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The Physician

(Cole Family Trilogy #1)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  32,233 ratings  ·  1,742 reviews
In the 11th century, Rob Cole left poor, disease-ridden London to make his way across the land, hustling, juggling, peddling cures to the sick—and discovering the mystical ways of healing. It was on his travels that he found his own very real gift for healing—a gift that urged him on to become a doctor. So all consuming was his dream, that he made the perilous, unheard-of ...more
Paperback, 720 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by Little, Brown Book Group (first published August 7th 1986)
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AmyG I read this as a teenager and loved it. Now mid 40s and a doctor.
Beth Snider
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4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  32,233 ratings  ·  1,742 reviews

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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is one of the most satisfying novels I've read in a long time. One of my rare six-star selections. There's a consistency of quality from cover to cover, owing to the perfect marriage of fine writing and graceful editing.

Rob J. Cole is a man who feels called to be a healer. He stays true to that calling, even when surrounded by other physicians who are motivated by greed and glory. He risks and sacrifices all for the chance to study in Persia with Ibn Sina, the greatest physician of the 11t
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5* It took several chapters for the captivating and superb story to emerge within these 768 pages. Although the beginning of the book had some interesting events, it tended to drag on with the same theme. Approximately half way into the book it came alive and so begins the arduous adventure of the physician barber Rob J. Cole. Set in the 11th century, Cole is left an orphan at 9 years of age, while his siblings are taken in by other families from British villages not far from his own home. Wit ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Physician (Cole Family Trilogy #1), Noah Gordon
The Physician is a novel by Noah Gordon. It is about the life of a Christian English boy in the 11th century who journeys across Europe in order to study medicine among the Persians.
عنوانها: حکیم - از لندن تا اصفهان در محضر ابن سینا؛ پزشک: روزهای ابن سینا از سرگشتگی تا شکفتگی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سوم ماه اکتبر سال 1999 میلادی
عنوان: حکیم - از لندن تا اصفهان در محضر ابن سینا؛ نویسنده: نوآ (نووا) گوردون؛ مترجم: جواد سیداشرف؛ تهران، زرین، 1375
Nov 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Chrissie by: Lauren
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
تحديث: إضافة الحديث عن الفيلم المقتبس من الرواية

رواية... بل هي حيوات مفعمة بالألوان و الأحداث و التشويق و المعلومات... هي قصة الفتى روب.ج البريطاني الذي نشأ يتيما في بيئة القرن الحادي عشر حيث تدرب ليصير حلاقا-جراحا... و لكن حلمه كان أن يسافر لأصفهان ليدرس الطب على يد ابن سينا، و لأن ذلك كان أمرا بدعا و مستنكرا و جرما يستوجب الموت _على زمن حرق الهراطقة_ يتنكر على شكل يهودي حتى يستطيع أن يتدبر أمره...0

العادات اليهودية حاضرة في الرواية بقوة... الإسلام ببعض تعاليمه من خلال عيني مسيحي غربي مشمئز... ا
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Noah Gordon is my new favorite author. I read The Physician after I read The Last Jew. Both were phenomenal.

The Physician is long, but I read through it quickly. I could hardly put it down! The novel is set in the middle of the eleventh century. Gordon transports readers to another time, setting an ambience that feels authentic to the time period. The novel covers a wide span of geography, beginning in London, taking the reader throughout England and ultimately across Europe through Constantino
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction and sagas, such as "Pillars of the Earth"
This is simply beautiful historical fiction and I was hooked right from the get-go. The plot was exciting throughout. The protagonist was one that I rooted for – something that I seem to need in books and movies. I have to root for somebody!

It’s the story of an English orphan and the trials and difficulties that he had to endure to become a physician in 11th century. I hardly knew anything about the book before reading it and was pleasantly surprised to read all that about the early Persian Emp
Dov Glazer
I’m a modern military history buff, and until I read this book I hadn’t had the slightest intrest in medieval social portraits. Well, Noah Gordon opened my eyes. I travelled through medieval Europe with Rob J. Cole (as I would later do with his descendant Shaman in America) all the way to Persia. How people dressed, ate, how they lived, the relationship with the Jewish community. The remarkable writing style ensured that the length of the book merely made it more appealing. The longer I spent re ...more
Inés Izal
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Mi querido padre, que es muy amante de la novela histórica, me recomendó hace muchísimo tiempo que leyera este libro, pero viendo las casi 800 páginas que lo componen, me daba "pereza-miedo-vaguería"
Pensaba que iba a ser un aburrimiento en mayúsculas por el tiempo en que Noah lo escribió, mucho drama, mucho sufrimiento y tal.
Pero terminado, sólo puedo decir:
Este libro es una oda a la superación, a la lucha constante de un hombre para conseguir cumplir su sueño, que es dedicarse a la medicina.
Y e
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love historical fiction. I love to learn about religion in historical fiction. I loved this book!
This book takes place during the 11th century in Europe. It is about a Christian man who disguises himself as a Jew in order to go to a Muslim school of Medicine in the Middle East. It was so interesting to learn how these three major religions interacted with each other during that time in history.

