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Spiral Road Hardcover – October 31, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0884110712 ISBN-10: 0884110710

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Amereon Ltd (October 31, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0884110710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0884110712
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,749,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is superbly written. The characters are quite realistic. The main character, Anton Zorgdrager, receives a "scholarship" to medical school from the government of the Netherlands in exchange for a commitment to serve several years in the government health service treating pygmies, aborigines, and other natives of Borneo, New Guinea, and other islands in the East Indies. After graduation from medical school, he serves in various jungle settings in the East Indies. There, Zorgdrager meets a series of atheists and Christians (early Salvation Army soldiers). From certain experiences he has in the jungle, Zorgdrager becomes convinced that he has a special gift (sixth sense) that enables him immediately to diagnose early stages of diseases (leprosy, frambesia) that other doctors cannot perceive. This hubris leads him to hypothesize that God does not exist, and the evils of man can be cured simply by the discovery of a "serum of conversion," a drug that will turn its patient into a God-fearing, pious being. Self-obsession and thanatos envelop the doctor, leading to a series of personal missteps in which he foresakes the comforts of civilization for "purification" of his soul, alone in the heart of a terrifying jungle of New Guinea. This book should be a classic in the mold of Hesse's "Steppenwolf," and Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," but inexplicably I've seen no reviews of it on the Internet. This book is quite suspenseful and totally captivating. The reader should beware that one of the characters has what appears to be a dream sequence that lasts for about 40 pages (at around page 150 of the 465-page first edition (1957)) that is difficult to get through because of the incoherence that all dreams usually have.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D on September 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a ten star book. If I had five books on that proverbial desert island, this would be one. Its beauty is so subtly woven into an excruciatingly lovely love story, the totality is breathtaking and worth any effort. Read slowly and in a quiet place the seemingly difficult passage that seems to have been a stumbling block for some. Its beauty, the love for she who lay blind behind a net, all is spirit song! Jan De Hartog is a masterful story teller.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fiona Lowther on April 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a very confusing book -- at least for this reader. Too much of the time, I didn't know exactly what was going on -- and some of the time when I did understand, it was only because I'd seen the film version (most of which was different from the book). One section of the book comprised about 40 pages of one of the character's nightmares, which, eventually, I just skipped over.
I had liked the film version (starring Rock Hudson and Burl Ives) so much, and I had enjoyed Hartog's "The Fourposter" and I must say I was very disappointed with this book. Maybe sometime I'll re-read it and may understand it better the next time around. As it now stands, I would not recommend it.
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