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The Physician by Noah Gordon
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The Physician (original 1986; edition 2001)

by Noah Gordon

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2,311464,145 (4.18)69
Member:yaffa
Title:The Physician
Authors:Noah Gordon
Info:Little, Brown Book Group (2001), Edition: 10th, Paperback, 720 pages
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The Physician by Noah Gordon (1986)

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English (24)  Spanish (12)  German (5)  Catalan (3)  Italian (1)  Galician (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
The Physician describes the journey of an eleventh century Englishman to become a healer. Rob Cole starts by learning how to become a barber-surgeon. He yearns to become a physician and sets a goal to study with: “The outstanding physician in the world. Avicenna, whose Arab name is Abu Ali at-Husain ibn Abdullah ibn Sina.” To do so, he embarks on a journey across Europe to Persia. Along the way he encounters and adapts to Christian, Jewish, and Islamic cultures.

He learns effective study from the Jewish communities he interacts with.
“Rob read and studied his book and the Jews, behaving too much like the rest of them to stay a novelty. For six hours every day—three hours following the morning prayer service, which they called shaharit, and three hours after the evening service, ma’ariv —the study house was jammed, for most of the men studied before and after completing the day’s work by which they earned their living.”
(This really struck me, I often do a similar amount of study each day but not consistently…)

Eventually, Rob Cole reaches the medical school headed by the polymath ibn Sina and gains acceptance. He learns that he must gain a well-rounded education:
“You make a common error. If you have not studied philosophy, how can you reject it? Science and medicine teach of the body, while philosophy teaches of the mind and the soul, and a physician requires all these as he needs food and air. …. “You have the mind, for we see you grasp a new language, and we detect your promise in a dozen other ways. But you must not fear to allow learning to become a part of you, so that it is as natural as breathing. You must stretch your mind, wide enough to take in all we can give you.” …. Now he knew why God had given him a great, strong body and good eyes, for he taxed himself to the limit of his endurance as he sought to make himself a scholar.

He struggles and eventually succeeds in becoming a physician and scholar. Eventually, he is able to extend medical knowledge by breaking the taboo of dissection: “The ancients didn’t cripple their science with admonitions of sin, and what little we now know came from the early Greeks, who had the freedom to open the body and study it. They dissected the dead and observed how man is fashioned within. For a brief moment in those long-ago days their brilliance illuminated all of medicine, and then the world fell into darkness.”

Our physician continues his journey, both intellectually and geographically. I’ve just illustrated a few of the many points that captivated me while reading Noah Gordon’s complex historical novel. I highly recommend this book and hope the other two books in this trilogy are as interesting. ( )
  brewbooks | Feb 5, 2019 |
The first in a series. It kept my attention while on an exercise bike. That earns it an extra half star that I can't fill in here! ( )
  Thebrownbookloft | Jun 29, 2018 |
I found the initial story about the boy who became a physician in England in the middle ages really fascinating but then the story migrated to the middle east and the tale went on and on and on! For me it was way too long, like two novels in one. The first part was a full enough novel in itself. I stuck with it but it tried my patience! ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
Slow read due to ebook rather than paper. Very well-written, interesting & enjoyable. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Muy interesante y bien entretenido, aunque el estilo de narración me dejó con "ganas de más" a lo largo de todo el libro. :o ( )
  MisaBookworm | Dec 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
--Ecclesiastes 12:13
I will give thanks unto Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
--Psamls 139:14
As to the dead, God will raise them up.
--Qu'ran, S. 6:36
They that be whole need not a physician. But they that are sick.
--Matthew 9:12
Dedication
With all my love for Nina, who gave me Lorraine
First words
These were Rob J.'s last safe and secure moments of blessed innocence, but in his ignorance he considered it hardship to be forced to remain near his father's house with his brothers and his sister.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Devetogodišnji Robert Jeremy Cole moći će, kad odraste, za sebe reći da je imao sreće u nesreći. Kad su mu 1021. godine umrli roditelji a braća i sestra razdijeljeni drugim obiteljima i skrbnicima, on je uspio izbjeći sudbinu da bude prodan u roblje i otisnuo se u svijet. Henry Croft bio je čovjek koji se bavio liječenjem najsiromašnijih i onih koji je svojim sitnim prevarama pokušavao preživjeti. Kad primi Roba u svoje društvo počet će ga podučavati najprimitivnijim medicinskim metodama toga vremena i tako zainteresirati za liječenje bolesnika... Opsežni povijesni roman Iscjelitelj prvi je dio tzv. liječničke trilogije koja prati članove obitelji Cole koji se, svaki u svom vremenu, suoćavaju s dvojbama koje donosi medicina tog doba.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0751503894, Paperback)

In the 11th century, Rob Cole left poor, disease-ridden London to make his way across the land, hustling, juggling, peddling cures to the sick—and discovering the mystical ways of healing. It was on his travels that he found his own very real gift for healing—a gift that urged him on to become a doctor. So all consuming was his dream, that he made the perilous, unheard-of journey to Persia, to its Arab universities where he would undertake a transformation that would shape his destiny forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Set against the superstition and splendour of the 11th century, The Physician is the story of one man's unbeatable spirit - and one woman's undying love.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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