There is one problem with the book though: there is a lot of sexually explicit content. Since this bo
Sep 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Schöner Re-read gewesen.
Auntie Terror
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
When I read it, over ten years ago, I was quite taken with it. Though not taken enough to persue the series further. I also remember ranting about the movie which I've seen a shorter while ago for being lacking in many departments, putting too much emphasis on a love story that didn't exist in the book in that way, and being a lot more "eurocentrist" in who is the hero than the book was.
Por una especie de trato que hice con mi madre, tuve que leer este libro (que yo misma le regalé hace un año), mientras ella leía uno YA que le diera yo. Aclaro esto porque debo decir que si no fuera por mi madre, por la fuerza de la promesa que le hice y el aliento que me daba poder compartir con ella y contarle lo que iba pasando a cada paso que daba en la historia, no lo hubiera terminado.
No he leído muchos libros para adultos, eso lo admito; la razón es enteramente porque en este punto de mi
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
I found this book when I looked for something similar to Follets "Pillars of the Earth" and I'm really glad I read it. Both the medieval setting in Britain and the fact that you accompany the protagonist for a long period of his life are aspects this book has in common with "Pillars of the Erath". But as the story goes on it also teaches the reader a lot about the islamic and jewish religion at that time, as well as about the medical practices in the medieval era, which is really interresting. A ...more
Deborah Pickstone
I generously give 3.5 stars despite the often farcical historical howlers this tale is flooded by because the storytelling is very good. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK and expect to be informed about the era allegedly covered.

I had read it many years ago, around age 10 I think and it was this book that generated my lifelong interest in the history of medecine. To be fair to the author I believe the parts covering Judaism and Arabic medicine of the period are broadly accurate but probably no more than tha
Tom Gonzalez
Apr 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who like historical fictions and adventures
Noah Gorgon's ability to transport you back into the dark ages is a result of talent and insightful research.
This is a story of a young man born in London during the reign of King Knute and his transformation throughout his life to become Hakim, the Persian word for Physician. For a Christian, to become a physician was deemed sacrilegious by the all powerful church, and the Islamic world would kill infidels on sight. The protagonist, Rob J Cole, had to become something altogether different than
Miquel Reina
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Physician is the first book of the excellent trilogy (Cole Family) of Noah Gordon I read. A book that I highly recommended if you like such novels "The Pillars of the Earth" in which generations of different eras are mixed, the history of medicine and exciting travel through exotic places.

Spanish version:
El Médico es el primer libro de la excelente trilogía del escritor Noah Gordon. Un libro muy recomendable si te gustan las novelas tipo "Los Pilares de la Tierra" en el que se mezclan gener
Rick Slane
Historical-fiction adventure travelogue explores 11th century relationship of three major religions. It's a page turner.
Laura LVD
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, historical
Atrapante, en una línea similar a "The Pillars of the Earth", incluso creo que me gustó más que ése porque me parece mejor narrado.
Sigue la historia de un campesino pobre del siglo XI que sufre mil peripecias hasta lograr viajar a Persia para estudiar medicina con el médico más famoso del mundo, Ibn Sina (Avicena).
El libro mantiene el ritmo en todo momento, por lo que la lectura engancha rápidamente y cuando me dí cuenta, ¡zas! habían pasado las 800 páginas.
El libro es autoconcluyente aunque hay
Aug 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
The Physician can easily be ranked as one of the most racist, prejudicial, erroneous, and contradictory novels, yet to be written on the East (the Others).

Islam and Persia are grotesquely sexualized. Domes on the mosques are described as body parts. Inappropriate sexuality is described as acceptable, desirable, “very sensible,” to the Persians, when the king recalls a childhood memory with a tone, frighteningly close to fondness (380). One would question the author’s motives in making the King
DNF page 70 of 618.

I was sick of juggling balls.

Where are the guts? The blood? The everything?

I loved the movie, though.

But they have nothing to do with each other.
Jeane Rhodes
Jun 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've completed the entire trilogy and highly recommend it. The Physician was the lead-in to a multi-generational story that is well researched and beautifully written. I'm ready to read all three again.

