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Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon
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Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  3,020 ratings  ·  420 reviews
It’s 2:47 a.m. when Dr. Nick Trout takes the phone call that starts another hectic day at the Angell Animal Medical Center. Sage, a ten-year old German shepherd, will die without emergency surgery for a serious stomach condition. Over the next twenty-four hours Dr. Trout fights for Sage’s life, battles disease in the operating room, unravels tricky diagnoses, reassures fra...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 3rd 2009 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jim
3.5 stars, but I just can't give it 4 stars. It is an interesting look at a modern vet & his hospital where he specializes in surgery on dogs & cats. There are plenty of references to Herriot & I think he wanted to write in that vein, but the tone was too uneven & he is too callous to carry that off. He didn't get the people the way Herriot did, although he does describe them superficially quite well.

Marg tried reading this, but put it down about a quarter of the way through, ab...more
Matthew
Oct 30, 2008 Matthew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal lovers, veterinarians, vet students
Recommended to Matthew by: Border's convient product placement
As I was walking through Borders, during a rare moment of free time from my first year of veterinary school, I stumbled upon this book and bought it without a second thought. A decision I don't regret.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering a career in veterinary medicine or who is currently in veterinary school and needs their struggles to be put into perspective. Fear not, for those of you who are animal lovers and may not be knowledgeable about medicine, Dr. Trout doe...more
Melanie Moore
I know the average reader will go to this book for cutesy animal stories and they are there. For me, the read was therapeutic in a sense. It’s nice to hear that these sort of scenarios go down in other hospitals. There’s emergencies in the middle of the night, surgeries to remove the most disgusting things from intestines, owners who can’t stop trying to find a cure and people who think that veterinary medicine is a waste of the consumer’s money.

Veterinary medicine has challenges by the boatload...more
Robin
Having spent hours in veterinary hospitals with various pets over the years, I am always curious about the lives on the other side of the table - the veterinarians. Their diagnoses are made often solely on observation, because their patients obviously can't communicate verbally about their distress (hence the ironic title.) And so Tell Me Where It Hurts revolves loosely on several different cases Trout, an orthopedic surgical specialist, sees in the course of a day.

Unlike many works of nonficti...more
Jamie
Some nice animal stories, and not a bad read, but the writing is awkward and the book has no focus. It tries to cover too much territory for a short book and becomes a random collection of largely unsatisfying anecdotes.

The author is a veterinary surgeon who performs expensive procedures on pets, and he does demonstrate the controversy behind this, albeit without an in-depth discussion. For instance, he tells the story of an old man who is willing to spend money he can hardly spare on a complex,...more
Book Concierge
Book on CD read by Simon Vance
2**

The subtitle really says it all: A Day of Humor, Healing and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon.

Trout uses a “day-in-the-life” structure to relay various stories from his experience as a veterinary surgeon in Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston Massachusetts. He tells the reader in the introduction that the stories he relates are composites and examples of the cases he has dealt with.

I was expecting something in the way of James Herriott’s memoirs, but Trou...more
Andria
I think the editors chose wrong, making this book an artificial "day in the life". Time in medicine, whether human or veterinary, is of major concern. How much time does the doctor spend with his patients? How much time is needed for a proper diagnosis? This writing choice, just gets the book and the reader off on the wrong foot. The one thing you want in a doctor and a writer is a sense of trust.
Sandy
Never judge a book by its cover! I was expecting a warm and fuzzy day-in-the-life-of saga. What I found instead, was a thoughtful, funny and sometimes illuminating look at veterinary medicine, specifically veterinary surgery. Perhaps more importantly though, this was also a book about relationships - between owner and pet, owner and vet, vet and pet.
To be sure, this book is not without its faults. Dr. Trout's writing style is very tangential in nature which often makes it difficult to figure out...more
Angela
Being a veterinarian, I obviously was going to like this book at least somewhat. But I thought it was written well for those that have no knowledge of veterinary medicine also. I especially liked it because it conveyed some of the difficulties of veterinary medicine, and I could relate with a lot of his points (like how EVERYONE thinks that their pet was abused at some point before they "rescued" it; so many people have told me that they think their pet was abused previously, and while I know th...more
RunRachelRun
I picked this book out for my stepdaughter who just had her first baby (I assume it will be her first...) last Thursday. She's a vet tech and I'm proud to say that I introduced her to the legendary James Herriott when I first started dating her dad those long years ago. Nick Trout is no James Herriott but he's not bad either. I don't think anyone could ever scale the summit to stand beside Herriott. What a wonderful, wonderful man was James. I still cry a little when I go back to his books - the...more
Stephanie
I didn't get it finished but what I read was good.
Tabatha
Read as an audiobook. The reader does an excellent job bringing this story to life.
Since I am a veterinarian the information about the cases isn't foreign and I understand how telling the story of one case leads into the other stories Dr. Trout tells. Truly, this is what "a day in the life is like." For example, every time you see a GDV you immediately reflect back to all the failures of your previous similar cases and the only revisit the successes after that. You instantly reflect on what you...more
Paul Pessolano
Dr.Nick Trout is a veterinarian who specializes in emergency surgery. He works at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Angell is one of the largest clinics of this type and is known for its success in treating animals that need help that goes way beyond what your local veterinarian can handle.

