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A Country Doctor's Notebook (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 7 Jan 2010
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"Stories as keen and bright as a scalpel... Courage shines from every angle of this profoundly human collection by the greatest of modern Russian writers" (Sunday Times)
"A marvellous writer" (Michael Frayn)
"The oil lamps of his little provincial hospital seemed to him a lonely beacon which symbolised the battle between light and darkness... These straighforward yet extraordinary sketches gain their strength from also being the account of a young man's growth. One begins to see that he became a novelist not because he had material but because he was storing up passion and temperament" (V.S. Pritchett New Statesman)
"Wryly funny and fascinating" (Sunday Times)
"Blizzards blow, wolves run loose in the forests, the doctor duels with Death, who is never satisfied" (Harpers & Queen)
Brilliant stories which show the growth of a novelist's mind, and the raw material which fed the wild surrealism of Bulgakov's later fictionSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Bulgakov is dispatched and displays all the idealism of a young doctor mixed with the pessimism's of a man who is being sent far from home and the comforts of the city to a place that may as well be a foreign country.
Bulgakov in his usual quiet way exposes the ignorance of the common people and often the incompetence of his own skill. The stories he retells here are both moving and touching, peasants who when given medicine apply it to their outer clothing rather than the skin, a hospital staff who medical skill leaves a lot to be desired.
Bulgakov is humorous as usual and while providing the reader with a book that judging by the cover may be slow and tedious is in fact fast paced, and will leave the reader laughing at times and in disbelief in others.
A wonderful book that should be read.
Most of it concerns his days as a doctor, obviously, and managed to make me laugh out loud while being sickened by the surgical descriptions. The last couple of tales are a liitle darker and grimmer (an amazing description of drug addiction, and a murder), but beautifully written. I can only imagine how good this stuff is in the original language, as it is sensational in translation.
Having been addicted to Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, I am so glad I gave other Russian writers a chance at last. Both Vasily Grossman and Mikhail Bulgakov have knocked me sideways with their extraordinary writing. I'm starting to wonder if anyone outside of Russia or Ukraine can even come close to the writing that has come out of that part of the world. Seriously, buy it now, and buy everything by both of them!
It's a wonderfully observant account of life in rural Russia complete with almost complete lack of medical knowledge among the locals. Just to give you an example a man complains to his friends, that the young doc isn't that great as he came to see him with throat pain and now he is being hospitalised and has to take loads of medicine and even has to smear onself with a cream everywhere! What he doesn't understand of course is that he has syphilis.
The stories are written from the first person, which makes them even more engaging. And no wonder, Bulgakov, like Chekhov, a doctor himself, had all the nessesary insights into the medical profession in Russia.
A must read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You will know Bulgakov is a genius, this is arguably its first flowering and shows him thinly dressed in fIction, albeit autobiographical fiction with the stress on the former. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mr. G. Morgan
Very interesting and well written book based on a young inexperienced Russian doctor in the countryside 100 years ago , no electricity ,no telephones , no vehicles ,what a hard... Read morePublished 4 months ago by c i flannigan
the type is a bit blotched - have bought an alternative edition.Published 18 months ago by inthesubjunctive
Wonderful prose with a great sense of immediacy, fascinating narratives and background; Bulgakov takes the reader into the world he describes and creates interesting characters and... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Ray Feather