Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Five Patients Mass Market Paperback – Jan 13 1989


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 27.70 CDN$ 0.01

Up to 90% Off Textbooks

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (Jan. 13 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345354648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345354648
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.6 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,187,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Michael Crichton, creator of many a blockbuster, began his writing career while still a student at Harvard Medical School. Though he never practiced medicine, the education was enough to put a gloss of verisimilitude on works like The Andromeda Strain and the long-running television hit ER. Five Patients is ER in real life--circa 1969, when Crichton graduated from medical school. Five different patients are examined at Massachusetts General Hospital; each patient's story illustrates some larger aspect of the hospital system. Thus, Ralph Orlando's death from cardiac arrest engenders a brief history of the modern hospital and emergency ward. John O'Connor, who has an unexplained high fever and infection, spends a month in the hospital, leading to a discourse on the cost of medical care (perhaps the most eye-opening chapter of the book--or the most unintentionally funny one from a 1999 perspective). The saga of Peter Luchesi, a worker whose hand is nearly severed in an industrial accident, leads to a discussion of 20th-century surgical advances. Sylvia Thompson, a traveler with chest pains who is seen by a doctor via closed-circuit TV at an airport, benefits from new (at the time) diagnostic and therapeutic technologies that have altered irrevocably the doctor's role. Finally, the case of Edith Murphy, diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, serves quite literally to educate the medical students and interns who take on much of her care, as the hospital staff hierarchy is dissected and explained. Crichton's style here tends to the sober and bureaucratic--reading it is much more like brain surgery than hanging out in the staff room with George Clooney and Noah Wyle--but for the industrious it's a fascinating glimpse of pre-HMO medicine. --Barrie Trinkle

Review

"Crichton writes superbly" Chicago Tribune --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on April 29 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You will probably have the wrong impression of what this book consists of before you read it; I did. Some may think, or hope, that it is an ER-type medical thriller. It is not. Some, as I did, may think that it takes the cases of five individual patients and goes into a detailed description of how they were treated and cured. It does not. What the book actually does consist of is a series of five separate medical cases that are used to illustrate larger aspects of the hospital in general. The five cases average about 30 pages apiece, with about 4 or 5 pages of that going into the actual details of the case. The book is somewhat interesting: it goes into detail about the inner workings of a hospital that those outside of the medical profession probably know next to nothing about. This glimpse into the academic medical community is informative and makes for fairly interesting reading. The writing is dry and formal, often quite technical, which will, no doubt, turn off those who read Crichton merely for his page-turning suspense. Though the book has its merits, as mentioned above, one is ever aware, while reading it, that the book was written in 1969. Though some points of it are still valid and interesting, and Crichton's writing is always worth reading, it is inescapably quite outdated. One may get the most out of it by using it as a snapshot of how medicine was 30+ years ago. Of course, at any rate, this is a minor work in Crichton's canon. Reccommended only for hard-core fans of the author and perhaps medical historians looking for an objective look at medicine during the late 60's.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By A Customer on July 2 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am an enourmous fan of the TV show ER. Everyone knows that Michael Crichton created ER so when i finally found a copy of Five Patients, (the book is extremly hard to find), I quickly grabbed it off the shelf and bought it. I thought that it would be like reading an episode of ER. Boy was a wrong, but wrong in a good way. For each patient Crichton takes up between 45-60 pages. Only 10-12 of those pages are about the patient themself. The rest is information, not on medicine, but how the hospital has changed throughout the years. From surgery to cost to medicine itself. I enjoyed the information tremendously. And as anyone who reads my reviews knows, sometimes I'm not a big fan of an entire novel being informational.(Congo) But Five Patients is different. It taught me stuff about the hospital I didn't know, and added on to the stuff I already knew. However by the final patient, Edith Murphy, the information was something I already knew so that took a little away. But only a little. By reading this book, I can see my I enjoy ER so much. It's the best show on television in my opinion. Five Patients is true nonfiction work.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Mass Market Paperback
... is exactly what you will get with 'Five Patients' by Michael Crichton.
I hadn't read any reviews when I picked up this book; I doubt I would have read it as deeply as I did if I would have read some. Basically, the book was written originally in the late Sixties to show the pros and cons of Hospitals from various angels - from the training of Doctors to the technology advancements made in the field.
It is interesting to compare what hospitals were like back then to the modern day hospital.
Overall, it is an interesting read, but don't be expecting any action, that is not what this book is about.
And on a side note, remember to check the glossary in the back. After I stumbled over some tricky words, I started to use it often once I discovered it - halfway through the book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was somehow misled by the title. I thought I was going to read five short stories of how doctor can treat (miraculously) five difficult patients, those I would read in Reader's Digest. But no, indeed I was surpised that those five patients are only mentioned in 1/5 of the book. The rest 4/5 of the book are talking about everything about hospital - its history, budget, organizational structure, politics, teaching versus community hospital, surgeon, urine, anaesthesia.....
I find most of these medical topics are interesting, though some are somewhat outdated. Also, I admire Mr. Crichton's writing skill to interweave these different topics together in a 200-page book.
My recommedation - do not treat it as a fiction. It is not that a waste of time (onlyl 200 pages!!)
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I expected this to be more of a "medical thriller," something like ER in a book. But it wasn't anything like that. It's an analysis of hospitals written over 30 years ago. Some parts of the book are informative, but even though Crichton doesn't use a lot of fancy medical jargon, I think people in the medical profession would get far more out of this book than the average lay person. I've read many of Crichton's other books, but this one isn't anything like his others, so don't expect a thrilling page-turner if you read this book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was very disappointed in this book after reading some of Michael Crichton's books. This is, of course, a very different type of book, but it was very drab. I'm really interested in medicine, but the book was way over my head when it came to the terminology. It has also been about 20 years since it was written so a lot has changed in the profession. I couldn't even get through the book. Perhaps someone in the medical profession would find it a little more exciting.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback