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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  6,493 Ratings  ·  1,000 Reviews
Now in paperback, Carol Cassella’s riveting national bestseller that seamlessly melds compelling women’s fiction and medical drama to create an “involving debut that’s just what the doctor ordered” (People).

• Perennial hot subject: From ER to Grey’s Anatomy, from Complications by Atul Gawande to Stiff by mary roach, there’s a proven appetite for stories of human drama cen

Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Simon Schuster (first published July 1st 2008)
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Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Well, not really fair to rate and review your own book, is it. I liked it! Hope you do.
Review to come...good first book

This is a first novel by real life Dr. Carol Cassella and a good first novel it was. We are taken into the world of Dr. Marie Heaton, an anesthesiologist who works in the hectic, fast paced setting of a Seattle hospital. Her personal life and family life is not very exciting and she lives for the work she does. When something goes terribly wrong under her watch, she is thrown into a whirlwind of guilt, veiled accusations and legal woes and wonders if the world sh
This was interesting material but I thought the book was just okay. Too many words at many points in the book, too many times when the narrator just went on and on and on....and then the ending seemed hurried.

I really got annoyed with reading, over and over, about how guilty Marie felt and also about her moping around. The dreariness of her everyday life and the too-long descriptions of her angst were just too much and did nothing to advance the story. Enough already!

I found myself getting ann
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.6 stars!

Easy Fast read! I enjoyed this book --(it was 'good' --not GREAT). The protagonist of this story --[the anestesiologist], is a single woman who when not at the hospital spends her 'off' time at home -- --collapsed in bed filled with guilt, and anxiety. She is frightened and is losing her confident as a physician. It was her first time she "lost a child".

A large section of this book, (middle section) was somewhat annoying because while reading about this doctor wrestle with her consci
Oxygen is about Dr. Marie Heaton, an established anesthesiologist at the tip of her career. Her life is consumed with putting people out of their pain and supplying them with oxygen; her entire existence revolves around her work. However her carefully constructed lifestyle falls apart when one of her patients dies on her operating table. Soon enough a malpractice suit is filed against her by a single mom who has lost her only child - also, she has to deal with her father's vision loss and their ...more
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air in the medical thriller genre....., September 7, 2008

This review is from: Oxygen: A Novel (Hardcover)

I'm an RN and I love medical thrillers. For the past several years, however, it's been tough to find really good ones about something new and different. This really wasn't a "thriller" per se, but it was a novel that had a hint of mystery in it -- the goal -- to find out what caused the sudden, inexplicable death of an 8 year old girl on the operating roo
Nov 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I expected this book to be a fluff read. You know, a good book to read on a beach. Well, since it's winter here in Minnesota, maybe I should just say, a good book to curl up by the fireplace with. It was definitely much more than that. I request books from my library that I've read reviews of or heard about from friends. This one had so many requests. I've been waiting so long, I've forgotten where I heard about it.

Dr. Marie Heaton is a dedicated anesthesiologist. She loves the technical aspect
Jun 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Marie's unusual perspective on the world. She has a way of looking through people's exteriors, straight into the depths of their organs and right down to their little microscopic cells. That is a bit depressing, as she is constantly evaluating people's various degrees of corporeal decay; and also refreshingly equalizing, as gradual corporeal decay is the inevitable fate shared among all living creatures.

(view spoiler)
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you believe that author’s should write what they know you should like this book. And even if you think that’s not true, as some authors do, you’ll appreciate that Carol Wiley Cassella brings her profession as an anesthesiologist to life in the pages of her debut novel, Oxygen. As oxygen (the gas) is required for breathing, Cassella’s book is equally breathtaking. Though there is an element of mystery to the story, it is really more an exploration of the medical system and its inadequacies. It ...more
Nov 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I'm not sure how to rate this. There were parts I loved and parts that didn't do it for me. What I liked: the premise, the plot twist (also enjoyed that the twist had its OWN twist), and the tension created at the end of the book that kept me anxiously reading. What I didn't like: the B storyline (just wasn't into it and kept wanting to get back to what was happening in Seattle), too much medical jargon at the beginning that made it sterile at first, and, frankly, the protagonist. I just couldn' ...more
OXYGEN (Novel/Med. Mys- Dr. Marie Heaton-Seattle-Cont) – Good
Cassella, Carol – 1st book
Simon & Schuster, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 1416556109

First Sentence: People feel so strong, so durable.

Dr. Marie Heaton is a skilled anesthesiologist. Her life is off track and her career at risk when a child dies during surgery and Marie is being sued for malpractice. Although she tries to keep working, she must work to find out exactly what happened during the operation in order to retain her career, f
Carolyn Gerk
Oxygen follows the story of Dr. Marie Heaton, anesthesiologist as she deals with a case in which an eight year old patient dies on the operating table.
An interesting topic, kind of felt like a slow moving Grey's Anatomy episode. The information about anesthesiology was interesting, I enjoyed heaton's reflections about the power of putting a person to sleep and holding them safely in a pain free lull during crisis. Some beautiful writing and observations are scattered throughout the novel.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
Good book. The medical parts were very well written. The agony of the main character was a bit much, but the storyline was exciting and I wanted to keep reading to see how it would all turn out.
Julie Christine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Review of Oxygen: A Novel by Carol Cassella

Carol Cassella’s mixture of mystery and medical thriller, supported by the authenticity of her many years as an anesthesiologist, results in her page turning debut book, Oxygen: A Novel. Casella’s Dr. Marie Heaton is also an anesthesiologist who is passionate and professional about her life’s work. She works at Seattle’s First Lutheran Hospital where she prides herself in the care and expertise with which she conducts her everyday life as a physician
May 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Marie Heaton’s life is her work as an anesthesiologist. She has friends, but they’re comprised of colleagues who live the same hectic, work-centric life as she. Forced to take a leave of absence from her demanding job, she finds herself returning to her most important relationships – those with her family – for support and for reparation.

