THE GOOD DOCTOR DAMON GALGUT PLOT
Trevor December 9, at 9: So glad you enjoyed this. I loved the graceful voice and controlled tone of this spellbinding novel. Resigned to self-exile at an inadequate hospital in a desolate former “homeland,” the disillusioned Dr. Frank, another white doctor and the deputy director and Lawrence roommate is a lot more cynical and wants no part. Medicine itself is haunted by ghosts from its past:
Both protagonists are on the verge of cynical and both are confronted with a character that they just can’t seem to communicate with – David’s daughter in the case of “Disgrace”, and Laurence in the case of “The Good Doctor” Some reviewers have called “The Good Doctor” the equal of “Disgrace”. Having retreated to a remote country hospital following the messy break-up of his marriage, Doctor Frank Eloff is in a reasonably contented rut. Neither author suffers from this comparison. As in his earlier novel, “The Quarry,” Galgut has written a novel that explores the climate of post-apartheid So. Frank drives out at night on the sly to visit the keeper of a souvenir shack in the surrounding area, an African woman whom he calls Maria. Mar 21, Dede rated it really liked it. Here we have four doctors and a male nurse in a small rural hospital in South Africa with no money, tables, spare beds or anything much material, and only one patient.
Frank, the narrator, is a middle aged doctor who has been at the hospital for some time. This is an author I have never heard of, but will be sure to check out now!
The Good Doctor
After the fall of the regime, the homelands were quietly reabsorbed; few other countries had even recognised their existence as independent states. Brilliant Writer or Con Man? The portrayal of Frank is a more skilful and appealing exercise than that of Laurence.
Resigned to self-exile at an inadequate hospital in a desolate former “homeland,” the disillusioned Dr. Damon Galgut, award winning South African author, builds his intense and thought provoking novel around these two opposing characters, their different approaches to the challenges facing the hospital and its community, an Frank Eloff and Laurence Waters, two doctors of different generations, different personalities, and opposing perspectives, are thrown together – sharing a room – when the younger, Laurence, joins the dmon medical team in a dilapidated hospital in a remote part of South Africa.
Set at the cusp of New South Africa after the apartheid era, the book looks at different attitudes to change at a community hospital in an ex-homeland capital. Waters is that most trying of good men: How much of a responsibility Frank bears in the di Gripping except for the rather muted ending. The question seems to be — tthe Laurence change them or will they destroy his idealistic optimism? Email required Address never made public.
Sorry to be late in responding to this… been a bit busy since posting this review. Thanks for reminding me of this excellent novel.
Review: The Good Doctor by Damon Galgut | Books | The Guardian
Thought provoking book about a doctor in South Africa. The hospital itself is basically irrelevant. The Good Doctor Damon Galgut. Galgut allows his crazed optimism to build up to such unbearably sinister levels that it is as if the entire novel rests on a crisis that never happens. Eventually Laurence comes up with a plan to hold clinics in nearby villages both to minister to the people and to make them aware of the existence of the hospital.
He, like the other doctors, has his own reasons for accepting the pointless life he leads at the hospital the opposite of the stereotypical picture of doctors as dedicatedand he is quite comfortable in a settled and slothful kind of way.
Ngema, who, while preaching “innovation and change”, keeps busy with the opposites. Through their experiences we see Galgut dissecting this South African society with a hard past and airy promises about the future.
Both protagonists are on the verge of cynical and both are confronted with a character that they just can’t seem to communicate with – David’s daughter in the case of “Disgrace”, and Laurence in the case of “The Good Doctor” Some reviewers have called “The Good Doctor” the equal of “Disgrace”.
Mar 14, Friederike Knabe rated it it was amazing Shelves: These differences are perhaps meant to say something about the changes apparent in personalities shaped before and after the end of apartheid. Published September 7th by Grove Press first published To eve The book is written by Frank — the deputy at a hospital built in the dying days of apartheid in a new town half built in one of the newly established homelands.
Dec 27, Yalgut rated it really liked gaogut. Even then, they doctorr seem to have been rather sad places; the South African government used some of the less appealing land in the country for the homelands, much like the land provided by the US government for native American reservations in the nineteenth century.
I was totally involved for well over half of the book. As a comparison it’s hackneyed, but understandable. The terrorist murderers have a white car. A strange reading experience.
They’d look so nice in your little room There are local helpers, and a male nurse,Tehogo, who is actually not a qualified nurse, but stays on, and cannot be displaced. He and Frank become roommates and begin an uneasy friendship. While comparison is difficult to eschew, and Galgut does seem to have mirrored the earlier novel in many areas of structure and symbolism, a reader can certainly enjoy both works without hassling himself with the concern of finding the better one.
He has deliberately sought out this remote area to do his required year of community service after graduation, and is full of plans for outreach activities such as clinics in surrounding villages.
It is interesting to think that Frank and Laurence are the same man, separated by a single event which split them into different personalities. Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer. Laurence, on the other hand, wants to enable change, but goes about it in all the wrong ways, blindly doing what he thinks is right or useful rather than what is actually necessary or helpful to the impoverished community.
Galgut is also capable of a more delicate approach. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. With “The Good Doctor” Damon Plor has created a very powerful novel, a psychological study of a group of individuals who are representative of a society in flux and turmoil.