An Irish Country Doctor

Written by Patrick Taylor
Review by pdr lindsay-salmon

More faction than fiction, for Doctor Taylor calls heavily on his own experiences as an Ulster country doctor, the characters in this book first saw life in a series of humorous medical tales in ‘Stitches’, the apt name for the ‘Medical Journal of Humour’. Indeed it was the editor who encouraged the development of these characters. Taylor is an experienced novelist, and writer of humour, and it shows. The novel is well written and guaranteed to make readers laugh. Lovers of James Herriot will enjoy this novel, substitute people for animals and you have the same sort of laughter over peculiar country practises, larger than life eccentrics, and humanity’s foibles.

Taylor writes of a remote Ulster community in the early 1960s, seen through the eyes of a newly qualified doctor, assistant to the irascible older doctor, a well-established character who does not do things by the medical book. Definitely shades of Doctor Finlay and Doctor Cameron here, and indeed the novel would make a delightful, humorous television series.

The book is a tonic in itself and should be available on prescription. Do buy it for anyone who needs cheering up.