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An Irish Country Doctor

(Irish Country #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  15,406 ratings  ·  2,292 reviews
Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the cha ...more
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Forge (first published September 1st 2004)
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Jeffrey I love both series, as well as the BBC television series of All Creatures. I'm currently listening to the Irish Country series on audiobook. It's very…moreI love both series, as well as the BBC television series of All Creatures. I'm currently listening to the Irish Country series on audiobook. It's very well done. Yet I can't help picturing Barry as Christopher Timothy from the tv series (who played James Herriot) and Dr. O'Reilly as Robert Hardy (who played Siegfried Farnon).(less)
Mary My Irish grandmother always said ‘wee’ and ‘lovely’. It was wonderful!

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was perfectly contenting, exactly as advertised, exactly my speed. This is a good cup of tea and croissant of a book, with some sunlight coming through the window and a bird on the porch. ...Maybe a bit of a dog chasing its own tail, too. But all in good fun. You're all safe here. ...more
Can a story be too cute, too sweet?

My two-star rating indicates my answer.

The books by Patrick Taylor, starting with An Irish Country Doctor, are often compared to James Herriot’s vet series. All of us know Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small. The vets in Herriot’s books are in Taylor’s books switched to country doctors in the fictional Ulster village Ballybucklebo, a half hour train ride from Belfast. Maybe it is me that has changed; I remember Herriot’s books with fondness.

Barry Laverty h
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm somewhat bashful to admit that I absolutely loved this book.

It is an inescapable fact that this book is reminiscent of All Creatures Great and Small in some ways, or Ballykissangel, and if you don't like those, you won't like this book. I found those pleasant enough, but not as engaging as the world Patrick Taylor has created here.

The voices of the characters are distinct, they're charming, annoying, dotty, short, a village of people. The events are simple day to day experiences i
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama, irish
Surprisingly, an enjoyable read. I picked this book because I love everything about Ireland. I think my romantic notion of Ireland began after reading Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and its two sequels and seeing the 2000-blockbuster film Billy Elliot. From there, my list goes on and one. I read every single book with Ireland as setting that I fortunately came across: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien, At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill, K ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it liked it
An okay book. Not really my cup-a-tea. But then, I don’t like the kind of doctor stories that break my heart, even if they try to cover it with humor.
I will say that this is a sweet story with cute characters.
A friend gave me these books and said it will lighten up a dull moment or two.

That is exactly what happened, when Dr. Barry Laverty moves to Ballybucklebo in Ireland after leaving university. Fresh from the academic mill, he becomes the assistant of a colorful Dr. Fingal Flaherty O'Reilly. The village is habituated with even more colorful and eccentric characters. The young doctor must adapt to a life he was not quite accustomed to, but it will teach him lessons in people skills he would never l
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone in need of some lightness and comedy
Recommended to Monica by: Laura Edwards
This is a lovely little piece of escapism featuring interesting, hilarious and extremely likable characters.
There were a couple of cringy moments here and there because historical but, overall, I really enjoyed it.
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed by John Keating

Taylor tells the tale of a young physician learning the ropes from an older, wiser, well-established practitioner in an Irish village, in the mid 1960s. Barry Laverty is happy to have this position, and he has an experienced, if unconventional, teacher in Dr Fingal Flaherty O’Reilly.

I’ve heard this described as “James Herriot for people” and I think that’s a perfect description. Some of the cases are quite serious, some patients are malingerers. While O’Reill
Melissa Rose
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had already read this book. However, as I recently picked up the audiobook for a second read-through, I thought that it was time for me to review this story.

Like the title suggests, “An Irish Country Doctor” takes place in the Emerald Isle (Ballybucklebo to be exact), and follows the experiences of newly graduated Doctor Barry Laverty as he becomes acquainted with general practice in a small village.

Unsurprisingly, I enjoyed this novel as much as I did during my first readthrough. While “An Ir
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I really did. But I couldn't.

Having read the jacket blurbs, I held out hope that this might be an Irish version of the wonderful stories James Herriot gave us with his lovable English veterinarian. As it turned out, however, Taylor's Ballybucklebo couldn't hold a candle to Herriot's Yorkshire.

