Steve King

Medicine Men

The Good Doctor

By

Atlantic Books 215pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

DAMON GALGUT IS the South African author of several novels, the latest of which, The Good Doctor, has been shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize. A go-getting young medic called Laurence arrives at a remote rural hospital to begin a year’s community service. The place is a dump, ‘halfway between nothing and somewhere . .. slowly falling into ruin’. The staff, too, are in pretty bad shape. They consist of an uptight superintendent doctor and her lugubrious deputy, Frank, who is also the novel’s narrator; an unhappily married Cuban couple; a sullen male nurse; and some kitchen workers and cleaners. And that’s it. They are all bored out of their minds. Certainly they are not overworked. Since the hospital lacks the supplie or facilities for any but the most basic first-aid procedures, the few patients who turn up are usually referred to a better-equipped hospital in another town, several hours away by car.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Jeremy Clarke on Red and White: An Unquenchable Thirst for Wine by ,
    • 'Englishmen Abroad in the Reign of Henry VIII'. Free lecture by Dr Susan Brigden, Thurs 18 Oct, 6.30pm Europe Hou… ,
    • It 'contains twists and near misses and bit-part players, everything you might expect from a true-crime story'. Ian… ,
    • Oh normally a week or two before the ceremony itself - so mid-November. ,
    • Ian Sansom reviews The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by… ,
    • 'It is hard to think of an economist who could craft such an elegantly readable account of postwar failure as this.… ,
    • Frederick Forsyth reviews The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by ,