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Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures (Limited Edition): Special Limited Edition Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Aug 28 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Aug. 28 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385665458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385665452
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 3.2 x 20.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 540 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #478,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Winner of the 2006 Giller Prize, Lam has assembled a collection of short stories that follows four characters from their student days, through medical school and into their careers as doctors. Ming is a perfectionist with a dark past and overbearing traditional parents. When she starts dating Fitz, she must keep it a secret from her family. Meanwhile, Chen and Sri, their closest colleagues, join them in cutting up cadavers as they learn the fragile mysteries of the human body. Lam’s prose reads as smoothly as a scalpel slicing flesh (despite a plethora of technical jargon) as he reveals the realities of operating and emergency rooms, air ambulance flights and maternity wards. Lam is capable of fine descriptions (the "melon color" of afternoon light) as well as striking awkwardness ("Entering the exam hall…from the whipping chaos of the snowstorm was to be faced with a void.") The power of these stories is his ability to allow the reader to empathize with both victim and healer. Although a few of the stories feel like scenes from ER, several work extremely well. A harrowing story about the SARS epidemic ("Contact Tracing"), set in a Toronto hospital, gives the reader an intimate, inside view, while a story that explores the mind of a psychotic ("Winston") can leave the reader feeling unnerved and groundless. --Mark Frutkin --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Winner of Canada's Giller Prize, Lam puts all the sex, and death and sleep deprivation crucial to any hospital drama in his debut story collection about doctors in the making. Thankfully Lam, an emergency room physician, looks beyond blood and guts to examine the conflicted hearts and minds of the four medical students sleepwalking their way through the required tests, dissections and all-night emergency room shifts. The stories trace an almost endless stretch of education and service that puts their stamina and skills to the test: Fitz (short for Fitzgerald) has a not-so-secret drinking problem, the fallout from which that lands him an unexpected job; Ming, the main cast's only woman, has a cold scientist's outlook that both aids and hinders her; Sri's heart breaks for anything that comes near his scalpel—be it a tattooed cadaver or a rambling psychotic; and dispassionate Chen struggles, like Sri, to balance compassion with his desire to succeed. The stories' quiet strength lies not in the doctors' education but in Lam's portrayal of the flawed humans behind the surgical masks. This collection made a big splash in Canada, and, as Weinstein Books' first title, is poised to do the same in the U.S. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Catalano on June 15 2007
Format: Paperback
The author's style is stilted and clinical. The characters leave you with a faint taste of metal in your mouth or a squint as if you are looking at them from a distance. Somehow it all works. One shouldn't expect a book about a clinically detached scientific profession to read the same as One L for example. Different profession, different feel. If it were more empathetically written I'm not sure it would ring as true. If you are looking for the literary equivalent of a fast paced episode of ER or a soapy drama like Grey's Anatomy I suggest that you will want to look elsewhere though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MD on June 7 2009
Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a nice way to gain insights into the lives of doctors and med school students in Canada. A very easy read! You don't have to be a doctor to find it interesting or to understand the subject mater.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anne Berndl on Jan. 7 2008
Format: Paperback
As an Obstetric Resident, Bloodletting was like speaking to someone who truly felt the intensity of the day- to-day life of a physician. I couldn't put it down, and read the whole thing front to back sitting lopsided in an uncomfortable chair. His story "an insistent tide" stuck a particular cord with me, he did an excellent job of capturing the acuity of a cord prolapse and the emotions that accompany the shift from a normal healthy birth to an emergency situation. My heart was pounding. Well done!
-Dr. Anne Berndl, Author; "So You Want to Be a Doctor, Eh?"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Lau on Feb. 20 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book thought provoking and emotional.
Great exterior. A few pages in bad condition, but considering the price- it was a steal!
Good delivery time.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Richard Upjohn on Nov. 14 2006
Format: Paperback
This collection of short stories has some interesting moments, but the book is highly uneven, with some weak work towards the center that gets a bit better towards the end. This collection is not for readers who seek a memorable literary experience. The work is more akin to a reality TV show, and relies heavily on the drama that medicine affords gratis instead of literary virtuosity or masterful story telling.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for school. I don't read much but I enjoyed this book quite a lot. Enough for me to actively get involved with discussions and write a final essay on it. Incredible book, I loved it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Pam on Oct. 13 2008
Format: Paperback
I immensely enjoyed Boodletting and Mraculous Cures. I couldn't put it down. Dr. Lam's book not only gave me a greater appreciation of what our doctors must go through in order to get to be doctors, but also, at the end of the day, reminds us they are people too. People who are dead tired at the end of thier work day too. People who fight with their spouses, then have to go to work. People who suffer from alcohol and drug problems. But, like a small majority of our work force, people who, when called to do so, put their lives on the line for us, their patients.

Another book to read after Bloodletting, How Doctors Think.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. NH on Jan. 11 2007
Format: Paperback
As a medical student myself, I did not find this collection of short stories to be that powerful, captivating nor truly interesting. It was a quick read, but the characters weren't memorable. The stories are life-like, but seeing as I live this everyday, didn't find the stories too entertaining.

For medical stories, I preferred Complications by Atul Gawande. Despite Complications' documentary style, it was informative, funny and enlightening.
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