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Publisher's Summary

New doctor Andrew Manson looks forward to his post in a Welsh mining community, but he finds practicing medicine in such primitive conditions very different from his training. He makes friends, but also enemies.

First published in 1937, this book was groundbreaking in its treatment of the contentious theme of medical ethics. It is credited with laying the foundation in Great Britain for the introduction of the Nation Health Service a decade later.

©1937 AJ Cronin (P)2010 RNIB

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

Incredibly bad recording

I first read this book more than 50 years ago and, perhaps, i wanted to "recapture" my youth, However, this recording sounds like it was made in 1937 - when the book was first published - and the reader sounds like a BBC announcer from that period. Not only that but his mistakes have not been edited out. Unless you need the nostalgia - give this a miss.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • JBB32
  • Rolling Hills, CA, United States
  • 11-18-12

A must-read for physicians

This story highlights ethics in Medicine and is as true and valid now as it was in 1937. Many reviewers have criticised the recording and it is certainly dated both from a technical as well as a linguistics viewpoint. The narrator can be heard to cough, shuffel papers and make mistakes, which he corrects openly. However, in his defence, I would say that Mr. Engleman speaks the Standard English spoken widely (especially on the BBC) in the mid twentieth century and at the time the book came out. He masters the accents of the Welsh miners, the Scottish hero, Andrew, his Yorkshire wife, an American scientist and his West End coleagues. The only accent that grates somewhat is his own. Modern UK English has changed considerably and his would seem archaic to most British listeners not to mention those on this side of the pond.
However, these considerations should not prevent anyone from listening to one of the best novels on health care delivery for the past 100 years.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Heimo
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • 05-30-12

great book, great author

Where does The Citadel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

very near the top. i wish audibles would get more a.j. cronin. particularly The Green Years.

What did you like best about this story?

all of his stories are tight, well written stories. the characters are so real, so down to earth, with big dreams and very human hearts. i adored the main characters here. i also like the way cronin introduces new characters. very seamless writing. you never know you are listening.

What about Franklin Engelmann’s performance did you like?

it wasn't the best recording...but then i'm one who takes my old, impossible to find cassettes, and puts them on my computer. anything for a great story! i was so caught up in this story that the reader did not bother me at all. unless you are VERY bothered by the reader, don't let that put you off. i thought he did a great job reading it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

yes, i did cry. it broke my heart because i loved the characters so much. if you know what it means to grow and pay a price for it, you will feel the same.

Any additional comments?

no, just that i would recommend this recording.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

wonderful book terrible recording

really is below your usual standards for recording - scratchy as if off an old record with lots of page turnings and coughs. This is a book worth doing well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 06-01-13

Love and Respect for the Profession

Dr. Manson started his career as an assistant in a poor Walsh mining town. By his own industry, professional friends' intervention, and his beloved wife's faithful support, he rose to the challenges of different medical practices in 1920's England, yet almost lost his soul in the lucrative but disingenuous London private practice. The beguiling plot centered on a man's love and respect for the his profession against the current of ignorance, greed, and convenience.
The recording quality is very poor.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great story but poor quality on narration!!

Never listened to a poorer r quality recording! Even found instances where corrections were included. For instance "he reddened readied himself for...". Editing out errors would be a great idea!!! Story was very interesting so I dealt with it but wouldn't attempt another.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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everyone on medicine should read it

This was an excellent story not only about the maturing of a young doctor but also about the challenges of human nature that can corrupt medical practice and the institutions that represent medicine. I enjoyed the older vocabulary and style of writing. The narration and varying of voices and ascents were superb. I would not recommend this book to anyone who might get hung up on the less than pristine nature of older recordings.



relevant.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Anne
  • 09-27-11

Poor recording

This is a recording for the blind and of very poor quality. The story is a great one what a shame it wasn't given its due by rerecording it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • N. Hammond
  • 11-07-15

A great story well read

Where does The Citadel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This story is a treasure. Better by far than the slightly moralising dramas of the finely portrayed BBC TV Dr Finlay's Case Book series. I really enjoy the older RNIB stories, the story tellers, though often pushed for time and with far from high class facilities, did a great job.

What other book might you compare The Citadel to, and why?

I wouldn't, it is unique. Not having the modern forensic love of gore and yet not being an All Creatures Great And Small (for humans) or a Mrs Miniver gloss on the reality of British life at the time - seen from a hands-on medical perspective.

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

There are none on Audible, so far as I can tell. Other, that is, than in brief BBC NEWS snippets on Reality Broadcasts from the War Years, and occasionally introducing BBC broadcast recordings of classical music concerts. But I'd be delighted to hear more of this model of broadcast voice modulation.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

That's How It Was

Any additional comments?

Some people may be put off by the tinny, rather hollow sound production, but given the age of the recording, and the purpose - for those of us who have difficulties with reading (because of poor sight) - it is a marvel that it has survived at all. I cherish my copy, and thank both the RNIB and Audible for allowing us to have the chance to hear both Cronin's stories and the wonderful Franklin Englemann .. the Voice of both BBC Radio News and the Third Programme for many years. I for one will be glad to explore more RNIB (and Franklin Englemann) recordings if they become available.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Carole P.
  • 12-04-17

Loved this book

Old fashioned delivery. Poor characterisation of women yet it filled me with joy and pleasure.

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  • Charles
  • 03-13-17

In Audible

What would have made The Citadel better?

Better sound quality

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Citadel?

The entire story is memorable

What didn’t you like about Franklin Engelmann’s performance?

Everything! Pauses, line fluffs and poor quality voice.

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

Reflection on our health system

Any additional comments?

Every Audible book I have has been excellent quality with clear voicing, until this one, it really is (In Audible) in places.

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  • jesjaspers
  • 03-20-16

Great story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Great humanitarian story set in 1920s pre National Health Service when GPs dealt with infectious diseases such as diptheria, chickenpox, measles etc, operated with ether and chloroform, performed surgical proceedures on kitchen tables and in confined, claustrophobic and dangerous industrial conditions such as at the coal face deep within mines in complete contrast to the triage system their inhabit today and their cases loads full of wellness related lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, obesity etc Ignore the performance and enjoy the story.

How could the performance have been better?

The performance is spoilted by bad sound, stuttering, wrongs words BUT the narrator does have a nice reading voice. So get over the issues of the recording and listen to a great storyline. The book deserves a re-recording.

Do you think The Citadel needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

The book deserves a re-recording.