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The Surgeon of Crowthorne
By Simon Winchester
8/10 from 1 review
Categories: Biography
Buy at Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com
1 review
Quirky history in the same readable vein as "Cod"
What I liked most about this curious book were the acute descriptions of South London in the mid-1800's and the circumstances that led the American Doctor to murder and lunacy.

Another fascinating part is the detail in the description of the Doctor's psychosis - what appears to be paranoid Schizophrenia. I remember Danny talking about a different Victorian psychosis case and the similarities between it and modern "They took me away and did experiments on me" obsessions. This covers very similar ground: the Doctor in his locked cell would be visited at night by all sorts of horrors - real and terrifying to him. Fascinating. Genuinely.

Interesting bi-note: my Uncle lives in Crowthorne, which of course still houses Broadmoor asylum for the criminally insane.

Bi-note 2: in the US this is called "The Professor and the Madman". Which would probably account for it's low sales, being a rubbish title for a great book.

These ratings are a bit weird. Take it for granted that I really enjoyed this book, but I've given it an 8, so... er... it's not *quite* as good as, er something else I haven't thought of. War and Peace, or something like that.
Rating: 8/10
Link to this review
Posted by Cait on Mon, 21st January 2002, 6:52pm
1 review