En el corazón de la Edad Media, en pleno siglo XI, época de taifas en Al-Andalús, asedios y saqueos daneses en las Islas Británicas y expansionismo territorial y cultural del ignoto y exótico Oriente Medio, Noah Gordon construye una historia de superación personal y vocación profesional, de prodigiosa multiculturalidad y vívida religiosad.

La novela es, en la práctica, casi pura ficción; el rigor histórico es escaso, fruto de unos registros científicos remotos y de la oscuridad consustancial a la
Nuno Chaves
Ler o Físico foi uma experiência única.

É um livro que agarra desde a primeira página. Logo no início veio-me á lembrança os factos ocorridos em “Os Pilares da Terra”e mais adiante outros narrados em “A casa da Luz e da Sombra”.

São criados laços fortes com o protagonista Rob Cole como se de um nosso parente se tratasse, um jovem rapaz orfão de pai e mãe que fica a braços com os irmãos de quem infelizmente também terá de se separar, mas eis que surge um Barbeiro-Cirurgião uma espécie de curandeiro
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rob J. tinha um dom.
Desde criança que Rob. J. pegava nas mãos dos doentes, e podia sentir se a morte estava próxima. Sentia também uma grande curiosidade em relação às doenças; como surgiam, como evoluíam, o desejo de encontrar a melhor forma de aliviar o sofrimento e, se possível, curar os doentes.
Esta vontade levou-o a perseguir um sonho, impossível para muitos. Sem família nem nada que o prendesse a uma Inglaterra atrasada e ignorante, nos primórdios do séc XI, lançou-se à aventura e, montado
A relatively interesting travelogue and discussion of medical knowledge in the 11th century. Rob Cole, the hero travels from England to Persia to gain better training than he could get in England. His dangerous travels through Europe to Persia are described in rich detail. Along the way he meets a sheep farmer and daughter. He considers marrying her and decides not to. (He will meet up with her later and marry her.) He cannot be admitted to the Persian schools as a Christian so he manages to dis ...more
In Persia in the 11th Century, a surgeon's apprentice disguises himself as a Jew to study at a school that does not admit Christians.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Super unterhaltsame Darstellung des Lebens im Mittelalter. Die Reiseabenteuer sind toll beschrieben und der Umgang zwischen Kulturen und Religionen super interessant.
Lässt dann leider zum Ende etwas nach und wird langatmig. Hat mir trotzdem besser gefallen als ich gedacht hätte.
Una obra fantástica, tanto en lo referido a la historia que contiene y su protagonista como a su calidad literaria, pues la tiene, sin abusar de recursos estilísticos pero con un tratamiento del lenguaje placentero y bastante bien estructurado.

La manera en que adentra al lector en diferentes culturas, ámbitos religiosos y paisajes es hermosa, quizá no espectacular como otros autores han conseguido, pero sí muy bien desarrollada. El argumento sobre el que se sustenta la trama es especialmente or
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong language in book description 2 17 Jul 17, 2017 06:52PM  
Historical Accuracy 5 241 Dec 30, 2016 01:30AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #118 - The Physician by Noah Gordon 1 3 Nov 21, 2015 12:37PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Physician by Noah Gordon 1 15 Mar 28, 2015 12:16PM  
Need discussion questions 4 59 Jul 18, 2014 10:05PM  
Need bookclub questions for !The Physician" 9 133 Jul 18, 2014 10:03PM  
Córdoba: El Médico 1 15 Jul 26, 2013 06:16PM  
  • Das zweite Königreich
  • Die Puppenspieler
  • A Vision of Light (Margaret of Ashbury, #1)
  • Die Goldhändlerin
  • When Christ and His Saints Slept  (Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1)
  • The Beacon at Alexandria
  • Die Spur der Hebamme (Hebammen Saga, #2)
  • The Plague Tales (The Plague Tales, #1)
  • Green City in the Sun
  • Tod und Teufel
Noah Gordon is an American novelist. Some of the topics covered within his novels include medical history and medical ethics. More recently he has begun to focus more on themes relating to the Inquisition, and Jewish cultural history. His novel Shaman won the first James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction in 1993.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads databas

Other books in the series

Cole Family Trilogy (3 books)
  • Shaman (Cole Family Trilogy, #2)
  • Matters of Choice (Cole Family Trilogy, #3)
“I think of the separation between life and Paradise as a river,” Mirdin said. “If there are many bridges that cross the river, should it be of great concern to God which bridge the traveler chooses?” 15 likes
“And though you study medicine for a score of lifetimes, there will come to you people whose illnesses are mysteries, for the anguish of which you speak is part and parcel of the profession of healing and must be lived with.” 13 likes
More quotes…