Last week I posted a review of Hospital Babylon, the story of one day in an English A&E Department, which I really enjoyed. Because I enjoyed it s...moreLast week I posted a review of Hospital Babylon, the story of one day in an English A&E Department, which I really enjoyed. Because I enjoyed it so much I went through my books on search for something similar, and stumbled across Confessions of a GP, which I picked up a couple of years ago. I was interested in reading a book from the perspective of a General Practitioner, because it promised to be more intimate and perhaps more focused on specific patients and scenarios.
However, Confessions of a GP is more a series of vignettes across the career of Benjamin Daniels, both as a GP and as a doctor in training in a hospital setting. Several of the stories were sad, others almost funny, but the vast majority came across to me as being rather condescending.
I'm sure that as a GP, Benjamin Daniels has more than his fair share of frustrations with people - from those that treat their doctor like a get-out-of-work-free card, or take up their time with seemingly inane problems with unrealistic expectations of what their GP can do for them. But as a book, it's rather disappointing, and his overall attitude comes across as knowing more than the average person, which in some cases is perhaps true, but left me more than a little disappointed.
The only character that consistently appears throughout the book is Benjamin himself, and as he is a locum GP, rather than having a permanent practice, there's not even the relief of having a receptionist or nurse play any type of recurring role. And seeing as I liked him less and less as the book progressed, my enthusiasm for his stories lessened too.
Perhaps I'm being a little unfair because I'm comparing Confessions to an almost similar book, but surely writing about real people with a little more compassion isn't such a big ask. There were a handful of patients that I was interested in their outcomes, but Daniels was so negative that it also started to rub off on me and I just stopped caring.
I really can't recommend this book to anyone, even if you are interested in medical non-fiction. It was just one man's whinging rant, and I just didn't buy into it at all.(less)
Told in a straight-forward, slightly detached manner, The Sum of My Parts is an emotional, intriguing and haunting read. Olga’s openness about the horrendous abuse she suffered as a child is admirable, and she has done her best to reach a medium of revealing enough of her story to make an impact on the reader, whilst respecting the feelings and potential reactions of other DID sufferers.
The psychology and treatment of her condition make for fascinating, gut-wrenching reading, from spiraling into agoraphobia, her struggle to keep her career and to save her marriage. As Olga relives the memories that she has compartmentalized in order to keep herself from falling apart, she also discovers a side of herself that she never even knew existed.
I really enjoyed this book – it was very emotional and quite disturbing in parts, but it was also uplifting and inspirational. If you have an interest in psychology, or in real people overcoming huge adversity and using it to their advantage, this book is for you. (less)