Oxygen is a novel about a single medical mistake with an unconscionable result. It is about a doctor who, while struggling with guilt, refuses to be crushe
This book was fair. It was semi interesting as we learn of an anesthesiologist's world and the struggle this particular doctor goes through in order to retain her good name and find a balance in her life and family. It was a book of many misunderstandings in the life of Dr. Heaton who is accused of manslaughter in the case of a young girl she surgically treated.

There are so twists and turns as the doctor assumes a defense/detective role in discovering the how and why of the child's death. Of co
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I picked this one up after I had seen several good reviews of it and I am so glad that I did. I just gobble up any kind of medical drama and I am so glad to say that I have found a new author to love after reading this. The writing, the story, the setting it all worked really well for me in this book. I was interested to learn more about anesthesiologists and this book opened my eyes to just how involved their jobs are. It is so much more than pushing IV drugs into someone. I know it is a profes ...more
Kristina V. Ramos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I can't believe I stuck with this one just for this one little plot twist. I should apply the same dedication to exercising and this author should keep her day job. Like, being an anesthesiologist isn't fun enough, gotta be an author too?
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, book-club
I really enjoyed this first novel. I loved the medical background and the insights into the emotions pre-surgery. I've had 8 operations to date and in South Africa, our anaethetists (anesthesiologists) don't have discussions before surgery (except for before my emergency C-section with my twins) so this was fascinating to me. I will say that now I'm a lot more scared (!) as I know what can go wrong. I thought they put you under and that's that 😉

It was also scary to me how a person who is diligen
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read especially if you like medical lingo.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review coming (hopefully).
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read-would recommend for anyone who works an operating room/anesthesia setting but especially for anesthesiologists.
This book had me intrigued at page 2, and I wasn't happy when I had to put it down for interruptions. The technical medical parts I found fascinating, with enough explanation for me to believe even if I didn't necessarily understand them. Not only is it a really interesting medical "mystery", so to speak, but I thought it was very well written.

I really liked this passage. Even though I'm not a doctor, my mom taught me these things, too:
I'm sure my mother never suspected she was raising a doctor.
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tops, 2008-reads
PROTAGONIST: Dr. Marie Heaton, anesthesiologist
SETTING: Seattle and Texas
RATING: 4.75

When I think about members of the medical profession, I mostly consider their technical skills and bedside manner. As far as their motivation for choosing this type of career, I mostly assume that they are looking for financial security and perhaps have some sense of doing good for others. I never really thought about how deep those feelings could be until I read this book. The lead character, Dr. M
Jim Thomsen
Jul 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carol Cassella's debut novel is a medical thriller wrapped in the well-made and warm comforts of a literary novel. The author's carefully crafted, richly nuanced, minor-key prose calls to mind the work of fellow Bainbridge Islander David Guterson, who is cited in the book's acknowledgements as a friend and helpmate.

The story: Dr. Marie Heaton, an anesthesiologist at a Seattle hospital, is traumatized in more ways than one when a child dies on the operating table under her care. As she searches
Stephen Gallup
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting WSJ article by a surgeon (on how doctors are haunted by ghosts of procedures that didn't go well) reminded me that I had not posted a review of this excellent novel. I suppose I delayed because I admired Oxygen so much that I wanted to do it justice.

First of all, because of my background I'm a sucker for both nonfiction and fiction on the subject of medicine. In a blog post going live this week, I speculate that, since I once aspired to a career in that profession, I may at times
Amanda G. Stevens
Anesthesiologist Marie Heaton might be responsible for the death of one of her patients. It's a winningly simple, inherently emotional premise, and author Carol Cassella takes the pathos three steps further. Said patient Jolene is eight years old, mentally retarded, and the only child of a lower-class, single mother. Marie is, of course, driven to find the cause of Jolene's death. Could she have prevented it? Did she miss something in her preliminary evaluation? Stakes rise when the girl's mothe ...more
Elizabeth *Swords for Fighting*
was a little weary when I first picked up Oxygen. A story about an anesthesiologist? Definitely not my usual read, but I was pleasantly surprised. Oxygen was a great read! It reminded me of a hospital drama television show like Grey's Anatomy. The reader can most certainly tell that a doctor wrote this book. The medical terminology, equipment, procedures, and anything else medical related seemed extremely accurate and realistic to me.

Marie is an anesthesiologist who has a young child die on th
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Carol Cassella, M.D. is a practicing physician and national bestselling author of two novels, Oxygen (2008) and Healer (2010), both published by Simon & Schuster and translated into more than a dozen languages. She majored in English Literature at Duke University and attended Baylor College of Medicine. Carol is board certified in both internal medicine and anesthesiology, and practiced primar ...more
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