The Physician

The Physician

eBook - 2012
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Eleventh-century England and Persia are the backgrounds of this story of an orphan named Rob Cole, who is apprenticed to a travelling barber-surgeon and, discovering in himself a gift for healing, decides to study medicine with the legendary Avicenna.
Publisher: Barcelona : Barcelona Digital Editions, 2012
ISBN: 9781453263747
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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May 02, 2016

I very much enjoyed this book. I am fascinated by historical fiction, especially if it is well-researched.
I also like to read about doctors in the past, and in the book I learned about the horrid situation with doctors in London (something I already knew a bit about but not as early in the 11th century) and was fascinated to learn about the medical school/midrassa in Persia. Ibn Sina, the famous doctor that the main character Rob Cole yearned to study with, is a real person who was well versed in philosophy and many other areas of science in addition to medicine.

I had seen the movie based on the book first and it differs from the book.

There are parts that I found discomforting, especially the discussion of the king and the death of one of Cole's close friend, but on the whole, I found this book an excellent read, and very well written.

I started reading it when I was in Israel, then got too busy to read for a while so that is why the length of time from start to end.

Sep 20, 2012

This is a terrific read! I've read it 3-4 times and am opening it once again. The story of a young boy who is taken on as an apprentice to a traveling "cure-every aliment" medicine-man.. This 'healer' also does surgery, pulls teeth and anything needed without entering the body (against the law), This is the medicine of the 11th century.
Rob becomes a skilled healer, but longs for travel to far-away lands to study at a real medical school. He fights discrimination as a Jew in a Christian world.
This may be fiction, but I felt I learned about early medicine, and all who practice it. I love the historical writing of Noah Gordon, who has written so many well-researched books.
I highly recommend The Physician.


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