Patrick Taylor's devoted readers and listeners know Doctor Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly as a pugnacious general practitioner in the quaint Irish village of Ballybucklebo. Now Taylor turns back the clock to give us a portrait of the young Fingal - and show us the pivotal events that shaped the man he would become.
In the 1930s, fresh from a stint in the Royal Navy Reserve, and against the wishes of his disapproving father, Fingal O'Reilly goes to Dublin to study medicine. Fingal and his fellow aspiring doctors face the arduous demands of Trinity College and Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital. The hours are long and the cases challenging, but Fingal manages to find time to box and play rugby - and to romance a fetching, gray-eyed nurse named Kitty O'Hallorhan.
Dublin is a city of slums and tenements, where brutal poverty breeds diseases that the limited medical knowledge of the time is often ill-equipped to handle. His teachers warn Fingal not to become too attached to his patients, but can he truly harden himself to the suffering he sees all around him - or can he find a way to care for his patients without breaking his heart?
A Dublin Student Doctor is a moving, deeply human story that will touch longtime fans as well as listeners who are meeting Doctor Fingal O'Reilly for the very first time.
Listen to another Irish Country novel.
©2011 Patrick Taylor (P)2011 Macmillan Audio
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"How the series all began!"
The audio of this book was great. The narrator, John Keating does a terrific job of bringing the characters to life so that you can picture each one in your head.
I could not pick a favorite character because I enjoyed each one of them for different reasons. Each character in the book has their own quirks, their own personalities and I found that I laughed and cried with each.
John Keating does a great job with Fingal but I find that his performance as the
I was moved by Fingal's feelings towards his fellow man. Against all advice to stay distant from his patients, he didn't and they became people with names and faces.
I pray that Patrick Taylor writes more in this series and that John Keating narrates. The books are awesome and the reader is beyond compare. You won't be disappointed with this listen.
"The early days of Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, MD"
First, I must say that this is one of the most charming and engaging series I have ever read or listened to. And also one of the few that I listen to again and again. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly is a (deceptively) gruff old country doctor, who normally lives in Ballybucklebo, a small town in Ireland, in the 1960's with his new partner, the young Dr. Barry Lavety. They have a wonderful housekeeper, Kinky Kincaid, and other characters are also regulars.
Together they serve the medical needs of this tiny rural community in a dedicated, old-fashioned house-calls sort of way, but knowledge of the patients' quirky personalities, their secrets, or their fears, or their pride,etc, is truly what makes them so special to them all.
These books are filled with the touching stories of the people they interact with, while also presenting a realistic view of what it must have been like to be doctors in such a small place and having so much responsibility for the lives of everyone in their care. And of course, they have their own stories interwoven throughout.
In this wonderful book (which is written after quite a few others are already out) Patrick Taylor has decided to take Dr. O'Reilly back to his student days in the 1930's Dublin, his romance with nurse Kitty, and we see the beginnings of the man who will become the caring and dedicated doctor who is so vital to Ballybucklebo in later volumes. It begins as he comes to the rescue of a motorcycle victim, and then moves through more flashbacks as we learn about his home life, his father's resistance to his going to medical school, his training, etc.
This book is everything we have come to expect from this series--which is so wonderful that I feel sure they might become classics, in the way of other stories that tell the stories of people so touchingly that one wants to read them again and again. John Keating as narrator is excellent for these books. His ability to capture the sense of the emotions and attitudes of people, as well as differentiate their voices is unmatched! Highly recommend the whole series!
"A Bit of Ireland"
John Keating does a great job reading this story. The first book in the series I read but each one since has been the audio-book version. I must say that Keating does the Irish accent better than I could in my mind. I have followed the series from the beginning and each one gets better. I hope Taylor goes on the write about the WWII years. As a retired scientist I enjoyed Taylor's description of the state of science and medicine in the 1930's and it is interesting to see how medical training has evolved over time. The description of the tenements and the life of the poor had improved over the years but now seem to be going back to what it was in the past. I call this a feel good book that packs a lots of information in many area in a delightful manner. I learned how a doctor became to be called a quack and what was the origin of Boxing Day (Dec 26) was. You will enjoy this great book and series.
"I'm Hooked on this series!"
I have really enjoyed this series. Part of it is the narrator, John Keating. His knowledge of the accents in both Northern Ireland and in the south are a true delight. Having spent a fair amount of time in the North, and knowing the places where the book is set is part of the fun.
But, one doesn't need to have visited there to have many a chuckle over these books. The characters are great; Taylor has a love for both the area and the people. This was my least favorite of the series, but it was still a very good read. I learned a lot about how medicine was practiced in the 1930's. Also, Dr. O'Reilly's personality really takes shape in this book.
If you are looking for deeply meaningful books, this series is not for you. But if you want a rolicking good time, with characters who will remain with you, then give this a try.
"Best series ever"
The narrator made the characters come to life. Patrick Taylor's description of Ireland before the war was excellent. I felt like I was there.
Flaherty O'Reilly - the guy is full of life. Big Heart, and isn't afraid to express his beliefs. (except for his emotional feelings). I love the expressions he comes out with!
Excellent, as usual. I have listened to all of the Irish Country Doctor series, and the narrator keeps up the excellent standard.
Laugh, laugh, laugh. - and cry when he lost some of his patients (spoiler).
If you enjoy James Harriett, you'll like this series. Highly Recommended! More books, please, Patrick Taylor!
"Another great installment in this series!!"
What a great addition to the series! The backstory for Fingal Flaherty O'Reilly!!!! I wouldn't have missed this for any thing!
"Please Please Please Listen"
This is among the best books I have listened to. It speaks to the heart and soul, everyone could relate, it encompasses all the emotions of life, love, fear, desire, need for accomplishmment and most importantly ones responsiblity to family. You feel the story, it is narrated with perfection.
"How It All Began"
From reading all previous books, I had already figured out a good bit of Dr. O'Reilly's former life. Still, it was interesting to learn the details. I enjoyed the book and can hardly wait for the next one. I was hoping this one would be about Barry's new life, but I have a feeling we will have to wait awhile for that one. I suspect that the next book will be about Dr. O'Reilly's life with Diedre (I'm not certain how to spell her name). What ever topic Mr. Taylor chooses will be read by me ASAP. I enjoy his stories and find Mr. Keating's voice to be perfect for the part. I just wish women could read the women's parts. Men trying to replicate women's voices just sounds silly.
"Excellent reading experience"
If you enjoy being transported in time and space to a location filled with warm memorable characters, Patrick Taylor's series on the Irish country doctors will fill the bill. I challenge anyone who enjoys a good read to pick up one of these books and see if they are not habit forming.
"good Irish story, worth a credit"
Being fascinated with Ireland from other books I've read, I decided to give this author's story a try. And I am glad I did. The narrator, with his Irish brogue, makes you feel you are in Ireland. The story itself is intriguing with its mix of Irish life and a student doctor's life as he struggles to become a doctor. There are more books in the Irish Country series and I intend to try some of those too. Glad I spent the credit.
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