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Summary

The original stories featuring A. J. Cronin's much-loved Scottish country doctor.

Dr Finlay's Casebook brings together Adventures of a Black Bag and Dr Finlay of Tannochbrae, A. J. Cronin's two hugely popular collections featuring his most famous creation, Dr Finlay.

Set in and around the fictional Scottish town of Levenford and village of Tannochbrae during the interwar years, the stories found here are heartwarming, funny and touching, full of fascinating characters and unforgettable encounters.

Made famous by the much-loved adaptations for radio and television, the classic tales of Dr Finlay, his senior colleague, Dr Cameron, and their unruffled housekeeper, Janet, remain as fresh and entertaining now as they were upon first publication.

©1969 A. J. Cronin (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The second volume not Cronin’s best

This audiobook covers two very different books. The first volume is more typical of what you’d expect if you’d watched the old BBC series (b&w!). There are witty observations on Scottish life, though based more in the industrial city of Levenford (Dumbarton) than in the heathery hills of Tannochbrae.
Finlay doesn’t have a first name - except “Doctor” - Cameron isn’t nearly as beneficent as his TV persona; he’s rather lazy and scheming, hypochondriacal and he shows a stereotypical attitude to £sd.
Janet is younger and less contented with her lot as skivvy to Dr Cameron, and Finlay really is hopeless when it comes to women- luckily he’s quicker on the uptake where medicine is concerned! Some of his (fairly) well intentioned behaviour would now have him investigated by the GMC!
The second part is a continuing story of one of Finlay’s disastrous relationships with women. We learn that the young doctor is a Catholic (TV omitted this, sectarianism having been a significant blot on Scottish life in the era of the stories and continuing when the series was made. I don’t think viewers furth of Scotland would have understood anyway.)
It’s harmless easy listening though.
I didn’t like the narrator at first but he grew on me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Starts wonderfully but last chapters are awful.

I bought this after listening to the BBC radio 4 series on the radio. It is really a recording of two halves. The first few chapters are charming. They are engaging, well observed and with real attention to character. As a reader (listener!) you feel invested in Finley's story and warm to him as an fully rounded individual. However, this begins to change halfway through, presumably the following stories forming part of a different collection by the same author. Finley increasingly becomes a paragon of virtue who can do no wrong and is eulogised repeatedly for his selfless deeds of charity . The result is a 2D character who is a rather sanctimonious prig. What is worse is the level of misogyny in the final chapters. All the women are scheming vipers who try to trick and trap Finley. If that is not bad enough in itself the storylines are also so jarring and unbelievable. One moment a female character is fine and virtuous, the next she is a conniving, foolish and manipulative harpie. His treatment of the issue of domestic abuse is just plain offensive. I know Cronin is very much an author of his age, and believe me I love The Citadel but just wish I hadn't encountered the last chapters of the Casebook. It has now overshadowed my appreciation of his other works. One the plus side, the narrator is wonderful and the recording good, it is just three subject matter that isn't!

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Stories not in sequence

Was fed up sbout hearing of his love affairs, not in sequence as he would have married after first one (don't know why he didn't). Would have preferred to have heard about his medical cases. Too much love life and too little about medicine. Narration was okay but generally, it was not right for people who remember Andrew Cruickshank and Bill Simpson.