Can't really say I 'read' it. Tried twice. Couldn't finish it. Not my cup of tea, despite the fact that I'm a huge sci-fi fan. Never connected with th...moreCan't really say I 'read' it. Tried twice. Couldn't finish it. Not my cup of tea, despite the fact that I'm a huge sci-fi fan. Never connected with the protagonist. Never got into the story. I couldn't decide if it it was trying to be ironically profound or profoundly ironic or what. Too many other books I know I'll like than to spend any more time on something I don't like.
I'm not sure how to rate this book. I didn't really 'like' it, because the characters were so evil and depraved. It made it difficult to really enjoy...moreI'm not sure how to rate this book. I didn't really 'like' it, because the characters were so evil and depraved. It made it difficult to really enjoy the story. It really is a horror story - the horror of a selfish life, lived hedonistically, seeking only pleasure and not caring if others are hurt. It really was difficult for me to read it. Not that it wasn't well-written - it was. And as a morality tale it is quite effective. So, on literary merits, it probably deserves at least four stars. But four stars means "I really liked it", and I can't say that I did. Is it worth reading? Most assuredly! It is a classic for good reason. And I will remember it, and the characters, for a long time, I am sure. I guess that makes it a 'good' book, even if I didn't really enjoy reading it!!(less)
**spoiler alert** I grabbed this e-book in desperation one evening, when I had some time to kill after work & before bible study, and I had forgot...more**spoiler alert** I grabbed this e-book in desperation one evening, when I had some time to kill after work & before bible study, and I had forgotten to being the book I was currently reading. So - iPhone to the rescue! This was a free book, in the Gutenberg Project, and it was Sci-Fi, and I'd read other books by this author when I was a kid, so I grabbed it. I knew it would be a bit out-dated, but it wasn't as bad as I'd feared - a few too many references to EarthMEN, and no female characters, but overall, it was a pretty decent read.
The story is about Dal, the first non-human to train on Earth as a doctor. (At this point in Earth's future, we are known as "Hospital Earth" and known as the galaxies best doctors.) Dal faces prejudice and fear as he graduates, and it is clear that there is one senior doctor who is definitely out to "get" Dal and prevent him from becoming a full "star surgeon". Nevertheless, cooler heads prevail and Dal is put on a probation ship, with two other doctors-to-be.
The three young men travel around the galaxy, answering pleas for help, and we see further prejudice by one of the other crew. They encounter various medical trials, and finally learn to respect one another when faced with a planet-wide plague that they can't figure out how to stop. Dal manages to figure out what the problem is, and the 3 think they will be awarded their "stars" (as full-fledged doctors), but Dal's nemesis shows up and it's clear he's going to twist circumstances to get Dal kicked out. But then he has a massive coronary, and only Dal can save him. He does, the doctor relents and Dal gets his star!
I found the characters pretty one-dimensional (though Dal's relationship to his symbiont, 'Fuzzy', was original, and the intelligent virus was good), and as soon as the mean doctor showed up at the end, clearly ailing from a bad hear, I knew how Dal would win him over. It was all just a little too pat. I find this kind of plot and writing to be very common-place from novels of this era (1950's), so I wasn't surprised. I still managed to enjoy it, and thankfully it was pretty short.
If you are interested in "intergalactic medicine" then there is a far better, and more recent series, I HIGHLY recommend James White's "Sector General" series (the first is "Hospital Station").(less)
After a very slow and rocky start, this book really takes off and is quite the adventure tale. A few racial slurs, standard for the time, but I've rea...moreAfter a very slow and rocky start, this book really takes off and is quite the adventure tale. A few racial slurs, standard for the time, but I've read worse, in that regard. Surprisingly enjoyable tale!(less)