Author(s): Patrick TaylorDownload
Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice.At least until he meets Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly.The older physician, whose motto is to never let the patients get the upper hand, has his own way of doing things. At first, Barry can’t decide if the pugnacious O’Reilly is the biggest charlatan he has ever met, or the best teacher he could ever hope for. Through O’Reilly Barry soon gets to know all of the village’s colorful and endearing residents, including:A malingering Major and his equally hypochondriacal wife;An unwed servant girl, who refuses to divulge the father of her upcoming baby;A slightly daft old couple unable to marry for lack of a roof;And a host of other eccentric characters who make every day an education for the inexperienced young doctor.Ballybucklebo is long way from Belfast, and Barry is quick to discover that he still has a lot to learn about the quirks and traditions of country life. But with pluck and compassion and only the slightest touch of blarney, he will find out more about life–and love–than he ever imagined back in medical school.”An Irish Country Doctor” is a charming and engrossing tale that will captivate readers from the very first page–and leave them yearning to visit the Irish countryside of days gone by.
Some Reviews: 1977 in Goodreads.com
I’m somewhat bashful to admit that I absolutely loved this book.
It is an inescapable fact that this book is reminiscent of All Creatures Great and Small in some ways, or Ballykissangel, and if you don’t like those, you won’t like this book. I found those pleasant enough, but not as engaging as the world Patrick Taylor has created here.
The voices of the characters are distinct, they’re charming, annoying, dotty, nasty…in short, a village of people. The events are simple day to day experiences in a rural town in Northern Ireland when Jack Kennedy was newly dead, the lads from Liverpool were solidly on track, and a new band led by some kid named Jagger was starting to make noise. The second wave of The Troubles hadn’t begun, and there were many who remembered the first round, and worried about a young cleric named Iain Paisley and the things he was saying. But that is all background noise to little girls with appendicitis, old men with heart trouble living in their cars, and young men desperate to “do the right thing” but unable to marry the girl unless there’s enough money to support the three of them.
There are four more books in the series. I’m going to fight the urge to tear through them. They are short, and there are times when I think I’ll desperately need to get away to Ballybucklebo, and Fingal O’Reilly, Barry Laverty, Kinky, Lady Macbeth, and Arthur Guinness–the Smithwicks loving retriever. Yes, I’ll keep these, as they say, “in my back pocket,” for when the need arises. Who’d have thought this Republic loving girl would grow so fond, so quickly, of some folk from the 6 counties.
An uplifting, humorous portrayal of a lost time and place — the countryside of Northern Ireland in the 1960s. This novel documents a recent medical graduate’s first month of doctoring in a rural town full of quirky and lovable citizens. Dr. Laverty is an urban physician who comes under the tutelage of the seasoned, boisterous, opinionated and creative Dr. O’Reilly who has practiced medicine in Northern Ireland for his whole life.
I found it difficult to put this book down because I desperately wanted to know what consequences the young doctor had on his patients, and what crazy schemes his mentor would dream up to increase quality of life for a group of patients with little social or economic mobility. This is a great example of how doctoring is a multi-faceted responsibility, sometimes requiring paternalism and tacitly shaping the pragmatic affairs of a patient. This is a great contrast to the concept of the distanced physician of modern medicine who focuses strictly on clinical substance.
This novel is more about things happening rather than relationships changing, but the pivotal relationship between mentor and mentee, seasoned physician and newbie, is always satisfying. I enjoyed the pace of this book — each chapter only moved ahead of time a few days, and the author does an excellent job of establishing continuity for all of the plot lines involving the disparate characters. All plots achieve closure in a crisp, heartwarming way. As someone reading in chilly New England, the descriptions of Spring in the Irish hills was particularly welcoming.
This is a warm, Irish cozy about a new doctor who has come to a small town to help a veteran older doctor. Some of the patients are eccentric mixed with a bit of hypochondria, they must be dealt with with some humorous, oddball methods. The new doctor is taken aback with this unconventional type of medicine but he is drawn to the personal connection that seems to be the theme in this detached, urban borough of Ballybucklebo. A good start to cute cozy series with relatable characters. My favorite in this series is An Irish Country Christmas, it is a great Christmas feel good book and the characters are more developed, magnetic and amusing. Patrick Taylor does an excellent job narrating.
What a sheer delight! I don’t listen to that many audiobooks, mainly because I can’t get into them, maybe I don’t give them enough time, but the narrator is the one who tends to turn me off. But John Keating is one of the best audiobook narrators I’ve ever come across! He’s excellent, and I could vividly picture all the characters, men and women alike. I’m not sure if would have enjoyed this as much if I had read it, so I plan on listening to them all when I want to visit Ballybucklebo and its residents again.
Edited to add second paragraph
I’ve been accumulating the books in this series for several years — saving them, kind of hoarding them. I didn’t even know if I’d like them, but if I did, I wanted them handy to read right then. I put stock in that I would like them, and now, I think I’m in book heaven. Ahhhh, the pleasantness. I’m conflicted with wanting to race through versus strolling though. I chose the first two for my spring reading challenge and won’t be surprised if the summer challenge is filled with only Patrick Taylor books. What a relaxing and enjoyable beginning book to what I anticipate will be a wonderful reading journey!
Adding this as I’m in the last quarter of the book: I still enjoy this; it’s relaxing, it’s very similar to Herriot’s books but with a GP rather than a vet, and I still plan to continue through the series. However, I am put off with the regular coarse and casual use of Jesus Christ’s name manipulated into some coarse and vulgar phrase. Whenever I read / listen to this use, I filter it out, but in this case, my filter fills quickly. It’s not that I have a personal policy to only read writing that does not conflict with the third commandment; if that were the case, I’d read very little. But the use in this first book (and I assume throughout the series) is beginning to grate on me. That said, just be forewarned if you are put off with this. Also, the casual flippancy toward Christianity (such as, “He’d put religion behind him years ago”) has cropped up a few times.
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