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The Good Doctor Guillotin

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
The Good Doctor Guillotin follows five characters to a common destination--the scaffold at the first guillotining of the French Revolution:
Dr. Guillotin, of course, a physician and member of the National Assembly, involved in many important events, including the Tennis Court Oath. Nicolas Pelletier, the first victim--or "patient," as they were sometimes called, since the
ebook, 244 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Unbridled Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Oct 13, 2009 Jasmine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
Okay I am bias in regards to this book. I really liked it. I think it is probably only a four star book objectively but I liked it five stars worth.

The book is a discussion of the lead up to the first use of the guillotine in france. The book has a habit of going into philosophical rants not unlike the first chapter of the unbearable lightness of being, and they tend to be a bit alienating.

On the other hand the character portrayals are really fantastic. The characters are well differentiated.
This is a somewhat fictional history (but not too fictional) of four main players in the saga of the guillotine’s creation. Dr. Guillotine (who was a humanitarian and also anti-capital punishment), the designer of the machine Tobias Schmidt (who normally worked with instruments of music, not death), Father Pierre, the priest (who is now an agent of state) who accompanies the condemned, Sanson the executioner (who regards himself as a necessary evil) and the first man to die by Madame Guillotine ...more
Jul 12, 2011 Karyl rated it liked it
It is difficult to determine what kind of book this is. One begins, thinking it is a novel based on historical fact, but then one is presented with a section discussing the author's opinion on capital punishment. It makes for interesting reading, although it can be jarring. I enjoyed the use of the five characters involved in the first execution carried out by the guillotine to tell the story, especially at the end when the author discusses exactly how he had taken liberties with historical fact ...more
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For November's HNR
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Marc Estrin is an author, cellist, and political activist living in Burlington, Vermont. He has published four novels, and a memoir of his thirty-five years of working with the Bread & Puppet Theater."
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