Monday, October 09, 2017

The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut


Frank Eloff is a doctor in a poorly funded hospital in remote South Africa. He is coasting in life and career, with his marriage just a signature away from divorce and his career moving nowhere in this small town. When a new doctor shows up for a year rotation, Frank is forced to share his room. Laurence Waters ends up being an idealist, wanting to make a difference in the world. Frank tries to tell him that's not the way things work in this hospital, but Laurence won't take that for an answer. Frank doesn't completely shut Laurence down though. Laurence is able to chip away at Frank's exterior, but it's not just Frank he's fighting against.

An interesting premise, but I'd be lying if I said I understood the ending. The whole book has a pretty depressing feel to it and the final state that everyone found themselves in was probably the most depressing of all. The more things change, the more they stay the same is very true for this book. Though the people of the village weren't discussed too much in the book, I can't help but feel like they were the real victims in this entire story.

First Line: "The first time I saw him I thought, he won't last."


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