Taylor's descriptions of the Irish countryside and it's quirky inhabitants was sub-par, and his story entirely predictable. His preoccupation with injecting cultural references (
Benjamin baschinsky
Jul 24, 2020 rated it liked it
In reading this enjoyable novel, it was reminiscent of watching a series on PBS, Doc Martin.
Set in a small village in Ireland the comings and goings of the townsfolk and the grizzly doctor who presided over it.
Karen Dmytrasz
An uplifting, humorous portrayal of a lost time and place --- the countryside of Northern Ireland in the 1960s. This novel documents a recent medical graduate's first month of doctoring in a rural town full of quirky and lovable citizens. Dr. Laverty is an urban physician who comes under the tutelage of the seasoned, boisterous, opinionated and creative Dr. O'Reilly who has practiced medicine in Northern Ireland for his whole life.

I found it difficult to put this book down because I desperately
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: my mom and other ladies wanting lighter fare
Recommended to Deb by: Beth J.
Shelves: europe
I think I should make a new shelf for "worthwhile reading, lite". After reading quite a bit of non-fiction and some amazing, but intense books, I needed a change of pace and this was the perfect recipe.

Beth, who loaned me her copy described An Irish Country Doctor as, "like the Mitford series, but set in northern Ireland." The characters are interesting and fun. It is a pleasure to read about people with high moral character, though there are a few swear words thrown in. There is not too much d
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anglophile, irish, audible
For me this was the reading equivalent of comfort food.

Nothing stressful, except in the Irish country doctor sense of stress. The narrator was excellent. I learned some new ways to curse and I have incorporated them into my daily life. The only bittersweet addition for me is that when I started listening it was in anticipation of a trip to Ireland this September. *Sadly, life has thrown a curve ball and that will likely be postponed. But the beauty of reading is that I did spend time in Ballybuc
I enjoyed this and I bet the series gets better as you get to know the main characters, who are a junior and senior GP, and the villagers. There are a dog and cat character in here too to enjoy. There is humor and it feels very Irish to me also. The audiobook narration is well done.

If you think you'd enjoy spending time in an Irish village with the doctors who are responsible for taking care of them, then you'd probably like this book. It reminds me a little bit of Doc Martin, but the senior do
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Opening Sentence: ‘…Barry Laverty – Doctor Barry Laverty – his houseman’s year just finished, ink barely dry on his degree, pulled his beat-up Volkswagen Beetle to the side of the road and peered at a map lying on the passenger seat…’

Barry Laverty is fresh out of Medical school and answers an ad for a doctor’s assistant in Ballybucklebo, a small country village in Northern Ireland that he can hardly find on a map. He is immediately hired by Dr Fingle O’Reilly. The older doctor has his own distin
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
As newly graduated Doctor Barry Laverty struggled to find his way to the small village of Ballybucklebo, the wilds of the blackthorn hedges had him baffled. The roads just had to lead there, didn’t they? With vague directions from a young man on a bicycle, he finally made it to his interview with five minutes to spare. His meeting with his prospective employer however, didn’t start too well. The bellow of a voice as it was directed at a poor unfortunate fellow who landed in a bush had Barry step ...more
Oct 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
I have no idea what prompted me to finish this book. The characters were shallow in development, the plot ridiculously predictable and the happy ending such a neatly tied-up bow that it was hugely unrealistic as well as unsatisfying. Obviously, I do not recommend this book but to be fair it did have a good amount of Irish colloquialisms & authentic Irish cooking/recipe references which make it some-what unique. In my opinion the author should stick to being a doctor and never attempt fiction aga ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
3.5 stars, rounding up

An enjoyable visit to a quaint, Irish village circa the early 1960s as young medical school graduate tries to figure out if he's cut out for general practice in a rural setting. This made for a light and humorous vacation read. I'll be trying the next book in the series on audiobook.
Fast and entertaining read set in 1960's Ireland. A combination of humor and drama that appealed to me. Will probably continue the series. ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: doctor, fun, cozy, audible, irish
This is a warm, Irish cozy about a new doctor who has come to a small town to help a veteran older doctor. Some of the patients are eccentric mixed with a bit of hypochondria, they must be dealt with with some humorous, oddball methods. The new doctor is taken aback with this unconventional type of medicine but he is drawn to the personal connection that seems to be the theme in this detached, urban borough of Ballybucklebo. A good start to cute cozy series with relatable characters. My favorite ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-pick
Based on journals the author kept during his early years in medical practice, this debut novel describes a young man’s apprenticeship as a doctor in rural Ireland during the early 1960s. Earlier, I made a huge mistake and put the copy that I had prepared for the Kennedy book and inserted it this book. Very sorry for this.

