Goldblatt's Descent, by Michael Honig

Golblatt is a locum Senior Registrar (I think that's right) on a busy hospital ward. This is not his first locum post, and he really needs to find a permanent position, but he finds it hard to toe the line in the face of what he sees as unneccessary bureaucracy and management incompetence.

Picked this up at random, but was pleasantly surprised - it was a really good read. It is similar to the kind of setup in Jed Mercurio's book, with a touch of Getting On: the head of the department is a woman professor who has made it her mission to investigate an obscure and (usually) non-fatal disease, and to Goldblatt's frustration, her patients often take priority and beds, displacing people with more serious (albeit less interesting) conditions.

The "story" seemed to meander a bit and didn't feel particularly structured: it didn't have a plot so much as a list of not necessarily connected events. This makes me think it's based on real life - I think the author did himself spend time as a doctor, although I don't know if he, like Goldblatt, took a couple of years out of his medical career to do a law degree. There's a pretty impassioned speech that Goldblatt makes at one of his (doomed) interviews for a permanent position where he makes a good case for the value of an education in law for a doctor which feels like it's come from the heart.

And (I think this was the same interview) when he realises he's got no chance of getting the job, but makes a speech putting down one of the interview panel who's obviously really up himself, you feel like punching the air and saying "YES!".

Some places in the book were laugh-out-loud funny - one in particular I remember was when Goldblatt was explaining to a nervous patient about a test he's just about to perform, involving inserting a needle into the guy's knee to get fluid out.

Really enjoyed this - not sure if he's written/planning on writing any more though.

Completed : 22-Jan-2014 (audiobook)

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