THE DOCTOR IS SICK by Anthony Burgess


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A cinematic British comedy in which Thurber-Man is pitted against London riff-raff, this doesn't give the full range of Burgess' Promethean verbal with but it is hilarious. Written in 1959, the story is a charmer. Doctor Edwin Spindrift, 38, a mild-mannered linguist of the 'Enry 'Iggins breed, catches a rare disease in Burma which makes him impotent. Too much protein in the spine, you see. He goes a bit crackers when he discovers his wife in flagrante delicto, literally while the crime is blazing. He decides to undergo a restorative cranial operation in London which holds every likelihood of pumping up his puissance. The night before the operation he is given a massive dose of sedatives, then falls out of bed. The body of the novel tells of his sneaking out of the hospital in his pajamas, slippers and a stolen overcoat and of his three-day odyssey through the bohemian and criminal underworlds of Soho in search of his wife. During this flight from the surgeon's knife, he sheds the timid Spindrift and becomes the dynamic big spender of counterfeit money, whipper of a flagellant, winner of the Bald Adonis of London Contest...He wakens after the operation--was it all a dream? We last see him again sneaking out, determined to live by his wits...A stack of mad climaxes, all wonderfully operative.
Pub Date: April 25th, 1966
ISBN: 0393316025
Page count: 274pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1966


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