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Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures is a short story collection by Vincent Lam, published in The book, inspired by Lam's own experiences in medical school.
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It is ethically complicated and sometimes involves a reality that can only be expressed by telling a story. En lire plus En lire moins. Description du produit Extrait How to Get into Medical School, Part I Desperate stragglers arrived late for the molecular biology final examination, their feet wet from tramping through snowbanks and their faces damp from running. Some still wore coats, and rummaged in the pockets for pens. Entering the exam hall, a borrowed gymnasium, from the whipping chaos of the snowstorm was to be faced with a void.
Eyeglasses fogged, xenon lamps burned their blue-tinged light, and the air was calm with its perpetual fragrance of old paint. The lamps buzzed, and their constant static was like a sheet pulled out from under the snowstorm, though low enough that the noise vanished quickly. The invigilators allowed them to sit the exam but, toward the end of the allotted period, ignored their pleas for extra time on account of the storm.
Ming, who had finished early, centred her closed exam booklet in front of her. Fitzgerald was still hunched over his paper. Hopefully he would suggest they go for lunch together. If he did not ask, she would be forced to, perhaps using a little joke. Ming tended to stumble over humour. She could ask what he planned to do this afternoon — was that the kind of thing people said? On scrap paper, she wrote several possible ways to phrase the question, and in doing so almost failed to notice when Fitzgerald stood up, handed in his exam, and left the room.
She expected to rush after him, but he stood outside the exam hall. He ran his hands over his head, and instead of smoothing his hair this resulted in random clumps jutting straight up. She watched him scan the bar menu. When she asked for water, he followed suit. She liked that.
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures - TV Show Reviews - Metacritic
He tilted in the chair but kept a straight back. Such suspicions are not quite the same as emotions. I have this inkling that you have an interest in me. Not that I want to. I just wanted to clarify. His face became sweaty and bloomed red as he chewed, then coughed.
He grasped the water glass and took a quick gulp. Ming was grateful for this interlude, for she had now entirely forgotten her rehearsed stock of diplomatically distant but consoling though slightly superior phrases. There was a long restaurant pause, in which Ming was aware of the other diners talking, although she could not perceive what their conversations were about. He picked up the menu. Ming felt unable to read the menu, and pointed at a lunch item in the middle of the page.
She got up to use the bathroom, and wondered in the mirror why she had not worn lipstick — not taken a minute this morning to look good. Then, she reminded herself that she should have actually taken measures to appear unattractive. Nonetheless, Ming examined her purse for lipstick, finding only extra pens and a crumpled exam schedule. When she returned, they smiled politely at each other for a little while. Ming asked if he wanted a fork, and he refused.
Fitzgerald ate with the fork, and craved a beer. Her family, she said, was modern in what they wanted for her education, and old-fashioned in what they imagined for her husband. They would disapprove of Fitzgerald, a non-Chinese. Well, he dropped a ton of potential storylines in order to go completely episodic and only decides to go back to the plots introduced at the beginning in the last 60 pages of the book at a very fast pace.
I was stunned at first to see this book at a 3. I was loving it so much at the time that I was confused on why it had such a poor average rating out of 7, ratings. It did rebound a little bit at the end when things started to wrap up, but the middle chunk and the last story itself were incredibly poor. In short, this collection was extremely mixed. Unless if you are fascinated by the idea of this book, I say skip it.
I am giving this one a 3 out of 5 stars. Really good. I enjoyed it a lot and found the narrative really interesting and striking in some places. It's a series of short stories basically, each one has one or two of the main characters in and follows a loose timeline from the start of their careers and as they get older and more experienced. It's got a nice flow to it and Lam doesn't feel the need to smack you in the face with exposition every time the narrative jumps a few months or years, you can fill in the blanks nicely from the info Really good.
It's got a nice flow to it and Lam doesn't feel the need to smack you in the face with exposition every time the narrative jumps a few months or years, you can fill in the blanks nicely from the information he does give you. I don't want to give anything away but the Winston chapter was so heartbreaking I felt really choked up by it, really amazing stuff and An Insistent Tide is beautiful, and both have some nice twists in them.
It's been a while since I charged through a book in less than a week, I can never find the time, but I couldn't wait to get back to this one every time I put it down. The "story" is told via vignettes that feature the various medical students introduced at the beginning of the book. This is lazy on the author's part because he doesn't have to develop a story or its characters. He merely places them in situations, lets them do their doctor thing, and moves on.
