4 out of 4 stars
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If I sang, "You're a mean one...You really are a heel. You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel...You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel," who would you think of? Dr. Seuss' The Grinch? You wouldn't be wrong, but the same could also be said of Dr. Camus in Kyle Bradford Jones' book, Hospital!
In this droll satire, stereotypical "mean" doctors are turned on their heads in the person of Doctor Camus. Not only is he grumpy enough to dishearten Mr. Scrooge, but he's not even a good doctor! At least television's Dr. Gregory House did have his genius going for him. Camus has been terrorizing everyone, coworkers and patients alike, for many years, so finally tired of him, Rosencrantz the CEO puts the not-so-good doctor on suspension while he undergoes anger management therapy. Does it work? Or does Camus finally get fired from The Peloton Forward Crescendo Care Amicus Health Priority Catalyst Wellness Code Blue Memorial Hospital of Her Motherly Excellence? You'll have to read this novella to find out.
Having been a patient in a hospital myself very recently, I was happy not to have any doctors with Camus' lack of bedside manner, though it was amusing to read about the physician and his constant profanity and failure to diagnose even the most mundane illnesses. I especially loved the diseases that seemed to be made up, such as pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoniosis, which I found is "an artificial long word said to mean a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust," per dbpedia.com. Despite Camus having a potty mouth, I never knew exactly what he was saying, as he had a very well-paid censor who had to accompany him everywhere and use his air horn whenever the MD cursed, thereby filling the pages with "BLEEP" where profane words would go. I have to admit that I kind of enjoyed figuring out just which words or phrases would go in each sentence. My favorite thing about Hospital!, though, was the incessant breaking of the fourth wall, including the narrator commenting on the story. With that being said, even though the narration did not quite leave me in stitches - ha! ha! - I did have a pretty good time reading it, and I'd happily read a sequel or two or even some prequels. However, I'd hope for them to be a little longer, as this fiction seemed like more of a series of occurrences than a clear and cohesive chronicle, fun though it was.
Additionally, even though there were several other characters in the tale, aside from Rosencrantz - who had it in his contract to always have "the CEO" follow his name - none stood out. I did not, however, feel that that was a negative, as Camus, The Censor (author's capitalization), and Rosencrantz were enough to keep the story moving along.
Since there were only a handful of grammatical errors - some of them, like the name of the hospital changing slightly every time it's written and an actor's name being misspelled, are on purpose, I think - I'm happy to give this yarn 4 out of 4 stars. While this book may not be everyone's cup of pee, I do recommend it to fans of satires, people who like hospital comedies, and readers who enjoy untalented curmudgeons with foul mouths. As noted, there was no coarse language that wasn't bleeped, and there were very few gross descriptions, so even sensitive bibliophiles may enjoy this narrative.
- Nurse Man to Doctor Camus, Hospital!The only thing that would make this dumb story even more of a cliché is if it were framed by you explaining the plot and character development to your psychiatrist.
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