Barry still has his doubts about O’Reilly’s methods, particularly when he catches a misdiagnosis, but he realizes that he has a lot to learn from the old guy after he makes a m
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a sheer delight! I don't listen to that many audiobooks, mainly because I can't get into them, maybe I don't give them enough time, but the narrator is the one who tends to turn me off. But John Keating is one of the best audiobook narrators I've ever come across! He's excellent, and I could vividly picture all the characters, men and women alike. I'm not sure if would have enjoyed this as much if I had read it, so I plan on listening to them all when I want to visit Ballybucklebo and its r ...more
This is a sweet slow paced story of a young medical school graduate who accepts a job in a small town of Ballybucklebo (I chuckled every time I heard this word) as an assistant to a doctor who has served the community for years. The veteran physician has so much knowledge of the people, their histories, their family, etc. that new, young Barry, has much to learn about himself, the doctor he is assisting and the pace and inner workings of small town life.
Colleen Chi-Girl
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland-irish, europe
I am 2/3 Irish and have been brought up to appreciate our Irish background and customs even though our Irish came to the US in the early 1800’s to 1840’s. I’ve never been to Ireland although I’ve traveled to Europe 5 x. Crazy. I’m saving it for ?? Anyway, I really enjoy reading Irish novels and this one was sweet but kind of too sweet or sappy.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was just what I needed--an escape into another world with great characters and some laughs as well as some tugs at my heartstrings. Thank you Patrick Taylor. I'm on to the next book in the series. ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Edited to add second paragraph

I've been accumulating the books in this series for several years -- saving them, kind of hoarding them. I didn't even know if I'd like them, but if I did, I wanted them handy to read right then. I put stock in that I would like them, and now, I think I'm in book heaven. Ahhhh, the pleasantness. I'm conflicted with wanting to race through versus strolling though. I chose the first two for my spring reading challenge and won't be surprised if the summer challenge is
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great to see how it was to be a country doctor back then.
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, own, 2020
Exactly what I needed!
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This unexpectedly heartwarming story tells of a young country doctor who gets a job working for an older, well-established curmudgeon with a loud mouth and a heart of gold. Throw in a few colorful characters, a loyal housekeeper, a beautiful young lady, and a party or two, and you have the makings of a memorable yarn. This is not a thriller, and if you want huge plot twists and nonstop action, don’t look here. However, if you are in the mood for a few folksy tales, then come on in, brew some tea ...more
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There is more than one author with this name

Patrick Taylor, M.D., is the author of the Irish Country books, including An Irish Country Doctor, An Irish Country Village, An Irish Country Christmas, An Irish Country Girl, and An Irish Country Courtship. Taylor was born and raised in Bangor, County Down, in Northern Ireland. After qualifying as a specialist in 1969, he worked in Canada for thirty-one

Other books in the series

Irish Country (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • An Irish Country Village (Irish Country #2)
  • An Irish Country Christmas (Irish Country #3)
  • An Irish Country Girl (Irish Country #4)
  • An Irish Country Courtship (Irish Country #5)
  • A Dublin Student Doctor  (Irish Country #6)
  • An Irish Country Wedding (Irish Country #7)
  • Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor (Irish Country #8)
  • Home Is the Sailor (Irish Country #8.5)
  • An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War (Irish Country #9)
  • An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea (Irish Country #10)

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'Tis the season of the beach read, that herald of summer sun and vacation vibes! Whether you're the type of reader who has very strict rules...
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“Barry remembered his dad saying that the casualties of war couldn't be counted only among the dead and the wounded.” 4 likes
“Old boy, in this life there will always be a certain amount of shit to be shovelled. I really would urge you to buy a long-handled spade and simply get on with it.” 4 likes
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