This includes treatment for cancer, hip replacements, and organ transplants. Dr. Trout has taken some of his more unique experiences and formulated them into a day in his life at Angell.

One thing before...more
Eva Leger
May 17, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers more inclined to hear about the medical/surgical aspect
Recommended to Eva by: found somewhere myself
This is going to be one of thos difficult reviews to write - it probably won't be a "review" like most in the end. The inside flap states that this will be irresistible to animal lovers. I don't think that's true. I know more than a handful of animal owners who would not like this at all.
In my experience most animal owners/lovers/parents who read "animal books" read said books for the personal stories. While this was a personal story, it wasn't like any other I've ever read.
This is far, far, m...more
Christine
This book is debatable for YA. I think it would be a good book because the majority of students might have pets but the story is more of a individual perspective rather than a few stories collaborated together. It definitely gives insight to the veterinary profession. High school ages kids with pets or interest in becoming a vet may enjoy this book most. The book explains a vets journey and his dedication to his patients and their families. If anything it portrays Nick Trout as the ideal vet to...more
Melissa
I disagree with a lot of previous reviews of this book. In 280 some odd pages, Nick Trout has managed to accomplish the seemingly impossible and find words to describe the indescribable relationship between owner and pet. Seldom has an author been able to take something so abstract and create something tangible.

This book is less of a day in the life of a veterinarian than a collection of anecdotes and memories. Nick Trout chose to write it in this manner in order to cleverly convey the normal he...more
Jess
A day in the life of a vet is the premise but this book isn’t entirely honest about that. While you do follow Dr. Trout on his rounds and see what he deals with on a typical day, there is a lot more to it than that. He frequently recalls various other cases that relate to what the client is dealing with or he’ll digress into how he became a vet or his beloved childhood dog.

It offers an excellent background on him and things that other vets may deal with on a regular basis. It also helps fill ou...more
Brittany
Not all vets are going to be as good at being authors as James Herriot was. Not even every vet who tries to write a book will be able to pull off the magic Herriot did. Nick Trout certainly didn't. But he did manage to write a very readable, engaging, interesting, and thought-provoking book. I was startled by how fast I whipped through it. The stories of the animals themselves take center stage, as they should, and they were both enjoyable and occasionally heart-breaking, as expected in any book...more
Weaveaire
Apr 21, 2008 Weaveaire rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal enthusiasts
Recommended to Weaveaire by: NPR
I heard the review on NPR and thought I'd enjoy it. It was a bit disappointing as his style was not to my taste.
Pg 12"63% of US homes have a pet-may be a cat, bird, ferret or guinea pig but the chances are high that when someone close to you dies, a pet will be there to pick up the slack. Pets devour the loneliness. They give us purpose, responsibilitiy, a reason for getting up in the morning, and a reason to look to the future. They ground us, help us escape the grief, make us laugh and take fu...more
Holly Lee (Bellas Novella)
Who could walk past this book cover and not pick it up? "Tell Me Where It Hurts" is a memoir, a day in the life of a vet. You think you know, but you have no idea. (I couldn't resist)

