The Physician - Noah Gordon TEST 2
I thought perhaps the easiest way to synthesize my feelings towards this book was to answer the following 5 questions:

When did the story take place: The first half of the eleventh century.

Who were the central characters: Rob J Cole, his friends and employers and later his wife (Mary Cullen).

Where did it take place: England, Scotland, a trip across Europe to Isfahan, Perisa and even a short episode in India!

What was the point of the book: I believe the book was written to inform readers in an engaging manner about the time period and how it really would have felt to live then and in these specific places. The book does this well. You do learn what all aspects of life were like. You get the details concerning food, clothing, hardships and joys, both pagan and religious(Christian, Jewish and Muslim) beliefs and how medical problems were viewed, treated and looked upon by various groups.

How was the book written:: OK, here is the problem! It was didactic. There were so many details that you were swamped. A chapter was spent on how one can learn to juggle...... Yes, it was actually quite revealing, but only to a point. It went on too long. This can be said in relation to many, many points. You learn how to correctly place phylacteries according to the Jewish faith, how to prepare kosher food, how to make the the medicines then available...... Parts, for example how the school in Isfahan, Persia was organized, were very interesting. Probably different parts will appeal to different readers, but to no one will ALL of it be interesting. Let me repeat, it was very didactic, to a fault! The language was clear and informative, but that was it - no sparkle what so ever!!!! I guess that is my biggest complaint. It felt like you were reading YA literature, even though some of the episodes were quite rough.Always you felt like it was trying to teach the readers. The writing was simplistic. Only very, very rarely did it encourage the reader to pose philosophical questions. It just presented the facts. By the end of the book I was finally engaged in the characters and had to find out how things would end. However for the majority I was slugging through the pages. Rarely did I laugh. I cannot remember in fact if I ever laughed.... I will not be reading another book by this author. There are better books out there that BOTH inform and capture my imagination.

My head tells me the book deserves more stars, but I am sticking with my gut feelings. Most of the time was thinking this book is OK. That is how I felt, not how I was thinking. The point of this review is to try and figure out for myself and perhaps others why I felt the way I did.