterises this novel -- the awareness of the limits and the innumberable advantages of the small, relatively isolatedIrish village community of the recent past.
Taylor's style is perfect for the audio format. He is an ordered and careful writer. Unlike many writers, he doesn't demand we remember innumerable names and complex subplots. In fact, he regularly summarises and thus takes the listener effortlessly along with him. This is the perfect gentle escape.
Well, I've downloaded the whole series: is that recommendation enough?
I was truly transported to an
Fingle. He was bigger than life, country - wise, funny and kind. I also loved Arthur, the crazy dog.
Handled all the Northern Irish accents well.
The REAL Northern Ireland.
Enjoy you trip!
Too much filthy language.
This book was like a James Herriot "wannabe" but it fell far short.
I liked the story. It was kind of a nice trip through the countryside- probably could use a little bit more of something but overall a nice story to listen to.
A very entertaining story of Irish country life told with a lot of character, humor and heart. It has some language for those who may be sharing this with young children but I don't mind it I thought of a lot of life to the characters as it reminded my of my own irish family! I thoroughly enjoyed the narrator and his wonderful accents!
Yes. Having worked in Family Practice in a small town in the US there was much that I could identify with in this book. Listening to this book and the subsequent books in the series I feel like I'm sitting in a parlor with the doctors and feel right at home.
Without a doubt it is the extraordinary narration by Mr. Keating that truly makes listening to this great story an wonderful and heart-warming experience. His grasp of Irish dialects and regional accents is fantastic.
The first in the series and I've since listened to two more. Love the series! It's really a trip into a bygone era, even though set in the 1960s. The characters are fun and believable. This series is a medical doctor version of Herriot's books about an English veterinarian--a pleasant peek into the lives of people who lived in a different time and place.
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