The House of God (book #67)

Samuel Shem, 1978.

This is apparently the basis of Scrubs, though some of the suggested parallels in the Wikipedia article aren’t very convincing.

Here’s a good bit:

we interns played “The Gomer Game,” where someone would call out an answer, like “Nineteen hundred and twelve,” an answer given by a gomer, and the rest of us would try to come up with questions to the gomer that might have produced that answer, such as “When was your last bowel movement?” or “How many times have you been admitted here?”

There are 149 reviews on I liked one on Amazon UK with the title Insightful but self-absorbed – as if a memoir could be other than self-absorbed. The reviewer puts the common sense side well:

The year he writes about is hellish and chaotic, and he’s a good writer, but the smell of wilful exaggeration is never very far away. Did he really know someone who punctured the heart while trying to put in a chest drain? Did he really despairingly sleep with several sexy nurses? Did he really have a profound emotional epiphany while watching a mime performance? Dear me.

The letters Roy’s (the hero) father sends him, with their precise grammar and complete inability to understand the terrible experiences Roy’s having, are almost unbearably touching at times. Roy’s partner, however, the moral centre of the book and the person he believes gets him through the year, can be very irritating to the reader in the way she describes the doctors’ black humour: ‘”making fun of them, like they were animals, is sick”‘.


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