THE CRAZY DOCTOR by Arie van der Lugt


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A Dutch island where rich and poor live separate existences is the scene for a boisterous story whose pious overtones eventually predominate. The crazy doctor who came to replace the old village medico was a hairy barbarian who romped through town on a motorbike, cursed patients back to health with skillful ministrations, battled the village roughnecks who wanted to test their strength with his, and even lived in a house known to be haunted. Behind his shenanigans and doctoring, he battled most fiercely of all with God, whom he had forsaken along with his wife when his marriage was not blessed with children. His friend the priest counters Dr. de Geus' boldest blasphemy -- his establishment of a town lady in his village home -- with the simple wisdom of a young country girl, and with the priest's death the doctor returns to God and his wife, a respectable and reverent Robin Hood. The combination of village color and religion are reminiscent of the Don Camillo stories; but the religious theme takes over in midstream, leaving lightheartedness stranded. Simple sentiment.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 1954
Publisher: Random House