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Garcia's Heart

3.3  ·  Rating details ·  108 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel
In this enthralling debut novel, neurologist Patrick Lazerenko travels to The Hague to witness the war crimes trial of his mentor, Hernan García, a Honduran doctor accused of involvement in torture. As García's supposed crimes are revealed, Patrick wrestles with what truth there may be behind the accusations, haunted as
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published April 10th 2007)
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Brian O'Leary
Dec 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A good idea for a book, but poor, boring writing.
Leo Robillard
With the publication of Garcia’s Heart by Liam Durcan, yet another Canadian doctor throws his hat into the ring. Who knew there were so many with literary aspirations?

In this debut novel, Durcan dances across the corpus callosum, proving that the combination of medicine and literature – the left and right brain – make for good fiction. Garcia’s Heart tackles difficult moral conundrums, like the nature of good and evil, innocence and culpability. It also, to a lesser extent, delves into the resp
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Nikmaack
I picked this book up at random at the Ottawa Public Library. The opening grabbed me quite quickly. I took the book home. For a while, the book really had me. The tone, the mood, was incredible. A really intense feeling. Nostalgia and self-loathing, playful and sad. I was really enjoying it, totally sucked in.

Then, at around page 280, I was bored out of my mind. What happened? I don't know. It's hard to tell if it was me or the book. One of us lost focus. I blame the book. There was a shift in t
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Leslie Graff
I haven’t read a legal thriller in quite some time so was looking forward to this – set in the Hague, an international narrative I didn’t know, all with a touch of medical mystery thrown in – very promising. I did thoroughly enjoy the pacing of the work and the unique take on the setting, but I was somewhat disappointed in the role of medicine in the work, especially trying to prove a medical reason for behavior. It just seemed too far fetched and wasn’t made enough of to make it convincing. I a ...more
Gloria
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dilemma - would a man you admired do the terrible things he is accused of? Hernan Garcia is on trial for war crimes in Honduras, accused of participating in the torture of political prisoners. Is this the same man who nurtured a teenage boy when he needed it, and set him on his path to becoming a doctor? This is a bit hard to read as there is very little action and a lot of introspection on the part of Patrick Lazarenko, the doctor, who has come to observe the tribunal in The Hague and try t ...more
Alice
Oct 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alice by: picked it up off the shelf! Lucky, huh?
Garcia's Heart (Liam Durcan)--beautifully written book about a man's (Patrick), struggle with trying to understand how the most influential man in his formative years--a Honduran immigrant who was a cardiologist-turned-family-grocer--could be accused of crimes against humanity. Garcia refuses to talk to anyone about his involvement in the torture of political prisoners--not his family, lawyer, and certainly not Patrick. Lots of tumultuous emotions, and a great mystery to solve--why won't Garcia ...more
Caroline
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curiously satisifying. There is no knock out punch, no startling revelation about if he did/didn't do what he was accuse of. Really was a book of human emotions. I loved the undercutting of past and present. I also liked how each character wasn't likeable all the time. I didn't have an affinity to anyone of them yet was drawn to them. Much like real life.
Cheryl
Abandoned at p 170. It has something, but its floundering. The idea is lost in the descriptions and careful prose that says, "Look, here's a good line." But it is coy about the reason for the story. About the reasons for the anguish etc.
Time to move on.
Your time is up.
Kathleen
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book more. The first half was really good, compelling me to read to find out what happens. The second half seemed to bog right down and instead of answering the questions that I thought it would, the story seemed to move in a direction that tried too hard to be "artsy".
Lisa
Dec 07, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about the reflecting on the past, analyses made and reconsidered.
This had been on my "to read" list for a long time, and I'd attempted but abandoned reading it in the past. Decided to tackle it.
it's an okay story.
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Liam Durcan was born in Winnipeg where obtained his MD from the University of Manitoba.He has published short fiction since 2000 in a variety of Canadian and American Journals. His short fiction has won the 2004 Quebec Writers Federation/CBC prize and he work has been shortlisted 3 times for the CBC National Literary Awards. He lives in Montreal with his wife and children and is working on a new n ...more
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