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Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  7,764 ratings  ·  554 reviews
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures invites us into a world where the ordinary becomes the critical in a matter of seconds. A formidable debut, it is a profound and unforgettable depiction of today’s doctors, patients, and hospitals.

Provocative, heartbreaking, and darkly humorous, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures introduces readers to a masterful new voice in fiction. A
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Anchor Canada (first published January 1st 2005)
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Kyla
Mar 15, 2009 rated it liked it
3.5 - I'm really. really surprised this won the Giller Prize. Another case of a Doctor writes a book based on his work history and the critics swoon, because it's not a world typical writers come from or an arena that they cover. A novelty act, almost. Some stories are interesting, but again, I would add it's not because of the writing per se (which is readable but plain, not spare plain, just plain plain), as much as the backstage peek at a Dr.'s life. Also, it just makes me mad when other prof ...more
Sue
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medicine
This is an extremely interesting book, especially if you are acquainted with anyone who has endured the appallingly stressful rigors of medical school and lived to tell about it. Written by an author who has done just that, this book is a work of fiction that interweaves the stories of several aspiring young doctors and follows them through their professional lives. Along the way, he reveals them to be intelligent, ambitious, complicated, and very, very human. In other words, he tells his story ...more
Allegra S
Apr 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
So the last 100 pages picked up a bit and it wasn't as bad as I originally thought, but it wasn't great. The last two stories were really good concepts (doctors and nurses sick during the SARS epidemic, and what it feels like to really work an overnight ER shift) but I'm still not a fan of the style of writing. I think his best literary choice was to leave Ming and her stupid relationship problems out of the second half of the book!

I have two big problems with this book. In the beginning all th
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Rosa
Oct 24, 2007 rated it liked it
This book has all kinds of impressive blurbs on the back cover, including praise from Margaret Atwood and Sherman Alexie himself (who has never struck me as the easy to please type) - I initially sought it out because of a really favorable review in Entertainment Weekly. Maybe all the hoopla led me to expect too much, but I just didn't see what the big deal was. Lam is a very skilled and nuanced writer, but it still seemed like most of the stories were more driven by plot than by character devel ...more
Czarny Pies
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ça vaut vraiment la peine de lire cet accueil de nouvelles qui raconte des épisodes dans les vies de quatre de jeunes médecins pendant leurs années à l'université et les débuts de leurs carrières .On le lit surtout parce que l'auteur qui est médecin urgentologue donne un aperçu d'une caste sociale que l'on voit normalement de l'extérieur. Si l'on ne croit pas que les docteurs ne constituent pas un groupe particulier l'intérêt de ce livre sera beaucoup moindre.
On devra lire "Bloodletting and Othe
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Graham Wilhauk
This book was so good and so disappointing at the same time.

The first 100 pages of this intertwined short story collection knocked my socks off. The way that Lam introduced these characters and their situations and lives was incredible. However, what did Lam do as an author to keep the reader's interest? Well, he dropped a ton of potential storylines in order to go completely episodic and only decides to go back to the plots introduced at the beginning in the last 60 pages of the book at a very
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Steven Buechler
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great examination of how doctors are normal people too. I just wish I had known about the Glossary of terms in the back of the book when I had started reading it.

Page 324
5:25 - Suddenly awake
"Dr. Chen."
A face, a curtain pulled aside, I can't see who.
"Unnhh?"
"Dr. Chen!"
"Yeah I'm awake!" A panic, a heart-pounding proclamation, "I'm awake." Did I say that twice? I'm not sure what I said and what I dreamt.
"Brady at thirty. Pressure of fifty on nothing, ETA three minutes."
The voice I think it's a n
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Heather
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
Really good. I enjoyed it a lot and found the narrative really interesting and striking in some places. It's a series of short stories basically, each one has one or two of the main characters in and follows a loose timeline from the start of their careers and as they get older and more experienced. It's got a nice flow to it and Lam doesn't feel the need to smack you in the face with exposition every time the narrative jumps a few months or years, you can fill in the blanks nicely from the info ...more
Anna Engel
The "story" is told via vignettes that feature the various medical students introduced at the beginning of the book. This is lazy on the author's part because he doesn't have to develop a story or its characters. He merely places them in situations, lets them do their doctor thing, and moves on. The writing itself is plain (but plain-plain, not stylistically so) and lacks any real sense of style or personality.

The inter-character relationships are not well-developed. I disliked almost all of the
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Mike
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ownit, did-not-finish
Boring.
Sorry Mr. Lam, sorry Giller Prize panel. I tried hard to like this, pushing through all the way to page 150, but I realized I don't really care what happens to these two-dimensional characters, or whether a theme suddenly pops into view. The anecdotes are interesting, mainly for the inclusion of the author's behind the scenes medical knowledge but I can't really see where it's going.
Oh - and the medical glossary at the end? You feel you have to define abdomen? Or vocal cords? Please.
I ha
...more
Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures - Nevisande : Vincent Lam - ISBN : 385661444 - ISBN13 : 9780385661447 - Dar 368 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2005
Meg
Oct 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This book wasn’t at all what I expected, however if I had read the description on the back of the book it may have helped me be more prepared. It was a good read, I have definitely had a few of the same experiences and feelings in my medical career that these doctors experienced. I don’t know if would have understood or enjoyed the book as much as I did if I didn’t have a medical background. Lam used a lot of medical terminology, I know that there is a glossary in the back but using it would def ...more
Lindsay
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
The overall idea this book offers is very interesting. It was fun to see the different experiences and situations that doctors could undergo. But that being said I felt as though the first half of the book was based primarily on random character relationships and background that actually had little to do with the overall story.

