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Oxygen

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  4,491 ratings  ·  801 reviews
"Dr. Marie Heaton is an anesthesiologist at the height of her profession. She has worked, lived and breathed her career since medical school, and she now practices at a top Seattle hospital. Marie has carefully constructed and constricted her life according to empirical truths, to the science and art of medicine. But when her tried-and-true formula suddenly deserts her dur ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carol
Jan 19, 2010 Carol rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, not really fair to rate and review your own book, is it. I liked it! Hope you do.
Thomas
Oxygen is about Dr. Marie Heaton, an established anesthesiologist at the tip of her career. Her life is consumed with putting people out of their pain and supplying them with oxygen; her entire existence revolves around her work. However her carefully constructed lifestyle falls apart when one of her patients dies on her operating table. Soon enough a malpractice suit is filed against her by a single mom who has lost her only child - also, she has to deal with her father's vision loss and their ...more
JoAnn/QuAppelle
This was interesting material but I thought the book was just okay. Too many words at many points in the book, too many times when the narrator just went on and on and on....and then the ending seemed hurried.

I really got annoyed with reading, over and over, about how guilty Marie felt and also about her moping around. The dreariness of her everyday life and the too-long descriptions of her angst were just too much and did nothing to advance the story. Enough already!

I found myself getting ann
...more
Elizabeth
I expected this book to be a fluff read. You know, a good book to read on a beach. Well, since it's winter here in Minnesota, maybe I should just say, a good book to curl up by the fireplace with. It was definitely much more than that. I request books from my library that I've read reviews of or heard about from friends. This one had so many requests. I've been waiting so long, I've forgotten where I heard about it.


Dr. Marie Heaton is a dedicated anesthesiologist. She loves the technical aspect
...more
Nancy
I enjoyed Marie's unusual perspective on the world. She has a way of looking through people's exteriors, straight into the depths of their organs and right down to their little microscopic cells. That is a bit depressing, as she is constantly evaluating people's various degrees of corporeal decay; and also refreshingly equalizing, as gradual corporeal decay is the inevitable fate shared among all living creatures.

(view spoiler)
...more
Michelle
I'm not sure how to rate this. There were parts I loved and parts that didn't do it for me. What I liked: the premise, the plot twist (also enjoyed that the twist had its OWN twist), and the tension created at the end of the book that kept me anxiously reading. What I didn't like: the B storyline (just wasn't into it and kept wanting to get back to what was happening in Seattle), too much medical jargon at the beginning that made it sterile at first, and, frankly, the protagonist. I just couldn' ...more
LJ
OXYGEN (Novel/Med. Mys- Dr. Marie Heaton-Seattle-Cont) – Good
Cassella, Carol – 1st book
Simon & Schuster, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 1416556109

First Sentence: People feel so strong, so durable.

Dr. Marie Heaton is a skilled anesthesiologist. Her life is off track and her career at risk when a child dies during surgery and Marie is being sued for malpractice. Although she tries to keep working, she must work to find out exactly what happened during the operation in order to retain her career, f
...more
Denise
4.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air in the medical thriller genre....., September 7, 2008

This review is from: Oxygen: A Novel (Hardcover)

I'm an RN and I love medical thrillers. For the past several years, however, it's been tough to find really good ones about something new and different. This really wasn't a "thriller" per se, but it was a novel that had a hint of mystery in it -- the goal -- to find out what caused the sudden, inexplicable death of an 8 year old girl on the operating roo
...more
Carolyn Gerk
Oxygen follows the story of Dr. Marie Heaton, anesthesiologist as she deals with a case in which an eight year old patient dies on the operating table.
An interesting topic, kind of felt like a slow moving Grey's Anatomy episode. The information about anesthesiology was interesting, I enjoyed heaton's reflections about the power of putting a person to sleep and holding them safely in a pain free lull during crisis. Some beautiful writing and observations are scattered throughout the novel.
Howev
...more
Karen
My Review of Oxygen: A Novel by Carol Cassella

Carol Cassella’s mixture of mystery and medical thriller, supported by the authenticity of her many years as an anesthesiologist, results in her page turning debut book, Oxygen: A Novel. Casella’s Dr. Marie Heaton is also an anesthesiologist who is passionate and professional about her life’s work. She works at Seattle’s First Lutheran Hospital where she prides herself in the care and expertise with which she conducts her everyday life as a physician
...more
Julie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
Dr. Marie Heaton’s life is her work as an anesthesiologist. She has friends, but they’re comprised of colleagues who live the same hectic, work-centric life as she. Forced to take a leave of absence from her demanding job, she finds herself returning to her most important relationships – those with her family – for support and for reparation.