The book is laid out as if all the events occurred in one day. The chapters are marked with timestamps in addition to the topic being covered. Within each chapter is the story of an animal that has come to visit Dr. Nick Trout. He tells many other stories within each chapter, covering his entire life with animals, r...more
Jen A.
2.5 stars, really... I'm sure my Mom bought this book for my sister while she was still in vet school. I read it because, hey, I like stories about animals and I needed something else to read while I was snowed in and dog-sitting. This book was okay -- enjoyable but not completely engaging. Trout wrote this book in a particular style that I found frustrating, because what I cared about was the ANIMALS, not all the superfluous stuff. Now, a measure of background info, details about the costs of v...more
Christina
What a wonderful book! I grew up reading and re-reading James Herriott's veterinary stories, so I looked forward to trying out this modern-day vet's tale of emergency animal surgeries. I was not disappointed. He had me laughing and crying with every chapter. It was a fascinating read. I appreciated how, in between the anecdotes, he sprinkled up-to-date facts about the nature of veterinary practice today both in the UK (since he's originally British) and the US. I found that very enlightening. An...more
Amy
I loved this book, mostly because I am a dog lover, really an animal lover, just not all animals. I also love how this book provided not just stories, but information behind the illnesses with the dogs. I have a Great Dane, and in this book there was a story about a Great Dane that came into the clinic, and Dr. Trout believed it had Wobbler's disease. I googled it, and was shocked to find that it is a common thing among large breed dogs, but especially Great Danes and Dobermans. I hadn't heard t...more
Randy
The a-day-in-the-life frame is fucked because it not only makes certain anecdotes fantasy but it also knocks the ass off most seasoned readers trying to take Trout seriously. Granted the author has a good sense of humor; however, he takes himself a bit too seriously. The ethics of animal care versus money spent by pet owner could have been discussed significantly more...this book has a very urban/yuppie feel and living in a rural setting I find the gist of the book a little distant and out of to...more
Dave
I thought the author did a really good job of explaining things that a vet does in surgery without getting too technical (although my best friend is in vet school and talks with me frequently about what she is studying, so I may actually have a better understanding of these concepts than I realize). Each of the anecdotes is told in a fashion that makes them easy for a non-vet to relate to, even though they overlap during the course of a single "day" (like 24, this is really the events of several...more
Lisa
I heard an interview with Dr. Trout, a veterinary surgeon with Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, on NPR a few months ago, and I'm always interested in reading about animals so I couldn't resist buying the book. . . . It took me a month to get through it because, as I read it, I felt like I was at work. I didn't find his story to be very inspiring, but perhaps that's because I work for a veterinary school and am already familiar with the statistics and information he provided. Someone ou...more
Florence
Dr. Trout takes us through an exhausting day at the animals hospital where he is a veterinary surgeon. The day begins in the wee hours of the morning with an emergency and ends late at night, also with an emergency. Much of the doctor's time and energy is spent in attempting to reach an area of understanding with each pet's owners. This is sometimes more difficult than actually treating the animal. Dr. Trout describes his profession in an introspective way, dwelling on its emotional complexity....more
Janet
I was expecting James Herriot. What I got were a few short case histories sandwiched between long sidetracking diatribes about mostly irrelevant topics. Oh, and a note to the pathetic excuse of an editor who proof-read this train wreck of errors: Distraught owners “bawl” their eyes out; they don’t “ball” them out (at least not in public). Crazy dogs “wreak” havoc, they don’t “reek” it. And to the best of my knowledge, it is not possible to “peak” inside an animal. You may want to “peek” inside i...more
Dlora
When I picked up this biography of a staff surgeon at the Boston Angell Animal Medical Center, I was sort of expecting something like James Herriott's autobiography I had read years earlier and loved. And while Dr. Nick Trout also refers to these classic books, his story is the difference between early 20th century medicine and 21st century medicine--like comparing a country doc with a modern-day specialist at John Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Trout brought up topics that wouldn't have crossed Herriott...more
John Gentry
Found this book at a thrift store. It only cost a dollar and I felt it would be a good read. When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a vet but then realized there was no way I could perform a surgery on an animal. Regardless I am still an animal lover and applaud those who work in the animal health field.
This book was full of insightful anecdotes from the authors life, some made me laugh and some brought tears to my eyes. Animals are such delicate souls that depend on us whole heartily. I w...more
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I’m from England and I’m a veterinary surgeon working at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, one of the biggest animal hospitals in the world. If I had to sum up the best part of my career in one word it would be ‘unpredictable’ because what’s great about coming to work everyday is the certainty of surprise. It might be a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, a Maine Coon Cat or an iguana. It might b...more
More about Nick Trout...
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“It may be a cat, a bird, a ferret, or a guinea pig, but the chances are high that when someone close to you dies, a pet will be there to pick up the slack. Pets devour the loneliness. They give us purpose, responsibility, a reason for getting up in the morning, and a reason to look to the future. They ground us, help us escape the grief, make us laugh, and take full advantage of our weakness by exploiting our furniture, our beds, and our refrigerator. We wouldn't have it any other way. Pets are our seat belts on the emotional roller coaster of life--they can be trusted, they keep us safe, and they sure do smooth out the ride.” 45 likes
“. . . mistakes are inevitable, but what is not, and what will set us apart, is our ability to learn from them” 12 likes
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