Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures
Reviewed: August 30, 2007
By: Vincent Lam / read by Michael Scholar, Jr. & William Johnston
Publisher: BTC Audio Books
2 1/2 hours on 2 CDs, $24.95
stories have been a staple of the fiction racks since before Doctor Kildare,
but most of them don’t possess the ring of authenticity that Dr. Vincent Lam
brings to the the genre. Indeed, this collection of character linked short
stories doesn't’ exactly fit within the usual framework. These stories are not
like an episode of “House” or “ER”.
audio production doesn’t give the entire contents of this Giller Prize winning
collection, but there’s enough here to give you a taste for more.
“Take all of
Murphy” explores the lives of Fitz, Chen and Ming, a seemingly mismatched trio
of students who have been assigned to dissect a corpse as part of their
training, and too prepare them for an examination. Among the problems they face
do they cut right through a tattoo in the approved medical text manner or cut
around it out of respect for the disceased, whom they have named Murphy?
In “A Long
Migration we learn how Chen travelled to Brisbane to offer palliative care to
his dying grandfather, but mostly we learn about Percival Chen’s eccentric life
in China, Viet Nam and Australia.
Tracing” brings us back to Toronto, and follows a couple of doctors and a nurse
through the height of the SARS crisis, wth two character in the isolation ward,
stricken wth the virus, and a single mother terrified that she might have
contracted the disease.
“Available Light (called “Before Light” in the print edition) deals with a
doctor dragged down by weariness, and the behavioral quirks this might produce
after a bad day’s sleep leads into a long night in the emergency room.
fascinating material, and I recommend it in either print or audio form.