Review: Critical Care

Critical Care, by Richard Dooling
(Picador, June 1996. Paperback, 256 pages)

The story is fairly simple on the surface, but more complex beneath. A young doctor is faced with a choice–he’s fooled into having to make it, and his naivete regarding the issue is quite stunning. But, it’s also endearing, and a big part of why this book is so engaging.

The dark humour had me laughing, despite mild horror, then, invariably, I’d turn the page and frown against the urge to weep. The ending was perfect.

This is a great first novel. The language is precise and easy to read, even though the book is peppered with medical terms. I enjoyed the way the author used words and constructed visual imagery. The writing, for me, elevated this book from ordinary to something I took the time to review.

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