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Final Diagnosis: A Sector General Novel Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (July 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812562682
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812562682
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,450,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The latest Sector General novel in White's deep-space medical series featuring a mammoth space hospital (e.g., The Galactic Gourmet, LJ 7/96), Final Diagnosis revolves around the possibility of a cross-species interstellar virus. Referred to Sector General, Patient Hewlitt overcomes his extreme xenophobia to help the doctors and nurses uncover the cause of the inexplicable illnesses that have plagued him throughtout his life. A fascinating character study whose on-target delineation of the "us" vs. "them" mentality is particularly relevant to out diverse world today; highly recommended.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Despite the ominous title, all ends well in this imaginatively conceived story spiced by witty satire. Hewlitt, an Earthling, should have died three times in accidents on planet Etla the Sick, so everybody at Sector General--the deep-space hospital White introduced as long ago as 1962--presumes the transfer patient made up his accident tales. A variety of other-species professionals and trainees who at first upset the xenophobic Hewlitt examine and treat him. Slowly, Hewlitt begins to socialize with Kelgians, Tralthans, and Duthans. (The basic trick to socializing is keeping your eyes on your plate at mealtimes so you won't become nauseated.) Hewlitt learns that Kelgians don't have a bedside manner and that he can cheat at scremmen just as well as his new companions. When pathologist Murchison realizes that Hewlitt's cat has lived twice as long as usual for its species, the pieces of the Hewlitt puzzle start falling into place. Old fans of Sector General will be delighted by this new episode. So will series newcomers. William Beatty --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
*Final Diagnosis* refers back to *Star Surgeon*, which pleased me because that the first Sector General book I ever read [in 1967 or 1968, when paperbacks were only 50 cents]. If you've read that earlier book you'll enjoy reading how things turned out, and you should enjoy the book even if you haven't. Although, as another reviewer mentioned, it's easy to figure out most of what's going on (once Hewlitt remembers his kitten's accident, the incident with Morredeth is inevitable, etc.), that doesn't matter much. Never mind the "mystery", the book is worth reading for the characters alone. I only wish, for new readers' sake, that series remained in print as long now as they did when I was a girl. The internet makes it easier to find out-of-print books than it used to be, but that's no substitute for being able to order all the earlier books from the publisher. Ann E. Nichols
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A different look at both medicine and culture, and how the two interact, with both interesting charaters and believable situations involing both medicine, patient's rights and how de-humanizing medicine can be "for our own good", and madding when doctors try to make our decisions for us, Petient Hewlitt must fight those who view him as a mential case looking for attention. This is a field seldom looked into in Science Fiction, where it is assumed the future will hold no illness, and everthing can be cured.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a long time reader of White's Sector General novels i was definitly not disappointed with his newest. I really enjoyed Patient Hewlett's attempts to get over his xenophobia. No one writes aliens like White. You really want to meet these creatures by the end of his books. His plots are always wonderfully off kilter. It is good old fashioned science fiction in the best sense of the word. You can read them out of order but to get the full effect try to find the earlier books as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who has long been a fan of James White's Sector General novels, this is a welcome return to the style of his earlier stories. The protagonist is once again human (though unlike any of White's previous characters), and most of the old favorite characters once again check in, even Diagnostician Conway (although in a limited role). The search for a mystery ailment that breaks all the rules of inter-species immunity leads the medics on a chase for causes and cures. This is more a mystery than a pure science-fiction story, but the solutions to all the questions occur to the reader considerably before they are reached in the story, especially to those familiar with White's earlier work. There is nothing really new here, as this is derived from previous stories, but White's usual crystal-clear easygoing narrative makes this an easy and enjoyable read. Rather than plowing new ground, this book is much like a reunion with cherished old friends, and there's a worthwhile new friend here, too
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have not read the rest of James White's Sector General series but I now eagerly anticipate reading them. The humor and mystery of the book were only equalled by White's talent for describing enthralling alien characters. He paints a picture of the future with a different slant than any I have read thus far, an uplifting look at human/life ironies told from a sympathetic point of view, like a Norman Rockwell doctor who routinely treats nitrogen-breathing slime creatures from a planet with five times our gravity!
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