Wednesday, 1 March 2017


3.5 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK HERE
On Goodreads HERE

How I discovered this book: It was a submission to Rosie Amber's Book Review Team, of which I am a member.

The debut novel from this author, who uses a pen name, Didn't Get Frazzled is about a few years in the life of Seth, a graduate medical student in New York.  The novel intersperses darkly humorous scenes during Seth's training, with the ongoing drama of his personal life.  It's intelligently written, well put together, amusing in parts, and I thought the dialogue and the characterisation good (Seth's girlfriend, April, is particularly so; dreary as hell, and takes herself far, far too seriously).  The contrast between hospital and personal life is well balanced, each giving more weight to the other.  The banter in the practical classes is believable, and it's clear that the author knows exactly what he's talking about, all the way through it - nothing like writing what you know!

So why only 3.5 stars? The reason that I haven't given it the 4 that most of the book merits is that I almost abandoned it three times.  I nearly decided it was a 'no' during the first chapter, which I assumed to be written from experiences of the author's own.  You know when someone tells you about something funny that happened to them, and it sort of trails off with them saying, "Oh well, I suppose you had to be there."?  That's what this felt like; a bunch of 'in' jokes.  I could see how funny it should have been but it just ... wasn't.   Another time was during the description of an intimate examination of an obese woman.  It wasn't daringly warts-and-all, it was just disgusting.  I actually closed my Kindle and opened my laptop to write my decline-to-review email, but then I thought, no, I've already spent a few hours reading this.  

I found the parts about Seth's personal life the most interesting to read, very well done, but I wonder if the in-hospital sections might contain too much medical info, etc, for your average reader; I did find myself glazing over by about half way through.  And it is, at times, really quite revolting.  But other bits are very good.  I'm in two minds about it; I would imagine that if you're a medical student, you will LOVE it!

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