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Garcia's Heart

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
In this enthralling debut novel, neurologist Patrick Lazerenko travels to The Hague to witness the war crimes trial of his mentor, Hernan García, a Honduran doctor accused of involvement in torture. As García’s supposed crimes are revealed, Patrick wrestles with what truth there may be behind the accusations, haunted as
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published April 10th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 160)
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Leo Robillard
With the publication of Garcia’s Heart by Liam Durcan, yet another Canadian doctor throws his hat into the ring. Who knew there were so many with literary aspirations?

In this debut novel, Durcan dances across the corpus callosum, proving that the combination of medicine and literature – the left and right brain – make for good fiction. Garcia’s Heart tackles difficult moral conundrums, like the nature of good and evil, innocence and culpability. It also, to a lesser extent, delves into the resp
The dilemma - would a man you admired do the terrible things he is accused of? Hernan Garcia is on trial for war crimes in Honduras, accused of participating in the torture of political prisoners. Is this the same man who nurtured a teenage boy when he needed it, and set him on his path to becoming a doctor? This is a bit hard to read as there is very little action and a lot of introspection on the part of Patrick Lazarenko, the doctor, who has come to observe the tribunal in The Hague and try t ...more
Oct 12, 2008 Alice rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alice by: picked it up off the shelf! Lucky, huh?
Garcia's Heart (Liam Durcan)--beautifully written book about a man's (Patrick), struggle with trying to understand how the most influential man in his formative years--a Honduran immigrant who was a cardiologist-turned-family-grocer--could be accused of crimes against humanity. Garcia refuses to talk to anyone about his involvement in the torture of political prisoners--not his family, lawyer, and certainly not Patrick. Lots of tumultuous emotions, and a great mystery to solve--why won't Garcia ...more
Curiously satisifying. There is no knock out punch, no startling revelation about if he did/didn't do what he was accuse of. Really was a book of human emotions. I loved the undercutting of past and present. I also liked how each character wasn't likeable all the time. I didn't have an affinity to anyone of them yet was drawn to them. Much like real life.
Jeptha Davenport
It's not everyday you find a neurologist protagonist, so thank you Prof. Durcan for 'Mopito', who has a knack for dissecting good and evil as they run together in life's sinews. Mentorship, corporate research, romantic relationships, genocide and depanneurs are neatly pinned down in this book.
I wanted to like this book more. The first half was really good, compelling me to read to find out what happens. The second half seemed to bog right down and instead of answering the questions that I thought it would, the story seemed to move in a direction that tried too hard to be "artsy".
Abandoned at p 170. It has something, but its floundering. The idea is lost in the descriptions and careful prose that says, "Look, here's a good line." But it is coy about the reason for the story. About the reasons for the anguish etc.
Time to move on.
Your time is up.
Thomas Weber
A sophisticated exploration of our current moral/ethical world bound in a compelling story. The protagonist is one you love to hate, and compellingly authentic as a result.
An intricate, highly intelligent novel. A mix of international law, human rights, neurological science, marketing, family drama and human weakness. Loved it.
Byron Wright
I thought this was a great book. It deals with a struggle to reconcile someones awful past with the person you know today. Very compelling read.
Kate Schindler
SUCH A DOWNER. I've read about war criminals in Latin America before, but...this was just miserable to read.
Jenny Wikoff
It took about 40 pages to understand what was going on, but now that I'm into it, it's pretty darn cool.
Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
I really enjoyed this book. It took me a while to get into it, but was definitely worth it.
Unappealing protagonist, downer plot, amazing writing. Absolutely amazing writing.
I liked it. The story was not what I was expecting, but still really good.
Meh. Just meh. Kind of disjointed, and honestly the plot was a bit pointless.
Waht a strange twist but interesting
Meghan marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2014
D.d. marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2014
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Liam Durcan was born in Winnipeg where obtained his MD from the University of Manitoba.He has published short fiction since 2000 in a variety of Canadian and American Journals. His short fiction has won the 2004 Quebec Writers Federation/CBC prize and he work has been shortlisted 3 times for the CBC National Literary Awards. He lives in Montreal with his wife and children and is working on a new n ...more
More about Liam Durcan...
A Short Journey by Car Het hart van Hernan García

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