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The House of God Paperback – Sep 7 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reissue edition (Sept. 7 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425238091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425238097
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“The raunchy, troubling, and hilarious novel that turned into a cult phenomenon.  Singularly compelling…brutally honest.”—The New York Times

“Bawdy, blistering…this is Catch-22 with stethoscopes.”—Cosmopolitan

“Wonderfully wild, ribald, erotic, bitter, compassionate…in the same spirit as Catch-22.”—The Seattle Times

“A wildly funny, sad, laugh-out-loud, frightening, outrageous, thought-provoking, moving book…a story of modern medicine rarely, if ever, told.”—The Houston Chronicle

“Does for the practice of medicine what Catch-22 and M*A*S*H did for the practice of warfare.”—The Newark Star-Ledger 

“Mordantly funny, brilliantly ironic…A writer of outstanding substance and style.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From the Publisher

"Brilliant !" -- Chicago Tribune. "Bawdy blistering... this is Catch-22 with stethoscopes." --Cosmopolitan.

Now a classic! The hilarious novel of the healing arts that reveals everything your doctor never wanted you to know. Six eager interns -- they saw themselves as modern saviors-to-be. they came from the top of their medical school class to the bottom of the hospital staff to serve a year in the time-honored tradition, racing to answer the flash of on-duty call lights and nubile nurses. But only the Fat Man --the calm, all-knowing resident -- could sustain them in their struggle to survive, to stay sane, to love-and even to be doctors when their harrowing year was done.

"Does for the practice of medicine what Catch-22 and M*A *S *H did for the practice of warfare." -- The Newark Star-Ledger

"Wildly funny... frightening... outrageous, moving... a story of modern medicine rarely, if, ever told." -- The Houston Chronicle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when I was a medical resident at a Southern BMS (Best Medical School), and I was convinced that the author ("Dr. X" at the time) was a colleague! His language, descriptions of patients, anecdotes, and staff portrayals were too similar not to have come directly from the wards and clinics where I worked. And, I was horrified to see, from another vantage point, what I and my fellow residents were becoming. When I re-read the book decades later, I was grateful that a great many things have changed in our approaches to training new physicians.
There are two primary aspects of interest in this book: first, it is an uproariously funny book to anyone who trained in an urban medical center in the 1960-1970 era (others will miss 90% of the "in-group" humor), and, second, it is a devastating indictment of the way that physicians were trained at medical centers in the middle of the 20th century.
It is a good read, but now of most interest to 50+ year-old physicians and nurses.
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Format: Paperback
In this age of reality TV, many will be fascinated, repelled, disturbed and intrigued about this look in the life of a resident intern at a large teaching hospital. For those in the know, it is a sarcastic yet honest glimpse of the perils of an intern.
House of God focuses on Dr. Roy Basch- a new intern who is working at a large teaching institution. Like all interns, he is thrown in with the instruction to "keep the patient alive." He battles grueling schedules, hopeless patients, attendings and disease. He learns from the chief, interns and residents--and even the patients "gomers".
For those who are unfamiliar with medical training this book would be very disturbing, but for those of us who know what residents go is surprisingly real. I first read this book as an M4- just about to start July 1st internship. As an M4 you are cocky, arrogant and optimistic and this book was funny, sacriligous even. I read it again after finishing residency and was struck by how honest it was to the residency experience..sometimes painfully so.
I liked the book when i first read it, but i can appreciate it more now...It is surprising that the author was able to capture the feelings of interns and be brave enough to put it into book form.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read this book at the beginning of my internship (2001) and, though I liked it very much, I found that the author's vision of Medicine was way too dark and bitter. It was more of a novel (like Robin Cook's, but actually good) than anything else for me.
(Some spoilers below)
Then, I read it again after becoming a doctor. And I don't see this book as a novel anymore. I could relate to almost all of Dr.Basch's (main char) crisis, his initial egomania that made him believe he could 'save the world', his withdrawn from friends and loved ones getting to such point that he'd prefer to hang at the ICU than to be with his girlfriend, seeing his intern friends deteriorate physically and psychologically while unaware of his own decay.
I was shocked when I realized I went through a lot of the things he had, including dear people acusing me of being cold and absent.
Some doctors say that internship destroys your inner being, others say that it makes it die and reborn like a Phoenix. Anyway, nobody goes through internship all the way without leaving something behind, and sometimes these things might be what you liked most about yourself. Or the ones that liked you.
Anyway it is an excellent, fun (very sarcastic) and, now I see, VERY realistic.
I love this book and I will likely read it again in a couple of years.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am on my fourth copy of this book. The others eventually disintegrated. I first read it while training in Toronto in 1980. It was spot on. Despite some other MDs' comments below, sex did happen at (very) odd times and in very odd places. Still does in my hospital. In those days, we fought and striked (?) for a limit of no more than four nights per week and alternate weekends of in hospital call. Totally exhausted and sleep deprived, we availed ourselves of black humor, practical jokes, alcohol, and sex. We did find, and sometimes married, nubile nurses and sociable cervixes. We did shine up our patients' histories and transfer them to other wards (buff 'n' turf), and we probably did mismanage patients at night. I still, after 22 years as a staff physician, find the book funny, sad, and relevant. My eldest read it at least three times, and then went into medicine anyway.
Yes, the medicine is dated, and the book is written at a frenetic pace. But it still rates 4 stars.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Recently while we were riding in the car together, my boyfriend was updating me on the condition of his sick grandfather. The week before his grandpa had been hospitalized after a fall, but a CT scan showed an intestinal perforiation. His condition was complicated by the fact that he suffered from diabetes and severe obesity after a lifetime of eating Wisconsin cheese and fried foods on the farm. My boyfriend was upset because the operation had not gone well and the surgeons took hours longer than had been expected. His grandfather was now in the burn unit of the hospital waiting a transfer to the regional medical center. As soon as my boyfriend got this information out about the surgery I immediately started explaining how the surgeons probably had more infection to clean out of the abdomen then they had expected and how his grandfather was probably in the burn unit because the wound could not have been closed up very well on account of it being abdominal surgery that needs to drain, but also that with all of his grandpa's stomach fat it probably just did not close because it's impossible to stitch fat together . . . Argh! Awful, awful me! Here my boyfriend is concerned about his grandfather's life, and I'm rambling on about what little I can guess about the surgery being the "knowledgeable" second year medical student that I am. I didn't even ask how the poor old guy was doing. And worse yet, I didn't realize what I was doing until my boyfriend interrupted me, "Elizabeth, enough! My grandpa is not incisions that won't close or infection! I can't believe you! You haven't even asked me how he's doing. What are you learning in medical school?!Read more ›
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