The writing itself is plain but plain-plain, not stylistically so and lacks any real sense of style or personality. The inter-character relationships are not well-developed.
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures
I disliked almost all of the The "story" is told via vignettes that feature the various medical students introduced at the beginning of the book. I disliked almost all of the characters, particularly Fitz. Ming is unlikable, obsessive, and mean. Also, I didn't care for any of them. The only aspect of the story I enjoyed was the medicine. The rest was slightly above mediocre storytelling. Jul 02, Mike rated it it was ok Shelves: did-not-finish , ownit. Sorry Mr. Lam, sorry Giller Prize panel.
I tried hard to like this, pushing through all the way to page , but I realized I don't really care what happens to these two-dimensional characters, or whether a theme suddenly pops into view. The anecdotes are interesting, mainly for the inclusion of the author's behind the scenes medical knowledge but I can't really see where it's going.
Oh - and the medical glossary at the end? You feel you have to define abdomen? Or vocal cords? I ha Boring. I have lots of other books waiting on my TBR shelf, all applauding as I move this one to 'did not finish'.
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Jun 07, Steven Buechler rated it it was amazing. A great examination of how doctors are normal people too. I just wish I had known about the Glossary of terms in the back of the book when I had started reading it. Page - Suddenly awake "Dr. I'm not sure what I said and what I dreamt. Pressure of fifty on nothing, ETA three minutes.
Where're my glasses? Did I fall asleep? Of course I did - that strange instant sleep I can't remember happening, where one second I had the awareness of waterfalls and curtains, the now this fuzzy face-voice. Shit, where are my glasses?
Brady at thirty Probably new heart block. Stumble into shoes. My feet night-swollen, I stuff my wallet, my Palm Pilot into pockets. The nausea. Where the heck - Oh screw the glasses. No, I need the glasses. I can't run this thing blind. Sick feeling.
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I stand at the sink. Heave, dry heave, spit, gargle a little water Feels a bit better. Stunned, echoing awakeness. Jeez, couldn't wait a few hours? I feel around the tray, then the cart next to it. I pad around until I feel the wire of my glasses. Once on my face , the make the light glaring, hard.
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Now that I can see, I realize my headache. Oct 12, Meg rated it liked it. It was a good read, I have definitely had a few of the same experiences and feelings in my medical career that these doctors experienced. I would definitely recommend this book to my fellow health care workers.
Jan 13, Lorri rated it it was amazing. If I could give this book six stars, I would. If you have some medical background you will no doubt identify with some of the vignettes and not have to check the glossary at the back for definitions of some of the technical terms but this would be a fascinating read for anyone.
It justly deserved the Giller Prize. I borrowed this book from the library after reading and enj If I could give this book six stars, I would. I borrowed this book from the library after reading and enjoying The Headmaster's Wager. My plan is to buy a copy now, because it deserves to be read and reread. Apr 22, Lisa Bacque rated it liked it. Interesting read but overall fairly depressing and I felt like there were some stories left unfinished at the end. Oct 14, Lindsay rated it it was ok. The overall idea this book offers is very interesting. It was fun to see the different experiences and situations that doctors could undergo.
But that being said I felt as though the first half of the book was based primarily on random character relationships and background that actually had little to do with the overall story.
The end of the book was more interesting than the beginning. Jan 23, Krystina rated it liked it Shelves: anthology , general-fiction. A word of warning to the still reading: If you picked up this book because you were excited about the premise and are really interested in medicine, but now you're stuck somwhere in the dreary middle of the "Winston" chapter, or considering giving up on this book entirely after the first pages, I hear you girl. Muscle through.
The last few stories will reward you. It's a slow start for sure, but I'm glad I decided to finish this one. Jul 07, Colleen Earle rated it it was amazing Shelves: medical , favourites , strong-women , short-stories , lit-canadian. Really fascinating novel Liked how it was connected short stories. Deals with mortality, complexities on medicine, alcoholism and lost loves Characters have great dimension and are very real. Parts about SARS were the second hardest to read. Working in a hospital has definitely given me a different perspective on this novel than it would have otherwise.
