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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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An Irish Country Doctor (Irish Country Books) Mass Market Paperback – August 2, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 480 customer reviews
Book 1 of 10 in the Irish Country Books Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A straitlaced novice doctor gets initiated into the unorthodox world of a crafty rural sawbones in Taylor's American debut. Barry Laverty is fresh out of school and uncertain about what type of medicine he should practice when he answers an ad for a physician's assistant in Ballybucklebo, a small Northern Ireland town populated, it seems, entirely by eccentrics. Laverty is initially taken aback by his new boss, Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, whom he meets as O'Reilly is literally throwing a patient out of his office. Laverty spends most of the novel swaying between understanding O'Reilly's methods and second-guessing the boxer turned doctor who dishes out plenty of placebos and isn't above telling a white lie or a crude joke to worried patients. Though Laverty often comes across as painfully uptight, he also has an endearing-for-its-awkwardness streak that only surfaces around Patricia Spence, though she'd rather focus on her civil engineering studies than make time for a boyfriend. Serving as a foil to all the innocent fun is the lecherous, greedy Councillor Bishop, who, thanks to a scheming O'Reilly and a reluctant Laverty, gets his comeuppance. Despite the occasional whimsy overload, Taylor's novel makes for escapist, delightful fun. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Taylor is a bang-up storyteller who captivates and entertains from the first word.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Quietly, almost surreptitiously, Patrick Taylor has become probably the most popular Irish-Canadian writer of all time.” ―The Globe and Mail on Patrick Taylor

“Taylor masterfully charts the small victories and defeats of Irish village life.” ―Irish American magazine

“With an unerring eye for detail, the talents of a natural storyteller, and the ability to pepper his anecdotes with large doses of wit and humor, Patrick Taylor has written a delightful novel.” ―Calgary Herald on An Irish Country Doctor

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Product Details

  • Series: Irish Country Books (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; Reprint edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765368242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765368249
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (480 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marilyn Dalrymple VINE VOICE on May 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The novel An Irish Country Doctortakes place in the 1960s, and although medical miracles are beginning to appear, the good Dr. O'Reilly practices his own medicine, his own way of treating this town full of eccentric patients. And he treats them very successfully, thank you.

Dr. Laverty, on the other hand, insistsmodern medicine and going strictly by the rulesare the only ways of properly healing patients.

It doesn't take long for Laverty to find a love interest, the beautiful Patricia Spence, a young lady determined to become an engineer.She soon becomes one of the many stumbling blocks Laverty must overcome to be the person and the doctor he wants to be.

As Laverty works as O'Reilly's assistant, he learns about love, loss of love and the hard knocks life can dish out in general and that he is not immune to experiencing some of life's more difficult situations himself.

Author Patrick Taylor has produced a beautiful story, intelligently written and filled with interesting characters. Richly illustrated with word pictures, the reader easily sees the beautiful Irish landscape, the rag-tag populace - O'Reilly's patients - that joyfully fill this novel's pages. Animals play an important role in the story. Laverty soon learns that everything has the ability to teach him something. I truly became involved in the lives of the doctors and their supporting cast of characters. The novel doesn't hold many surprises, but it is so lyricallywritten that it held my attention from the first page until the last.

The back of the book has a glossary which translates the "Ulster-Scots dialect," which is generously used throughout the book and lends much color and interest to the story, but does indeed, look like a foreign language to the uninitiated.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is just a wonderful read. It is set in the 1960's era, and is about a young med-school graduate who takes his first job in a little northern Irish village, joining an elderly doctor in family practice. It is very heart-warming, and holds your interest to the very last page. The author, Patrick Taylor, is a medical doctor himself. I am anxious to read any future books he writes.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting book on Irish Life. If you like Irish ways and have an interest in medicine, this is your book. The interplay between the older General Practioner and his new, young assistant MD is very fascinating. They have adventure after adventure with their patients - both those who come to the "surgery" in the morning and the ones they visit on house calls in the afternoon. Kinky, the housekeeper, is an excellently drawn character who offers a great sample of the Irish brogue and Irish ways. I enjoyed this book.

James Toomey
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Format: Hardcover
The synopsis on the inside cover of AN IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR compares Taylor's book to James Herriot and Jan Karon. Jan Karon I can see. James Herriot is a bit out of reach.

There's more syrup in this book than in a Smucker's factory. Doctor Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly is like a father to the residents of Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland. There's a pregnant servant girl, a proud old man who lives in his car, a carpenter's wife with a ne'er-do-well husband, plus his new young assistant, Barry Laverty, who's reminiscent of a lovesick calf. O'Reilly presents a tough exterior, but he's got the proverbial heart of gold.

That's not to say AN IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR doesn't have some good points. If you love language, you'll love the Ulster dialect. For instance, "A beagle's gowl" is the distance a Beagle can be heard; "Near took the rickets" means had a great shock. There are also some more familiar words and expressions such as "lummuck" and "shite," all of which are defined in Taylor's glossary.

Taylor is also a doctor, so the medical scenes provide some enlightenment. I didn't know, for instance, that halitosis is a symptom of appendicitis.

My biggest problem with the book was the climax. O'Reilly resolves all of the plot conflicts in one fell swoop. But he uses blackmailing and some questionable medical slight of hand to do it. I'm thinking there's no way the villain, a tough businessman, would have believed O'Reilly's ploy for a second.

All in all, if you like Jan Karon, you'll probably like AN IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR. If not, venture at your own risk.
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Format: Hardcover
Travelers to the North of Ireland find wind-swept vistas, fog-blanketed coasts and a land so verdant it looks like it was brush-stroked by Thomas Kinkade. On the occasional clear day you can even see Scotland from the lush Antrim shoreline. A mere twelve miles, `tis, across the North Channel, and a cinch for the marauding Scots giants of lore to breach it in a dozen strides, seeking to do battle with Ireland's own giant, Finn McCool. Saint Patrick first landed somewhere nearby and lies buried beneath an eponymous cathedral in County Down. A land of provos and loyalists, the fervent prayer is that the North of Ireland has also entombed the Troubles.

Nestled astride close-by Belfast Lough, readers are introduced to the make-believe, picture-postcard village of Ballybucklebo. An emerald plucked from the Ireland of yesteryear, herein resides a laughable, affable and pitiable collection of all the Irish caricatures we'd ever want to meet. `Tis where we find our two Irish country doctors in residence plying a common sense and routinely placebo-driven brand of medicine mildly reminiscent of the old joke: A man goes to his doctor and informs him that his arm hurts terribly when he raises it. To which the doctor replies: "Then don't raise your arm. Next patient!"

Our crusty but learned Doctor Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly plays mentor, confessor and father-figure to wet-behind-the-ears Doctor Barry Laverty, late of Belfast's Queen's University Medical School. Gambling that rural Ireland might offer a more suitable lifestyle than Belfast, Dr. Laverty arrives in Ballybucklebo ("Bally" loosely meaning "town" in Irish) driving a beat-up Volkswagen, answering O'Reilly's advertisement for a physician to assist him.
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