Jordan's Reviews > The Surgeon

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
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's review
Apr 17, 2012

liked it

Obviously this book wasn't written for people who aren't okay with reading about adult subjects and violence... Just to clarify that. I will be discussing it, also.

I will temporarily stuff down my feelings about sexism and decency and morality and simply talk about the story and writing itself first. It was written well. The characters were well defined and developed. Despite some complaints about it, I didn't get bored. With my mood lately, that is something right there. Some moments were even poetic and creative, albeit completely sick. I liked the villain. (*cough* I'm not a psycopath he was just interesting *cough*)

I thought I had who the villain was by the second chapter... I was way off; don't worry; it's not that obvious. In fact, you can't guess it because there isn't enough information.

As for the more important matters, ah, what's the teen term... IT SUCKED.
It was sexist... What are women? Oh, they are victims. Their 'wombs' make them women. Without that, WELL THEN. Hardly human anymore. And, ah! When a woman is raped, there goes her soul. Consistently she becomes a different, disgusted person. She has to be ashamed and blame herself.
In theory, it headed in a 'healing' direction, but it didn't, not really. No one was ever given the freedom to just be comfortable with their own body or see that it wasn't their fault, or be different from ANY stereotypes. The least stereotyped character was the villain, who wasn't all that unique, and completely evil anyway. Even the time it did head this way, something else would push it back the other way. The stereotypical differences in men and women, especially those ones that don't exist, are emphasized.
By... 'feeling bad' for women... It degrades and patronizes them. The tampon is considered dirty and awful. There's a messed up shame thing here that is unfortunately how many people think. Rizzoli, Ms 'Don't look down on me because I'm a woman', quite frankly makes it even worse.

Women are shown as... week. Are the things in this awful? Beyond any doubt! Does that leave people traumatized and needing help? Of course. Are women dirty and filthy and changed by someone else's actions? Do they all react and feel the same way? No, no, no. Do all women blame all men for what one person did? No.

Further, it also stereotypes and so degrades men. (Heck, at least it goes both ways). The women who are raped distrust all men. The 'good man' of the story is supposed to be... different. The sick and mean idiot men are shown as typical instead of the exception. When Moore walks into a women's clinic, he feels bad about entering there himself, instead of disliking the people who actually DO rape people. He attributes actions of single people to his whole gender along with the girls.

Furthermore, the villain was, for all practical purposes, gay, and I think it was the idea that being gay somehow makes you an evil rapist murderer.

Some people might not even notice the sexism and stereotyping. For instance, I am nearly positive my mom would not.

One good quote: "Violence is not sex, and sex is not love." Bingo.

Rating R
Rape, sex, and the villain cuts organs out of living people.
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