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The Physician Hardcover – Aug 1986


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067147748X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671477486
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #857,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Library Journal

When nine-year-old Rob Cole felt the life force slipping from his mother's hand he could not foresee that this terrifying awareness of impending death was a gift that would lead him from the familiar life of 11th-century London to small villages throughout England and finally to the medical school at Ispahan. Though apprenticed to an itinerant barber surgeon, it is the dazzling surgery of a Jewish physician trained by the legendary Persian physician Avicenna that inspires him to accept his gift and to commit his life to healing by studying at Avicenna's school. Despite the ban on Christian students, Rob goes there, disguising himself as a Jew to gain admission. Gordon has written an adventurous and inspiring tale of a quest for medical knowledge pursued in a violent world full of superstition and prejudice. Recommended. Literary Guild alternate. Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

'An exciting story.' -- THE TIMES --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GM on Aug. 13 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The physician" is a beautiful look into the life in those dusty old days (although just one thousand years ago, not really that far away, if you see what I mean). It is particularly looking at the life from the stand point of religious/cultural conflicts that divided the old societies, and more specifically through the eyes of a young westerner who carries a double burden of being a Christian while disguising as a Jewish student in the Moslem world. The story is taking place in Persia (Iran), and not the Arab part of the Islamic world; therefore the society is the most tolerant version of the Islamic world thanks to the Persian culture. The young English seeks to become a student of Avicena the great physician/philosopher of his time and many centuries to follow. However there is a problem.....only Moslems and Jews can go to medical school in Persia (Iran). He is left with no choice but disguising himself as a young European Jew to enter Persia and travel to Isfahan where Avicena trains new generation of physicians in a different way than anywhere else. This enables the talented writer to take the reader through a diverse experience of encounters and characters.
The writer is biased by his western background, however. Throughout the story there are comments implying discriminations against Jews that sound odd to a Persian who is raised in one of the most tolerant cultures (lets not mix "cultures" with "political systems" that appear temporarily and tarnish the figure of a nation). The fact that only Moslem and Jewish Iranians would be accepted to the school speaks volumes. I am not sure (and this needs to be explored) if Armenians who are Christian and have always lived in peace in Persia were eligible too or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ângelo Braz on Nov. 2 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is marvelous. A book describing an atribulated life of an orphan, from surviving (with 9 years old) in a dark England (and Europe) sufocated with the religious madness in those dark ages, passing by trip to Persia and... well, you'll read it! His objective is to become a physician. You'll learn to love the character. Great things will happen. In the end, when you remember what happened through the book, you will feel nostalgia... It's one of those book telling a life's story, that will keep you interested 'til the end, and make you think when you finish its reading. Recommended. Buy it! You won't regret it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lanoitan on Aug. 25 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Here is a book I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. It was like living around the year 1000 and being taken on a tour around so you could see how different things were at that time. For example, I learned why the postal system in Europe uses the posthorn as its symbol. I learned where cruelty to children stems from. I learned why caravans were popular. I came to realize more fully why decent women prostituted themselves. And I learned much, much more from being carried back into that time about 1000 years ago. I wished the book just went on and on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Farrell on Dec 17 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is one of the most fascinating I have read in a long time. An historical fiction which takes place in the 11th century, The Physician recounts the adventures of Rob J. Cole from his youth in England to the Islamic kingdom of Persia where he studies to be a Physician. This is a magical book and I would recommend it to almost anyone, irrespective of what genre of fiction they prefer.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The physician" is a beautiful look into the life in those dusty old days (although just one thousand years ago, not really that far away, if you see what I mean). It is particularly looking at the life from the stand point of religious/cultural conflicts that divided the old societies, and more specifically through the eyes of a young westerner who carries a double burden of being a Christian while disguising as a Jewish student in the Moslem world. The story is taking place in Persia (Iran), and not the Arab part of the Islamic world; therefore the society is the most tolerant version of the Islamic world thanks to the Persian culture. The young English seeks to become a student of Avicena the great physician/philosopher of his time and many centuries to follow. However there is a problem.....only Moslems and Jews can go to medical school in Persia (Iran). He is left with no choice but disguising himself as a young European Jew to enter Persia and travel to Isfahan where Avicena trains new generation of physicians in a different way than anywhere else. This enables the talented writer to take the reader through a diverse experience of encounters and characters.
The writer is biased by his western background, however. Throughout the story there are comments implying discriminations against Jews that sound odd to a Persian who is raised in one of the most tolerant cultures (lets not mix "cultures" with "political systems" that appear temporarily and tarnish the figure of a nation). The fact that only Moslem and Jewish Iranians would be accepted to the school speaks volumes. I am not sure (and this needs to be explored) if Armenians who are Christian and have always lived in peace in Persia were eligible too or not.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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