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An Irish Country Doctor: A Novel | [Patrick Taylor]

An Irish Country Doctor: A Novel

Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice.
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Publisher's Summary

Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice. At least until he meets Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly.

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Librarian OK, USA 06-13-13
    Librarian OK, USA 06-13-13

    Retired "Okie" librarian & happy to have found Audible for good stories & staying in touch with new authors & books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A medical Irish "All creatures great & small"!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rmdrescher 02-24-12
    rmdrescher 02-24-12
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    "CHARMING!"
    What did you love best about An Irish Country Doctor?

    I was truly transported to an


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Fingle. He was bigger than life, country - wise, funny and kind. I also loved Arthur, the crazy dog.


    What about John Keating’s performance did you like?

    Handled all the Northern Irish accents well.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The REAL Northern Ireland.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoy you trip!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane 11-13-12
    Jane 11-13-12

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "Absolutely delightful series!"

    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?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-20-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-20-12 Member Since 2006

    65 y/o father of two sons. Married 25 yrs. Audible member for 8 yrs. I can hardly read books with my eyes any more. I love reviewing.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An extremely Irish, very shaggy dog story."

    Listening to John Keating is pleasant. He does Irish accents well. However, listening to this book will make you fall into a long doze. There is almost zero plot. You can imagine from the title what this might be. As Dr. Barry Laverty puts it, "Am I really cut out for a rural medical practice?" That, fellow readers, is the plot. Dr. Laverty tries to learn the ropes from the crusty old Dr. O'Reilly. We meet most of the occupants of the tiny town of Ballybucklebo. The name itself promises way more fun that it delivers. After a few hours the quaint Irish people, with their cats and dogs and aches and pains, bore the living daylights out of you. Only people who really love this kind of thing will enjoy this.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy 01-06-11
    Kathy 01-06-11
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    "Just what the doctor ordered."

    This book is just what I was looking for. Great cast of characters. I love the story and the narrator is awesome!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Fort Worth, TX, United States 04-04-10
    Ruth Fort Worth, TX, United States 04-04-10
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    "Entertainment At It's Best"

    A great novel, with characters that feel like friends. A writer and a group of colorful cast members that will have you thinking about life and all it has to offer and coming back for more time and time again!

    The reader is excellent. His development of the different personalities in this book make it one of the best books I've read in a long time. Well worth it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 10-16-14
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 10-16-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Lighthearted fun read"

    I really enjoyed getting to know the characters in this book. I liked the young Dr. Laverty with his brand new medical degree and knowledge. Nevertheless, I especially liked the older, experienced Dr. O'Reilly and learning of the difficult situations that he experienced in the small town of Ballybucklebo.

    I also enjoyed the narration by John Keating.

    A thoroughly pleasurable read! I have put the 2nd book in the series on my Wish List already.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Hope, BC, Canada 06-14-14
    Connie Hope, BC, Canada 06-14-14 Member Since 2010

    Science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction...take me away!

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    "All Creatures Great and Small with an MD"

    Very enjoyable story of a new doctor's introduction to rural Ireland and being a physician in a small village. Reminiscent of "All Creatures Great and Small" in an endearing way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wendy 02-26-14
    wendy 02-26-14
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    "Lovely Book"
    What made the experience of listening to An Irish Country Doctor the most enjoyable?

    Easy to follow and understand


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dr. O'Reilly


    What does John Keating bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice is soothing and welcoming taking me to Balybuckleboo


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it was too long.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John PICKERINGTON, OH, United States 02-17-14
    John PICKERINGTON, OH, United States 02-17-14 Member Since 2004

    ND John

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    "A Study in Human Nature"
    Where does An Irish Country Doctor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Patrick Taylor's Books are meant for some light reading when I need "aMental Pick Me Up" I am "Patatoe Famine Irish" as my Mother's family imagrated to the USA through Canada on a Coffin Ship. These fun stories track my grandmother's old tales told to me in my youth. My children also holler "shu Fairy" to warn the wee ones when throwing things outside (to avoid suprising the Fairies & incuring their wrath.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I very much enjoy the keen understanding of human nature by The Doctor.


    What about John Keating’s performance did you like?

    John Keating knows how to use voice inflections to add reality to the story & it's many colorful characters making the listening very realistic. A fun series.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, this is a Book, among others in the series, that drive me to listen most of the night.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone with Irish heritige will enjoy Patrick Taylor, as will the not so fortunate. ND John

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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