May 10, 2008

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures


I have just finished Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures By Vincent Lam - I love this title - and I really enjoyed the book.

The book, set in Canada, is broken up into 12 short stories with some of the characters and their stories overlapping and interweaving in the stories.

The stories are all set in the medical/hospital world. In the first story we meet Ming and Fitzgerald as they study for their entrance exam into medical school and struggle with their more personal feelings for each other (well, Ming struggles - Fitzgerald is a lot clearer about where he wants things to go). As the stories progress we then meet Chen and Sri - two more medical students about to become doctors and we begin to follow parts of their stories as well.

The author is a doctor himself and it definitely came through in his writing for me. I have worked in a hospital in the emergency and intensive care departments/wards and the writing in these stories really rings true and brings home the intensity, variety, tragedy and also humour of these places. I loved how the writing was so direct and punchy too - definitely paralled with the setting.

The stories are often cloaked in sadness and despair - some of our main characters don't meet the best of ends - but I still really enjoyed the read.

1 comment:

Trish said...

Sounds really interesting--and the title is indeed intriguing! I love short stories, but sometimes I have a difficult time fitting them in with everything else. Thanks for the review!