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Publisher's Summary

When he arrives to take up his first posting as a GP in Collintrae, a small fishing village on the West coast of Scotland, young Tom Smith isn't quite sure what to expect. Certainly, nothing in his medical training could have prepared him for what he finds - a baker with nine lives, Mad Maggie in the Muck, and a gaggle of giggling nuns are just a few of the extraordinary cases that he comes up against.

Heartwarming and gloriously eccentric, Dr Tom's stories capture the beauty of the Lowlands, the joys and sorrows of its inhabitants, and the richly rewarding experiences of life as a Scottish country doctor.

©2007 Tom Smith; (P)2007 Soundings

Critic Reviews

"An affectionate and hugely entertaining memoir of the incident-packed five years that Smith spent looking after the mainly farming families in his patch. If only modern medicine had as much heart." (Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    37
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Susan
  • Blounts Creek, NC, United States
  • 04-05-10

Delightful - just too short

What a wonderful listen! I normally avoid books that are narrated by the author, but I enjoyed listening to Dr. Smith's inflecitons...and reading between the lines. My only regret is that it wasn't longer.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful writer and narrator!

By the end of the audio book I felt like could put faces to the characters. Highly recommend!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Donna
  • Vergennes, VT, United States
  • 04-10-10

Enjoyable

I truly enjoyed this light, heartwarming tale. I have always felt drawn to things and stories from Ireland and Scotland (my heritage). This was a relaxing and uplifting tale that I would recommend to my friends.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Loved this book

This was my first audiobook listen and I loved every minute of it. Reader & author was very entertaining.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 10-16-17

Engaging Memoir

I saw this memoir and thought it was a good way to learn about medical practice in Scotland and get to know what life in rural Scotland was like. I got hooked on these types of memoirs back in the 1970s after reading all of the James Herriot’s books.

The story takes place in the 1960s in Collintrae, on the west coast of Scotland. Smith tells what it was like to be a young physician in a small rural town. His descriptions of the fascinating people that lived in the area are great. The book has humor, warmth as well as being interesting. It is a highly entertaining read.

The book is well written and appears to be taken from his diary. The audio version is the best way to read this memoir so you can fully enjoy the Scottish accent.

The book is seven hours long. Tom Smith read the book himself and he has a delightfully accent.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • akaGracie
  • AUSTIN, TX, United States
  • 05-15-08

Absolutely Charming

I enjoyed this pleasant, nicely-paced, and well-read book. The author's stories of his experiences as a Scottish GP were interesting, funny, sad, but never boring. I listened to it while ironing and sorting and doing other homely tasks - it made the time pass pleasurably and my workload feel lighter.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good background

The stories were interesting and entertaining. Doesn't have the heart that Herriot's stories have, but it is still worth the time. The reader's accent was a bit distracting, and I was frustrated with the Gaelic pronunciations without seeing the word, but that's my stuff.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

From another doctor

The stories ring true from my rural experience. Well illustrates the dictum from Sir William Osler: it's more important to know which patient has the disease than what disease the patient has
Michael Klein MD
ROBERTS Creek BC Canada

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very slow going

Good story but it is a very slow moving book. Although the author is telling his own story he doesn't do it justice. Some one else could have brought it to life

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • DD
  • 02-27-14

Lovely Book!

If you, like me, loved the James Herriott books you will be delighted with this book. Usually I think it is a mistake when the author is also the narrator, but in this case it was perfect! Tom Smith's voice is melodic and pleasant.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Heather
  • 06-23-10

A tale of GPs before the hurry of today

What I enjoyed was the author reading the book, it has the best intonation etc. A good story filling in the parts about what we patients look like to GPs!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Gillian
  • 09-24-11

Memories of Times Gone By

Dr Smith's narrative of his beginnings as a junior doctor to becoming the Family Doctor take us back in time when that role was so important for his patients whether the doctor was in the country or suburbia. Back in a time when life was less complicated, less demanding and more intertwined with people.
He restores my memories to when as a child, the lookout patrol announced loudly for the whole neighbourhood to know "the doctor's here"; the lookout in place because he had been called to attend to a sick child or children. The arrival of the Family Doctor had a sense of security that all would be well. Even if he should call by for a social visit. The doctor knew everything - along with the Chemist!
Dr Smith's wonderful Scottish lilt and humour takes us on his journey with his supportive wife and children. Once settled back in his native land, he reveals many good stories of family doctor and patient and locals.
Thank goodness for wonderful story tellers like Dr Smith who can revive such wonderful memories!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew Stuart
  • 09-25-13

A Book For Country Folk

Would you listen to A Seaside Practice again? Why?

I would definitely listen to this book again. It brought back memories of my childhood, in that I could associate with the kind of characters Tom wrote about and could even imagine how my childhood GPs could have easily found themselves in similar circumstances.

Have you listened to any of Tom Smith’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first Tom Smith book I have listened to but it will not be the last, I always think there is something special about listening to a reading by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms. A. Stevenson
  • 07-31-16

Great for those with an interest in medicine.

Really enjoyed listening to the tales of he GP and looking forward to listening to the sequel. I have an interest in medical history and found each tale about the different patients both amusing and fascinating. The writer has narrated the book and his wonderful Scottish accent helps to set the scene, though his voice was sometime monotonous.

Overall, an enjoyable book.

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  • Dogstooth
  • 10-22-15

1960's Scotland

A jolly little tale of highland life and made better by the medical content. The reader was not professional and lacked storytelling inflections that would have made the whole thing better.

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  • Sìle
  • 07-17-13

Disengaged

This book could have been so much more:- more amusing; more engaging; more interesting.

If you have read, and enjoyed, the series by James Herriott about his adventures as a vet, or Patrick Taylor's amusing tales of a young, Irish doctor going into country general practice, then, like myself, you may have picked up this book hoping it would be more of the the same, or at least similar. Alas, you may find yourself disappointed with "A Seaside Practice" in this regard. "A Seaside Practice" is more auto-biographical looking at his Scottish country practice in the 1960s - prior to NHS efficiency drives - than engaging revelations, but, as Dr Smith himself admits, he does not befriend his patients, and the result seems to be all connection is lost: between the doctor and his patient, and the doctor and his listener/reader. So, this book feelks more like a tome about cases the good doctor himself thought would make amusing anecdotes for general readers, but it truly missed the mark for this listener.

I'm afraid, too, I had issues with Dr Smith's reading of his own book. It was a little flat, he faltered, all to frequently, on words, and I could hear pages being turned and mistakes being made, though the overall sound quality was good, being even in volume and pacing. Perhaps I might have enjoyed the book more if someone else had narrated it, but it certainly needed an editor who knows how to elicit an engaging style from their writer.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • wrcaldwell
  • 09-14-12

a sea side practise

I found this to be slow uninteresting rarely even raising a smile it has been a long time I have struggled to listen to a book to the end!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Tab
  • 12-03-10

Quite frankly unbelievable

I couldn't get past the first hour of this book. I know that most autobiographical books of this sort are largely fictional, but the author stretches the limits of credulity much too far. At least with James Herriot there was a possibility that each incident had really happened - this was just silly in comparison, and I couldn't bear to listen to it any more. Pity.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful