Erin (PT)'s Reviews > The Surgeon

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
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Sep 05, 10

bookshelves: cops-military, contemporary, mystery, series, gender-fail
Read from August 30 to September 03, 2010

I came to the series from the TV show and, though I expected considerable divergence from one to the other, I didn't expect to come away from the Surgeon feeling as though Gerritsen just doesn't like women very much.

The book reads as extremely gendered to me, very binary gendered, at that, where the world is very strictly divided between men and women and the only place they meet is in violence and murder. On the one hand, I really wanted to believe that Gerritsen was cleverly writing the male characters as unreliable narrators--especially since there does seem to be a buried anger at how men deal with women--but her insistence of having the female characters look at the male characters and themselves in the same ways that the males do undercuts that idea for me.

It was obvious, though, that Rizzoli was not intended to be the hero(ine) of the piece, though, it was supposed to be the male character, Moore, so I'm interested to see how/if the tenor will change once Rizzoli is a primary character and Isles is introduced. Though Gerritsen writes prose that seems curiously (deliciously) lush for the genre, the prose itself is not enough to make the books distinguishable and preferable from their counterparts if I'm not going to get the pro-female energy that I picked up from the show.
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Reading Progress

09/01/2010
40.0% "It's hilarious to picture Angie Harmon while the book goes to such pains to tell me how plain Rizzoli is."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Caroline (new)

Caroline  I picked up 'The Surgeon' because of the show, too, and didn't get past the first chapter. I do wonder if the series gets better, because I first heard of it via an interview with the author talking about how she discovered the relationship between the two characters as she worked on the series, and that's what the shows tried to capture. Whether the book is as successful as the show, though, I don't know.


Erin (PT) Yeah, I don't know. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it's not as though she was a new author when she started the R&I series, which might have given her more leeway in my mind.

I don't know if improving the relationship between those two would or could overcome the way she portrays women as a whole and I really don't know/think I can hang on that long in the hopes that it'll get better.


message 3: by Caroline (new)

Caroline  She was new to the genre, though, so that could be part of it. Maybe try one of the most recent books? Thrillers are usually structured so you don't have to read the whole series. I don't really know, though, I haven't heard anything about these books from fans who have actually read them. It may just be a case of 'the show is better.'


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