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The Doctor Paperback – Jul 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060090413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060090418
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,245,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Raised as a boy, a red-headed girl ends up "passing" as a male doctor and adopting a life of strange contradictions and painful concealments. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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THE MAN WITH A MOUSTACHE sweeps me up in his arms and bangs me down upon the balustrade. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating book on a fascinating person 27 Jan 2000
By Maja Ilisch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Let's begin it like this: I work in a bookshop where there are three booksellers. We've got a completely different taste and usually disaggree on whixh books we like. But when one of us was asked to recommend a book this christmas season (and we're ofttimes asked for recommendations during that periode of time, as you may imagine), everyone of us recommended »James Miranda Barry«, as one of the most beautiful books we had ever read. And, in most cases, we sold the book, then. It's brilliant. The style is great, there's a power and magic in these words that leaves you speechless for a while. And the plot is great. There has really been a James Miranda Barry, and he was, most likely, a woman, who attracted both men and women though he (?) lived as a man for most of his live. People always wondered about Dr. Barry's sex, but he was never involved in any scandals about it. It's the story of a person who, bereft of a sexual identity, lives in danger of losing her whole identity. This may sound kitschy. But believe me - it's impüossible to write a kitschy book about someone who has ice cold fingers all of the time. Just read this book. Then, you'll understand.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Compelling topic, disappointing delivery 20 Sep 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There is a strange emptiness at the heart of this book. Duncker faithfully chronicles Barry's long career and the fates of various family members and friends (some based on historical records, some invented) yet the inner lives of the characters remain a mystery. They seem to represent sets of predetermined personality traits or beliefs rather than three-dimensional human beings. And strangely, while the transgendered Barry is the central character of the novel, we never get a sense of how Barry experienced his gender identity, his body, or his sexuality. Instead, we are told that Barry lived his life as a man solely because his family thought it was the best option for him. We don't even really get beneath the surface of any conflicts or emotional issues that "crossing" might have involved. Surrounded by characters whose enlightened views about gender, feminism, and class seem unbelievable and anachronistic, Barry remains a cipher. The descriptions of nineteenth century medical developments and British colonial life are engaging. But if you are looking for a queer or transgendered perspective on this intriguing figure, or a transporting literary experience, you won't find it here.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
good story about an intriguing character 5 Jun 2000
By Judith Bradley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A historical novel which sends the reader off in other directions to find even more information about the characters is well worth reading - and such is the case with Duncker's latest effort. James Miranda Barry is certainly one of the more curious figures of mid-19th century English life, and discovering why "he" became what he became makes for a very enjoyable read. The supporting characters (some actual persons, others creations of the author) are well-drawn and add further color to the story of the enigmatic doctor. The author does a fine job in presenting the contradictions and confinements under which women lived during this time as well as presenting the issue of slavery as an institution which bound more than those who were officially enslaved. I would recommend this book to any who are taken up by well-written historical novels with unusual twists.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Don't miss out.... 11 Jan 2001
By "baldilocks" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ok, it only gets 3 stars, but that is largely because this book does not deliver like 'Hallucinating Foucault'...however, this remains a compelling read, a wide-ranging story well told, especially the descriptive passages - what it lacks is the sense that the author is fully "engaged", almost as if she herself had doubts about book and it's purpose halfway through the writing of it. Set that feeling aside, though, and this will be one of your better reads this year!
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great Story - Intensity lacking in the telling 16 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed reading The Doctor and perhaps my comments are too demanding. I believe the story could have been told with more impact and intensity with better prose. The characters seem to have more depth than presented in this treatment. I prefer Truman Capote's prose.
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