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The Physician by Noah Gordon

The Physician (original 1986; edition 2001)

by Noah Gordon

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1,871333,693 (4.19)47
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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English (14)  Spanish (9)  German (5)  Catalan (3)  Italian (1)  Galician (1)  All languages (33)
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Rob Cole is a young boy who holds the strong and powerful dream of studying medicine and travels across Europe facing several difficulties in his journey to become the phyisician he always dreamt of. ( )
  MohammedLR | Mar 24, 2015 |
This was a very good story of an orphan, Rob Cole, in 11th century England. He apprentices with a barber-surgeon, Barber, travelling all over England. He feels there is more than what Barber can teach him and heeds the call to be a physician after he KNOWS by just holding a sick person's hands whether they'll die soon or not. He wants to study with Avicenna, the famous medieval Persian physician; this obsession is so overwhelming, he makes the long journey to Persia--through France, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary--finally reaching Persia, even assuming the identity of a Jew, as Christians are not permitted to study there. He attains the status of hakim [physician] and the book follows his Persian adventures, even into India. He and his wife, the red-haired Scotswoman, Mary, return to the land of his birth, and finally to Scotland, her homeland.

I read the whole 600+ pages in one afternoon; the novel was so fascinating. The pages flew by. However good the story and writing were, I felt it fell short on history; so don't expect to learn much. The author even says as much in his acknowledgments: "it should be understood this is a work of the imagination, not a slice of history." I don't know if the author may have been completely accurate on Jewish and Muslim customs of that period. Characterization was well done; I feel Rob was an amalgamation of earnest and serious physicians and some of their discoveries through the years. One strong point I liked was the theme of religious tolerance. And we read of instances of its dark face: intolerance of those with other beliefs and customs. ( )
  janerawoof | Jul 13, 2014 |
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 |
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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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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.
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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)

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