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The Physician by Noah Gordon

The Physician (original 1986; edition 2001)

by Noah Gordon

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1,741314,057 (4.19)38
Title:The Physician
Authors:Noah Gordon
Info:Little, Brown Book Group (2001), Edition: 10th, Paperback, 720 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Physician by Noah Gordon (1986)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
An amazingly good read ... if I could give it more stars than 5, I would. The book is a long one and you follow Robert Cole as he starts as a young orphaned boy, apprenticed to Barber (a barber-surgeon) then on a journey to Persia to really learn the craft of being a Physician and then returning back to Britain with 2 children and a red headed Scot woman that he met on his journeys.

Don't expect wild action in this book, the character development is slow but that is the beauty of the book...you live the scenes as though you are there. The flow of the book is smooth and steady. I enjoyed especially his life as a barber-surgeon and later as a student in the Persian medical University but really there was little dead time in the read.

Highly recommended....two thumbs up with vigour :) ( )
  Lynxear | Jun 13, 2014 |
Whew, I should've reviewed this book closer to the date I actually finished it. My memory is fading. The Physician is a tome - a long, imaginative read with many vibrant characters and colorful settings. I was drawn to this book by it's oriental setting: Persia (be warned, you don't get there until you've reached the 30% mark). And Wales. I'm a sucker for W(h)ales.

It reads like a history novel so I hope to God it's accurate (because I would like to say that I learned something). Like a history novel, there aren't many surprises. The story just unfolds without many twists or turns. Maybe you'll enjoy it? ( )
  konrad.katie | Apr 24, 2014 |
I got about halfway through and then just lost interest.
  RandomMichelle | Sep 26, 2013 |
The Physician by Noah Gordon is an excellent work of historical fiction based in the eleventh century. Rob J. Cole is orphaned as a young child in London and apprenticed to a traveling barber/surgeon. Rob discovers he has a calling to be a healer, but the Church takes a dim view of this type of work, believing that healing should be left to God. Rob hears about a hospital and a great man who teaches the art of healing located in Persia. He begins an epic journey to the East in order to pursue his dream. Christians are not permitted in Muslim schools, so Rob claims to be a Jew. The book is story driven and proceeds at a brisk and even pace. The book was published in 1986 (I'm surprised I've never come across it before) and yet very enlightening about things that most of us in the West have only learned about since the turn of the century; like Shari'a law, Muslim culture, and the long standing tension between Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths. I strongly recommend The Physician. ( )
  richard.thurman | May 27, 2013 |
Not often does historical fact, atmosphere, and action get blended in such a seamless way, but Gordon has done it in this easy reading tale of a boy-to-man pilgrimage from orphan to physician in 11th C. Europe and Middle East.

Robert Jeremy Cole (Rob), in order to achieve his dream of advancing from barber-surgeon to physician, must travel to Ispahan, Persia to get his education, an accomplishment that would get him excommunicated by Rome and executed by the mullahs if, as a Christian, he attempted it. So, Rob disguises himself as a Jew, calling himself Jesse ben Benjamin, and undertakes the journey to the school where he hopes to study under the renowned teacher, Ibn Sina. He bears another terrible secret – the ability to detect when someone is going to die by laying on his hands.

Once in Ispahan, he is befriended by the beautiful Moslem runner/medical clerk, Karim Harun, and Mirdin Askari, another medical clerk and an observant Jew (like “himself"). More dangerously, the shah, King of Kings Ala, gathers Rob into his circle of intimates and coerces the three of them to accompany him on a raid into India to capture elephants and “blue” steel weapons. To what outcome?

Gordon painlessly instructs the reader about ancient medical training, military conquest, Islamic law (Fiqh and Shari’a), Jewish same (Talmudic commandments), and plague history. From politics, to religion, customs and culture, Gordon paints what feels like a realistic picture of the world and how people lived in the ten hundreds CE. Here is a book that succeeds both as entertainment and education. ( )
  Limelite | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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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
With all my love for Nina, who gave me Lorraine
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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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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.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:38 -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 4 descriptions

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