Oxygen is a novel about a single medical mistake with an unconscionable result. It is about a doctor who, while struggling with guilt, refuses to be crushe
...more
E.E. Giorgi
I think of Carol Cassella's writing as Da Vinci's paintings: the details are so realistic and so well-thought, you can play the whole scene in your mind as if you were there. Some authors are more like a Cezanne or a Van Ghogh, with wide, thick strokes, while Cassella's strokes are accurate and delicate and can get into the finest nook of the tightest canvas.

I enjoyed this story very much, a very realistic mystery, but more than the mystery, what grips you the most is the relationships at stake
...more
Elyse
3.6 stars!

Easy Fast read! I enjoyed this book --(it was 'good' --not GREAT). The protagonist of this story --[the anestesiologist], is a single woman who when not at the hospital spends her 'off' time at home -- --collapsed in bed filled with guilt, and anxiety. She is frightened and is losing her confident as a physician. It was her first time she "lost a child".

A large section of this book, (middle section) was somewhat annoying because while reading about this doctor wrestle with her consci
...more
Antof9
This book had me intrigued at page 2, and I wasn't happy when I had to put it down for interruptions. The technical medical parts I found fascinating, with enough explanation for me to believe even if I didn't necessarily understand them. Not only is it a really interesting medical "mystery", so to speak, but I thought it was very well written.

I really liked this passage. Even though I'm not a doctor, my mom taught me these things, too:
I'm sure my mother never suspected she was raising a doctor.
...more
Jim Thomsen
Carol Cassella's debut novel is a medical thriller wrapped in the well-made and warm comforts of a literary novel. The author's carefully crafted, richly nuanced, minor-key prose calls to mind the work of fellow Bainbridge Islander David Guterson, who is cited in the book's acknowledgements as a friend and helpmate.

The story: Dr. Marie Heaton, an anesthesiologist at a Seattle hospital, is traumatized in more ways than one when a child dies on the operating table under her care. As she searches
...more
Fredsky
Jan 19, 2009 Fredsky rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any pre-meds or even pre-ops!
Recommended to Fredsky by: Eileen
The next time your anesthesiologist looks you in the eyes and shoots a syringe of something into your I.V., don't have read this book already.

Our heroine, Dr. Marie Heaton, an experienced anesthesiologist, is naive in the ways of the normal functioning world. She doesn't read men very well, she doesn't seem suspicious of lawyers until it's too late, and she appears to have no prior knowledge that hospitals are big business and that big business will cheerfully and resolutely bite, crunch, chew
...more
Amy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maddy
PROTAGONIST: Dr. Marie Heaton, anesthesiologist
SETTING: Seattle and Texas
SERIES: Debut
RATING: 4.75

When I think about members of the medical profession, I mostly consider their technical skills and bedside manner. As far as their motivation for choosing this type of career, I mostly assume that they are looking for financial security and perhaps have some sense of doing good for others. I never really thought about how deep those feelings could be until I read this book. The lead character, Dr. M
...more
Kathleen Hagen
Oxygen, by Carol Cassella, narrated by Jennifer Ikeda, produced by, and borrowed from Recorded Books.

This is a debut novel by a freelance medical writer and a practicing anesthesiologist. It is worthy of standing alongside the best medical thrillers. We are introduced here to Dr. Marie Heaton, a very successful anesthesiologist who loves her work and passionately cares about each patient she helps come through an operation. She works for an undr-staffed overburdened hospital, First Lutheran, in
...more
Marialyce
This book was fair. It was semi interesting as we learn of an anesthesiologist's world and the struggle this particular doctor goes through in order to retain her good name and find a balance in her life and family. It was a book of many misunderstandings in the life of Dr. Heaton who is accused of manslaughter in the case of a young girl she surgically treated.

