Wednesday, December 20, 2006

#68 - Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

Vincent Lam's Giller-prize winning book of linked short stories, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, weaves in and out of the lives of four medical students. In some stories, they are the focus, in others, they are secondary characters, found objects in the lives of the people they touch.

As I driving my reading home for 2006, I am glad that I managed to read this year's Giller winner. I'd put this book in my top 10 both for Lam's crisp, clean, and refreshing prose style, but also because it manages to do what all good fiction should, and that is bring you into a world that is not your own. Having lived on the periphery of the medical world for many, many years as a patient with a complex disease and an even more complicated medical history, I liked this book if only because it showed me around the lives of doctors and made them utterly, realistically and totally human.

Of all the stories, I'd have to say that "Contact Tracing," Lam's ingenious tale of the SARS epidemic, was my favourite of the 12, with "Winston" coming in a close second. All in all, cribbing from Wayson Choy's quote on the front of the hardcover, I'd have to say that the book is the work of a very powerful young writer.


Beth said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book after my son finishes it after he gets it as a Christmas gift from me.

Kailana said...

I am reading this book right now, almost finished with. I agree with you, it is a very good read! I haven't go to your favourite story yet, but I agree Winston was a good read.

Heather said...

I agree with you! I loved it. I gave it to my Dad to read after I finished it, he loved it. I bought a copy for my boss for Christmas and he was thrilled!


Carrie said...

This sounds so good.

Usually I am less than impressed by doctor characters. they are either too dry and struggling with their emotions, or they are total assholes. Or both!

PS- is that you looking at me looking at you on sitemeter?

Kailana said...

Okay, I finished. I will be posting about it probably tomorrow. It was really good! Normally I am not a big fan of short story collections, but this was almost like a novel because it flowed really well and everything was connected. I can't say if he deserved to win, as I had not read the other choices, but I think it was a very good read!

My Boy is Ten

My friend Heather took this photo a couple of weekends ago. We went for a walk in the woods. It was a bit cold at first, neither my boy nor ...