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The House of God | [Samuel Shem]

The House of God

By turns heartbreaking, hilarious, and utterly human, The House of God is a mesmerizing and provocative journey that takes us into the lives of Roy Basch and five of his fellow interns at the most renowned teaching hospital in the country.
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Publisher's Summary

By turns heartbreaking, hilarious, and utterly human, The House of God is a mesmerizing and provocative journey that takes us into the lives of Roy Basch and five of his fellow interns at the most renowned teaching hospital in the country. Young Dr. Basch and his irreverent confident, known only as the Fat Man, will learn not only how to be fine doctors but, eventually, good human beings. Samuel Shem has done what few in American medicine have dared to do---create an unvarnished, unglorified, and amazingly forthright portrait revealing the depth of caring, pain, pathos, and tragedy felt by all who spend their lives treating patients and stand at the crossroads between science and humanity.

With over two million copies sold worldwide, The House of God has been hailed as one of the most important medical novels of the 20th century and compared to Sinclair Lewis's Arrowsmith for its poignant portrayal of the education of American doctors.

©1978 Stephen Bergman (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Fascinating." (The Wall Street Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (234 )
5 star
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4.2 (210 )
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4.4 (206 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brian North Las Vegas, NV, United States 10-26-14
    Brian North Las Vegas, NV, United States 10-26-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gets a lot of hype."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would, but only to doctor friends and I would try to manage their expectations.


    If you’ve listened to books by Samuel Shem before, how does this one compare?

    n/a


    Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

    Fats. Good humor, good advice to main character.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably


    Any additional comments?

    I was a little surprised about the amount of sex in this book. Either I'm really boring or it was a different time in the 70s. If I tried to have sex with as many nurses as what goes on in this book I would have been fired with maybe a lawsuit. Different times....
    I don't know if it enhanced the story either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JD 07-28-14
    JD 07-28-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Essential for any medical resident"
    What other book might you compare The House of God to and why?

    As an avid fan of Scrubs, I loved seeing all the references that Scrubs used from this book!


    Any additional comments?

    A blend of satire, realism, and comedy - a must win!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 05-15-14
    Jennifer 05-15-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Too much sex that doesn't add to the subject!"
    What would have made The House of God better?

    If the description would have included the fact that the author refers to sex as often as possible.


    Has The House of God turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I was never into sex books to begin with. I still like medical books, which I thought this would be, but it's not.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

    No


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to return this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mahendra (MH) Melbourne Australia 11-11-13
    Mahendra (MH) Melbourne Australia 11-11-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Narrative of a young doctor"

    This book gives an insight into the practices that trainee underwent in the about 30 or 40 yrs ago. The book is salacious at times, perhaps it was a true reflection of what took place. Recommended reading for all medical professionals especially students and young doctors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spencer Roll Tide 07-03-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A must read for M3's"

    We all probably were either told to read this prior to beginning med school and some of us probably did. But I implore newly minted M3/OMS-III to read this book before or during there rotations!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula 06-24-15
    Paula 06-24-15 Member Since 2010
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    4
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    "Wow!"

    Being in the healthcare field, I'd heard of this book for years, but I was still wholly unprepared for the range of emotions I experienced while listening! I found myself "recognizing" co-workers past & present in the characters, & associating with some of the realities of "hospital life", including dark humor, anger, depression, mental & physical exhaustion, long hours, missed holidays, and family members that cannot possibly understand it all, but I could also relate to the sense of accomplishment and the development of life-long friendships that often result from working so intimately, in sometimes horrifying situations, with other healthcare professionals. I will never forget this book, and will likely listen to it multiple times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 06-17-15
    Lynn 06-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Entertaining but now it's purely historical!"

    I read this book way back in medical school, I think. Residency has definitely changed completely since then, but this provides a dark, satirical look at internal medicine training in the 70s.

    I was less than impressed with the narration of the book. His voice was ok and he did a decent Roy Basch, but I think some coaching on basic pronounciations of medical terminology would have gone a long way, since I imagine the predominant audience are those in the healthcare field. It just detracts from the story when terms are so mis-pronounced, it's clear this isn't coming from a doctor's mouth.

    Still a good little read and makes you kind of wistful for the 'good ol' days'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Franco 03-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "the narrator was awesome"

    great book but drags on a bit. the voice performance was superb. the voice of chuck was by far my favorite, "pitiful, man, just pitiful". LOL

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gr8hnd 03-25-15
    gr8hnd 03-25-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Ok, but some real turnoffs"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No.

    I had no problem allowing for the fact that this book was written several decades ago. It COULD have been worth reading anyway.

    While I find the situations very believable (I've been in healthcare for 35+ years), the writer gets too carried away with his own sexual fantasies/supposed prowess to the point where my mind wandered due to boredom.

    Narration was good other than the same complaint I have with many narrators who read books by healthcare professionals: If you are going to narrate a book by a doctor, learn how to pronounce medical terminology correctly for Pete's sake!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Most of the interpersonal dynamics and the staff's conversations and personal thoughts were very believable.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes.


    Was The House of God worth the listening time?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Still believable in spite of being written years ago and would have kept my attention if not for the far-too-many sex scenes that sounded as if they were written by a Harlequin romance novelist wannabe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline 03-25-15
    Jacqueline 03-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "For any one pre-medicine"

    A very real look at learning healthcare from a perfect perspective. I would recommend this to anyone without or without first hand experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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