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Summary

Samaritans Medical Center, Washington, DC, can't seem to look after itself and its increasingly desperate doctors, let alone its patients.

The chairman of the board, billionaire arms dealer and part-time philanthropist David Soper, decides that it's time to kill or cure. Business school alumnus and Las Vegas hotel genius Max Green is the perfect man for the job. A man of vision. A man with a mission. A man who knows that wealth care is smarter than health care. He's going to make Samaritans great again. Andrew Sharp, star cardio-thoracic surgeon, turns his back on the NHS and buys in to this brave new world of Porsches and payola. But when his American dream turns into a living nightmare, Andrew discovers that even the newfound love of his assistant, Cathy, may not be enough to save him....

Samaritans is the new novel from the cocreator and writer of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister.

©2017 Jonathan Lynn (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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  • Joshua E. London
  • 01-11-18

Funny and compelling!

Overall, this was a wonderful production! The narrator occasionally made a few of the character seem slightly older than they are written, but the effect is only momentarily discordant. The strength of the writing and the characters and the humor was more than enough to keep it all thumping along at a great beat. The author’s distinct Left-of-Center bias was evident from the get-go, but it didn’t bother me at all and wasn’t remotely preachy. It helps that the author perfectly captures the disgusting and all too real dynamics of the American healthcare system. I’ve unfortunately spent enough time around hospitals and healthcare providers to know the basic veracity of the author’s characterizations. Those of a more Right-of-Center disposition should simply make allowances for the little bits of exaggeration and whatnot, because this is too good a book, and far too fun a read, to ignore.

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  • Casey Keller
  • 27-03-22

Preaching To The Choir

What country's health care system is rated best in the world by the World Health Organization? I'll give you a hint. It's not the United States. We’re not even in the top 10. Not that we don't have most of the state-of-the-art medical technology in the world. We do. What we don't have is an equitable way of distributing that genius.

That's because the principal goal of our health care system is to make money. Please don't misunderstand. I don't object to anybody making money. I'm rather fond of money myself. But when profit is put ahead of the health of patients, that is a problem.

And that's the problem that this heavy handed satire points out. In it, the manager of a Las Vegas casino realizes that there’s more money to be made in hospital management and takes over a down and out hospital in the Washington D.C. area. Before long, he's economizing, sending surgical patients home in a buses moments after they’ve come out of recovery; declaring that patients don't need their sheets changed more than once a week, that janitors can be put in nurses' scrubs and made to work as low rent, unqualified nurses. He even makes a deal with a local funeral parlor for them to pay him to have all the hospital's dead patients sent to them directly.

Yes, it's capitalism run amuck, reminiscent of Catch 22's Milo Minderbinder who replaces the B17 crews' parachutes with stock certificates. There are some laughs and a few good lines, but Lynn keeps making the same point over and over. And even though it's one with which I completely agree, it becomes tedious.

Jonathan Lynn, the author is a certified genius with extremely impressive comedy credentials. But this book falls way short of what I expected from a man of his gifts.