The end of the book was more interesting than the beginning. Although it was a unique read, it won’t be one at the top of my list.
Colleen Earle
Really fascinating novel
Liked how it was connected short stories.
Deals with mortality, complexities on medicine, alcoholism and lost loves
Characters have great dimension and are very real.
Parts about SARS were the second hardest to read.
Working in a hospital has definitely given me a different perspective on this novel than it would have otherwise.
Excellent.
Jennifer
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing. Couldn't put it down!
Lisa Bacque
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting read but overall fairly depressing and I felt like there were some stories left unfinished at the end.
Thomas Mckeough
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Worth the read despite some occasional underwhelming chapters.
Hidaya Alatas
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
this book single handedly rekindled my drive to study medicine again. loveee
kingshearte
Short stories are not really my favourite type of reading, but this was here, and I'd heard good things about it, so I read it. It was actually really good, despite having won a Canadian literary award. I found almost all the stories very interesting and quite compelling.

However. It still had the various issues that make me not really care for the short story as a form. Although you do get some insight, in the context of whatever the current situation being painted is, you don't really get to kn
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Neil Mudde
Jan 26, 2011 rated it liked it
A great first plus Giller prize for Dr. Lam,, it gives one a good insight as to how to go about getting into medical school, never be satisfied with just 80% 100% is a must
A great insight into different cultures, Ming who is Chinese, is driven through her family to reach her highest potential, along the way she shacks up with Fitzgerald, who turns out to have problems, Ming is so organized and sets a schedule for Fitzgerald which does not allow him any free time, not wanting to give the whole st
...more
Sam
Feb 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book has been sitting on my shelves for the better part of a decade. I bought it during my brief phase where I was convinced I wanted to go into the medical field (before remembering that I'm terrified of all bodily fluids and hate people), and once that phase had passed, never got around to reading it. I'm glad that I finally picked it up, because I absolutely loved it!

The interconnected stories in this collection follow four doctors through various stages in their careers, as their lives
...more
Julia
This is a book of short stories revolving around 4 characters. We meet some when they are applicants, and others while attending medical school. We also see some unique cases when they are in their residency or later in their career. As a nurse, the jargon was not too impenetrable (although my area of practice is very far removed from the life or death pace of the emergency room) but I found that I was more interested in their interior lives, and as such I found the first few stories much more a ...more
Lyn Zuberbuhler
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Initially I was a bit surprised by the format: a group of short stories held together by four characters, with the common goal of becoming physicians. However, the stories became more connected as the four progressed with their lives and careers. The stories do portray the challenges of becoming a physician, from the initial screening process, through the various idiosyncrasies of medical school, and then on to the "real" world of being a physician and the choices which needed to be faced daily. ...more
janet
These connected short stories explore the journeys of four medical students as they face mortality and other human limitations while the wounded constantly demand they stretch these barriers. Heroic birth is the subject of my favorite story entitled "An Insistent Tide" in the collection. In it, Lam evokes the tides to enhance the metaphor of the story. Ming and Janice achieve their goal of stretching human pain and trust thresholds by sort of going with the flow. Narrative treatment of SARS emph ...more
Zara Garcia-Alvarez of The Bibliotaphe Closet Blog
The book is an easy, engaging read (it took me a few days). I didn't realize the chapters were meant to be interrelated short stories until much further down the work. It's an excellent "insider view" from a doctor's perspective, the dilemmas of those in the medical profession: the body politic of the health system, the de-sensitized conditioning necessary to meet high volume and demand, the inevitability of sickness and death, and the tension between remaining professional, yet compassionate, w ...more
Lorri
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I could give this book six stars, I would. This is a series of short stories/essays loosely connected through a group of medical students/doctors in the Toronto area. If you have some medical background you will no doubt identify with some of the vignettes (and not have to check the glossary at the back for definitions of some of the technical terms) but this would be a fascinating read for anyone. It justly deserved the Giller Prize.

I borrowed this book from the library after reading and enj
...more
Leya
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's Grey's Anatomy set in a hospital in Toronto. What it really is, a collection of short stories that follow the above mentioned characters while they study, learn, perform their duties and go on with their lives.

I admit, I was dreading starting this book, I was afraid that it would be dull and I would struggle to read it. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading each short story. I tend not to like short stories because I feel that I cannot connect to the characters, but
...more
Andrea
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories about medicine, especially because it's a career that I'm hoping to pursue. I liked that each of the stories were connected, even in small ways. However, I kept hoping that these connections would build to a satisfying overall conclusion, since the stories did not have satisfying endings in themselves. Unfortunately, this never happened and the ending fell a bit short for me. Overall an excellent read, but if you don't have a background in the me ...more
Barbara Tiede
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This, Lam’s prize-winning literary debut, deserves the same five-star review as my first Lam, last year’s The Headmaster’s Wager. ‘A sometimes shockingly realistic and matter-of-fact portrait of today’s medical profession’, this is a collection of stories connected through the relationships that develop among a group of young doctors as they move from the challenges of med school to the intense world of emergency rooms, evac missions, and terrifying new viruses.
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ELEVEN READER'S CLUB: Bloodletting and Miraculous cures by Vincent Lam 1 9 Oct 01, 2012 07:27PM  
  • Barnacle Love
  • A Good House
  • The Time In Between
  • Light Lifting
  • Open
  • The Bishop's Man (The Cape Breton Trilogy #2)
  • Stanley Park
  • Luck
  • The Sentimentalists
  • Hellgoing
  • Clara Callan
  • Bang Crunch
  • Whirl Away
  • The Book of Secrets
  • The Boys in the Trees
  • Nikolski
  • Monkey Beach
  • Mercy Among the Children
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