May 29, Jennifer rated it really liked it. Couldn't put it down! Nov 20, Thomas rated it really liked it. Worth the read despite some occasional underwhelming chapters. Jan 05, Hidaya Alatas rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thoroughly enjoyed the book right from the first story. I love Lam's writing style that gripped my attention and didn't let go; written mostly in plain English, the book is a very accessible view into the world of budding doctors. The perspectives of the stories felt like a camera zooming into and out of the characters' personal lives- sometimes written in first person and other times adopting an omniscient third person narrator- I didn't really chart the changes but I felt that it not only tied Thoroughly enjoyed the book right from the first story.
The perspectives of the stories felt like a camera zooming into and out of the characters' personal lives- sometimes written in first person and other times adopting an omniscient third person narrator- I didn't really chart the changes but I felt that it not only tied the different main characters together but gave the readers a fuller perspective on their lives. The stories also seem to move from personal ones to stories of patients and these stories are interwoven- what I like about this is that you see the doctor's shift of focus, where there is a great deal of focus on the patient's lives as their patients become the doctor's focus, over their personal lives for a while.
After patient-centric stories, the stories pan back to career hazards and the comfort of personal life, echoing doctors' constant shifts between selfless work and personal life. Finally, what I love most is that his writing is practical yet nuanced, mimicking the practical worldview doctors must have in order to get through their education and careers. The book humanises doctors, who seem to always have to act their roles in front of everyone they encounter an idea from the book , and shows readers that doctors are much more than just their title.
The dark humour, the questioning of their acting, the clear hopelessness of certain cases that they still have to attend to, the moral questions, the problem with caring too much, the imminent death that people seem to think that doctors are immune to - the alcoholic heartbroken doctor, the doctors who died, the doctors who got married: these are the things that show the reader a world we rarely see. Anyway, my favourite shorts were Winston and Contact Tracing, the latter made me rather emotional as the doctors and nurses had to undergo something so chillingly in their faces- an epidemic that I was too young to feel the weight of when it happened - the storytelling was really heartbreaking and reminiscent of a dark time for those in the medical field.
Sep 17, Tina rated it it was amazing Shelves: stem , favorite. Jan 26, Neil Mudde rated it liked it. A great first plus Giller prize for Dr. I am amazed at times that there are people in this world as is in Dr Lam. Aug 10, kingshearte rated it liked it Shelves: cdn-books-worth-reading , , fiction. Short stories are not really my favourite type of reading, but this was here, and I'd heard good things about it, so I read it. It was actually really good, despite having won a Canadian literary award.
I found almost all the stories very interesting and quite compelling. It still had the various issues that make me not really care for the short story as a form. Although you do get some insight, in the context of whatever the current situation being painted is, you don't really get to kn Short stories are not really my favourite type of reading, but this was here, and I'd heard good things about it, so I read it.
Although you do get some insight, in the context of whatever the current situation being painted is, you don't really get to know the characters. And the lack of closure just irritates me. On one hand, that's kind of a neat device in a medical kind of context, because doctors send patients on their way, either home or to another doctor, all the time. More often than not, they don't really get to have any closure on those patients. So in that respect, I didn't mind it. But a little closure on the doctors themselves, and their life situations, would have been good.
For example, in one story, a couple of the doctors become SARS patients, and get pretty sick. We know one of them survives, because he appears in a later story. But the other one? The last we hear is that he's in critical condition. Does he make it? We don't know. And that bothers me. So the upshot here is that if, like me, you don't really care for short stories, you'll probably think these are pretty darn good anyway.
And if you do like short stories, this should definitely be on your list.
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Apr 26, Kaija rated it really liked it. I'm not sure why, but I avoided this book a for a long time. I heard how good it was, but I just wasn't drawn to it. I actually regret not reading it sooner. This was the author's first book he has since written several more. A doctor by profession, he decided to write about what he knew. Each chapter you follow someone new, but with whom you've been introduced albeit briefly. It's like following a friend of a friend. You know they exist, but not much more than that.
The characters were well de I'm not sure why, but I avoided this book a for a long time. The characters were well developed, especially for usually only getting a chapter, or two. I always hate when I don't think characters are real people. They're either perfect, or so terrible that you don't know they could exist. That does not happen in this book. Each person is someone I could see knowing. A good person, but maybe not the best person. I did want to know more about different characters.
I think the point was not to give too much away, so I think it mostly worked.