There are so twists and turns as the doctor assumes a defense/detective role in discovering the how and why of the child's death. Of co
...more
Stephen Gallup
An interesting WSJ article by a surgeon (on how doctors are haunted by ghosts of procedures that didn't go well) reminded me that I had not posted a review of this excellent novel. I suppose I delayed because I admired Oxygen so much that I wanted to do it justice.

First of all, because of my background I'm a sucker for both nonfiction and fiction on the subject of medicine. In a blog post going live this week, I speculate that, since I once aspired to a career in that profession, I may at times
...more
Sarah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laine
At first I wondered why I was even reading this book. It seemed to be about another supremely narcissistic doctor moaning about unpaid medical school loans while living in a downtown loft with beautiful skylines. Or caterwauling about the lack of spouse/child fully expecting to be able to order said spouse/child in the mid to late thirties in the way the rest of us would order a turkey for Thanksgiving. Oh god. The stress of being in one of the most elite professions ever, with concurrent high s ...more
Carol
If you believe that author’s should write what they know you should like this book. And even if you think that’s not true, as some authors do, you’ll appreciate that Carol Wiley Cassella brings her profession as an anesthesiologist to life in the pages of her debut novel, Oxygen. As oxygen (the gas) is required for breathing, Cassella’s book is equally breathtaking. Though there is an element of mystery to the story, it is really more an exploration of the medical system and its inadequacies. It ...more
Joyce
I enjoyed the book Oxygen by Carol Cassela much more than Healer which I recently read. In Oxygen, the reader is given a very indepth look at what goes on while a person is under anesthesia for a surgery or procedure. It certainly gave me a new perspective on the role of the anesthesiologist and what actually happens to the patient during an operation. In addition to giving a lot of information about what an anesthesiologist actually does, the author did an awesome job of portraying the thoughts ...more
Jane
Jul 28, 2009 Jane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bunnie and others who enjoy medical fiction
Recommended to Jane by: Seattle Times Newspaper
The author, Carol Cassella, is a practicing anesthesiologist working in Washington. Her book is the story of a female anesthesiologist who loses a young patient during surgery. Dr. Heaton tries desperately to come to terms with the child's death, questioning her own actions during the surgery. While battling her own emotions, fears, and thoughts pertaining to the child's death she is also dealing with the malpractice and possible criminal negligence suit arising from this situation, as well as d ...more
Amanda G. Stevens
Anesthesiologist Marie Heaton might be responsible for the death of one of her patients. It's a winningly simple, inherently emotional premise, and author Carol Cassella takes the pathos three steps further. Said patient Jolene is eight years old, mentally retarded, and the only child of a lower-class, single mother. Marie is, of course, driven to find the cause of Jolene's death. Could she have prevented it? Did she miss something in her preliminary evaluation? Stakes rise when the girl's mothe ...more
Elizabeth *Swords for Fighting*
was a little weary when I first picked up Oxygen. A story about an anesthesiologist? Definitely not my usual read, but I was pleasantly surprised. Oxygen was a great read! It reminded me of a hospital drama television show like Grey's Anatomy. The reader can most certainly tell that a doctor wrote this book. The medical terminology, equipment, procedures, and anything else medical related seemed extremely accurate and realistic to me.

Marie is an anesthesiologist who has a young child die on th
...more
Lark
Dr. Marie Heaton is an experienced anesthesiologist practicing in Seattle. During surgery, her patient dies. While the entire surgical team is sued, it was ultimately Marie's fault and therefore she takes it the hardest.

What I liked about this book:
1. It hit on several medical hot-topics. Since the author is herself an anesthesiologist, I felt like everything she touched on in regards to medical malpractice is a reality. It is scary. Most doctors nowadays feel like its not "if" they will be sued
...more
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Carol Cassella, M.D. is a practicing physician and national bestselling author of two novels, Oxygen (2008) and Healer (2010), both published by Simon & Schuster and translated into more than a dozen languages. She majored in English Literature at Duke University and attended Baylor College of Medicine. Carol is board certified in both internal medicine and anesthesiology, and practiced primar ...more
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“Tears of grief are unique. They contain chemicals that aren't found in the more mundane droplets of moisture that bathe the eyes, as if our tears wash us free of some noxious cause of sorrow.” 5 likes
“when do we stop crying over our injuries? when we get old enough to swallow our tears, or when the people we love stop responding to our cries of pain??” 1 likes
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