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35 Reviews
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 (15)
4 star:
 (8)
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 (4)
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 (2)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, although scary, reading for all medical students
Wow, I could not put this down. As a medical student and a part time healthcare assistant I am aware of two views of the medical profession and found this book to be very accurate in terms of interstaff relationships and attitude. The thoughts and inexperience of the newly qualified doctor are vividly portrayed, although this may scare some medical students (and members...
Published on 1 July 2002

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No more 'authentic' than any of the soaps
The scariest thing about this book is the final sentence on the back-cover blurb: "...(a) disturbingly authentic dispatch from the frontline of hospital life". Jed Mercurio has made a name for himself by tapping into the recognition that hospital soaps used to portray a one-sided, glamorous view of hospital life, and deliberately portraying the other side: medical...
Published on 24 Mar 2003 by Dr. James Austin


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for aspiring medics, 30 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
Mercurio tells it like it is. The awful thing is that it's exactly like it was twenty years ago as a Houseman. Apart that is, from the drugs, the casual sex and the covered-up mistakes? - afraid not.
He describes accurately how Medicine changes you into another person. Some of us survived better than Mercurio's narrator, but then perhaps it would have been better if we hadn't.
The characters, the situations and the locations all ring horribly true, though of course he exaggerates, compresses and edits out the mundane and successful to make his point.
When aspiring medics ask me for career advice, I'll insist they read this book. Non-medics will probably not finish it or wish they hadn't started.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read, 6 Mar 2004
This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
I read this book, after seeing someone on holiday reading it. I was not dissapointed. This book is a fantastic read. I would ,however, say that you probably need to be in the nursing or medical proffession to appreciate it. It is now doing the rounds of my ward. Everything that happens in this book does happen in real medical/nursing life. A bit scary when you think about it
A must read for everyone in the medical proffession
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bodies - a lopsided and bitter view as life as a doctor, 16 April 2002
This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
If your fears about the integrity of doctors and NHS could not slip any further into the abyss - then this has probably reinforced the current media stereotypes and stopped you from venturing anywhere near your local hospital. Unfortunately for the conspiracy theorists, this book is a woefully onesided, angst ridden rant from someone who clearly detested his years as a junior joctor.
The attention paid to describing hospitals as self contained cities with their echoing, lonely corridors certainly struck a cord and it's undoubtedly true that medics can make terrible mistakes with horrific consequences, are constantly under pressure and often feel disillusioned and ill equipped. But ambivalence is the sense that Mercurio fails to address. In my experience - as is the case with many of my colleagues - a bitter sweet relationship is what rules our working lives. Along with the hellish and awkward moments of inadequacy are entwined episodes of quiet satisfaction, pride and privilege. This mixture is inescapable and is not even touched on in the book. Most of us - believe it or not - are in it for the right reasons even if the cynicism begins to tinge us over the years.
In Bodies, bitterness is imprinted on every page and the whole book smacks of a therapy session for someone who was not a happy bunny when he underwent this baptism of fire. As for his superficial insight into cover ups and whistle blowing – it does not get behind the true motives, the dialogue is crass and the whole thing is decade out of date.
The over judicious use of footnotes kept me just this side of suicide. When I opened the first page and saw a reference for "finals" - I knew it would be a rocky ride. This excuse for using even mild jargon as deference is infuriating. It often serves as an opportunity to insert a crude, archaic titbit of black humour that he could not fit into the plot by conventional means. Vastly more successful enterprises from Harry Potter to ER have managed to overcome this issue without alienating the punters. I found it patronising whether as a doctor or a detached lay person - particularly as the application of medical conditions he used for plot cohesiveness were tenuous to say the least.
Read this if you will but believe me - Bodies is just what it says on the cover and should be consigned to the graveyard.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impossible not to make comparisons with Samuel Shem, 29 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
I had high hopes for this book, having been recommended it by other doctors and medical students. I was disappointed to find nothing more than a British version of Sameul Shem's marvellous "The House of God". Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had not read Shem's books, but I just found it to be an inferior copy. The author has quite blatently drawn on "The House of God" and Shem's other masterpiece, "Mount Misery", for inspiration, and I found myself quite incensed by it. The similarities are too numerous to mention, suffice to say that Shem's books are superior by far. Yes, it is true to life, and probably fascinating to those who have no idea of the realities of working as a doctor, but I would still guide readers towards Samuel Shem rather than Jed Mercurio. I found the characters in "Bodies" two-dimensional, and the narrative unengaging.
However, this is not to say I would not recommend the book. Contrary to popular opinion, I think this is more a book for non-medics. Those of us in the profession all ready know what it's like, and for enthusiastic young medical students, it may only serve to depress. Not that I think it's altogether realistic. For one thing, we're usually too damn knackered to indulge in the amount of shagging detailed in the book (as in The House of God).
In summary, I would recommend it to anyone interested, doctor or not, but would also suggest reading "The House of God" and "Mount Misery" first. The inspiration behind "Bodies" is glaringly obvious, and the result a poor imitation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for the serious reader., 5 July 2014
This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
This is an excellent read. I picked up the book after seeing the TV series ( a must see for any series viewer) .
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1.0 out of 5 stars Meh, 2 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
Really didn't enjoy this book. I couldn't connect with the characters and found I couldn't care less how the story unfolded. Glad I bought a cheap second hand copy. Won't be attempting any other books by this author.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Do not read this if you are due in hospital, 6 May 2013
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This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
Not sure I can say I enjoyed this book, but it was difficult to put down. Gives a bleak picture of the NHS, and some insight into a range of awful situations, which surely cannot all have been experienced by one person and in a short space of time? Or could they? I read it for a book club, and it promoted the most discussion we have had in over three years, maybe due to the fact that we have nurses in the group!!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Somehow disappointed, 23 April 2013
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This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
Interesting book, specially if you are a medicine student. It could use some corrections, though. It lacks some punctuation marks so it can be confusing at times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling insight into hospital's life, 28 Dec 2012
This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
The book is fascinating and fast-paced and tells us about the weary, hectic, and drawn out life of a junior hospital doctor. The hospital scenes are realistic and gripping. The storytelling is very good and the lives of the patients skillfully conveyed. The character appears to have an obsession with bodies and there are quite a few steamy sex scenes, which do feel out of place at times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent writer, 20 Sep 2012
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Mrs. P. Mann (London England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bodies (Paperback)
Mercurio's books are tightly written, well structured and good at suspense. As an ex-doctor, Mercurio shows his terrific knowledge of the subject matter in this book and leaves the reader guessing until the end how it will finish.
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Bodies
Bodies by Jed Mercurio (Paperback - 6 Mar 2003)
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