Heartwarming and gloriously eccentric, Dr Tom's stories capture the beauty of the Lowlands, the joys and sorrows of its inhabitants, and the richly rewarding experiences of life as a Scottish country doctor.
©2007 Tom Smith; (P)2007 Soundings
"An affectionate and hugely entertaining memoir of the incident-packed five years that Smith spent looking after the mainly farming families in his patch. If only modern medicine had as much heart." (Guardian)
What I enjoyed was the author reading the book, it has the best intonation etc. A good story filling in the parts about what we patients look like to GPs!
Dr Smith's narrative of his beginnings as a junior doctor to becoming the Family Doctor take us back in time when that role was so important for his patients whether the doctor was in the country or suburbia. Back in a time when life was less complicated, less demanding and more intertwined with people.
He restores my memories to when as a child, the lookout patrol announced loudly for the whole neighbourhood to know "the doctor's here"; the lookout in place because he had been called to attend to a sick child or children. The arrival of the Family Doctor had a sense of security that all would be well. Even if he should call by for a social visit. The doctor knew everything - along with the Chemist!
Dr Smith's wonderful Scottish lilt and humour takes us on his journey with his supportive wife and children. Once settled back in his native land, he reveals many good stories of family doctor and patient and locals.
Thank goodness for wonderful story tellers like Dr Smith who can revive such wonderful memories!
I would definitely listen to this book again. It brought back memories of my childhood, in that I could associate with the kind of characters Tom wrote about and could even imagine how my childhood GPs could have easily found themselves in similar circumstances.
This is the first Tom Smith book I have listened to but it will not be the last, I always think there is something special about listening to a reading by the author.
Really enjoyed listening to the tales of he GP and looking forward to listening to the sequel. I have an interest in medical history and found each tale about the different patients both amusing and fascinating. The writer has narrated the book and his wonderful Scottish accent helps to set the scene, though his voice was sometime monotonous.
Overall, an enjoyable book.
A jolly little tale of highland life and made better by the medical content. The reader was not professional and lacked storytelling inflections that would have made the whole thing better.
This book could have been so much more:- more amusing; more engaging; more interesting.
If you have read, and enjoyed, the series by James Herriott about his adventures as a vet, or Patrick Taylor's amusing tales of a young, Irish doctor going into country general practice, then, like myself, you may have picked up this book hoping it would be more of the the same, or at least similar. Alas, you may find yourself disappointed with "A Seaside Practice" in this regard. "A Seaside Practice" is more auto-biographical looking at his Scottish country practice in the 1960s - prior to NHS efficiency drives - than engaging revelations, but, as Dr Smith himself admits, he does not befriend his patients, and the result seems to be all connection is lost: between the doctor and his patient, and the doctor and his listener/reader. So, this book feelks more like a tome about cases the good doctor himself thought would make amusing anecdotes for general readers, but it truly missed the mark for this listener.
I'm afraid, too, I had issues with Dr Smith's reading of his own book. It was a little flat, he faltered, all to frequently, on words, and I could hear pages being turned and mistakes being made, though the overall sound quality was good, being even in volume and pacing. Perhaps I might have enjoyed the book more if someone else had narrated it, but it certainly needed an editor who knows how to elicit an engaging style from their writer.
I found this to be slow uninteresting rarely even raising a smile it has been a long time I have struggled to listen to a book to the end!
I couldn't get past the first hour of this book. I know that most autobiographical books of this sort are largely fictional, but the author stretches the limits of credulity much too far. At least with James Herriot there was a possibility that each incident had really happened - this was just silly in comparison, and I couldn't bear to listen to it any more. Pity.
"Delightful - just too short"
What a wonderful listen! I normally avoid books that are narrated by the author, but I enjoyed listening to Dr. Smith's inflecitons...and reading between the lines. My only regret is that it wasn't longer.
"Wonderful writer and narrator!"
By the end of the audio book I felt like could put faces to the characters. Highly recommend!
I truly enjoyed this light, heartwarming tale. I have always felt drawn to things and stories from Ireland and Scotland (my heritage). This was a relaxing and uplifting tale that I would recommend to my friends.
"Loved this book"
This was my first audiobook listen and I loved every minute of it. Reader & author was very entertaining.
I enjoyed this pleasant, nicely-paced, and well-read book. The author's stories of his experiences as a Scottish GP were interesting, funny, sad, but never boring. I listened to it while ironing and sorting and doing other homely tasks - it made the time pass pleasurably and my workload feel lighter.
"I recommend it"
It's a great light "read" that I couldn't stop listening to. Entertaining and well-written.
If you, like me, loved the James Herriott books you will be delighted with this book. Usually I think it is a mistake when the author is also the narrator, but in this case it was perfect! Tom Smith's voice is melodic and pleasant.
The stories were interesting and entertaining. Doesn't have the heart that Herriot's stories have, but it is still worth the time. The reader's accent was a bit distracting, and I was frustrated with the Gaelic pronunciations without seeing the word, but that's my stuff.
"If you like James Herriot you'll like this too"
I really enjoyed this. It was read by the author who has a charming, soft Scottish accent which I really loved to listen to. His reading is a little stilted at times, but his accent more than made up for it to me.
Similar to the Herriot stories (but a Doctor's life in Scotland rather than a vet in Yorkshire) as with Herriot it's the eccentric and colourful locals who make this book interesting.
I would definitely recommend it for an enjoyable listen.
"From another doctor"
The stories ring true from my rural experience. Well illustrates the dictum from Sir William Osler: it's more important to know which patient has the disease than what disease the patient has
Michael Klein MD
ROBERTS Creek BC Canada
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