4 out of 4 stars
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Unclean Hands by Andrew Schafer is a nonfiction book that is based on a true-life story. It talks about how a doctor strives to discover the causes of an increasing death rate among pregnant women and the challenges he encounters.
A strange ailment is killing the women in Vienna’s General Hospital at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, only a few people cared. When Dr. Ignác Semmelweis was employed in the hospital, he became concerned about the increasing women’s death rates at the maternity ward. Just then, one of his friends at the hospital also died from a similar illness. That gave him a hint, and he is bent on discovering the causes of these deaths. However, he is faced with too many strong oppositions. What did Dr. Ignác Semmelweis discover? And to what extent are his competitors willing to go to frustrate him? Was this discovery impactful? Read this book to find out the answers.
I must commend the author for using understandable and straightforward diction. Although I am not a medical student, I understood the storyline. Also, despite the chronological arrangement of the book, it is filled with suspense. My desire to find out the outcome of Ignác’s discovery kept me reading right till the end. Another impressive thing about the book is that it is very educative. Medical students will appreciate the history of sepsis and antisepsis. Also, people without a medical background will learn how different diseases surfaced. The book is an eye-opener; I get to know the life-challenging hardship most scientists encounter in their quest for answers.
Therefore, I am rating the book 4 out of 4 stars based on the positive points listed above. Also, this is a well-written book. At some point, it felt like I was reading a memoir of a particular person. But I like how the author clarified it in his postscript by separating the facts from the fictional story. The book is also well edited because I noticed only a few grammatical errors.
The plot and characterization of the book are very relatable. Marko is a true friend. I admire his loyalty as a friend and his pieces of advice, which strengthen Ignác. He never gave up on his friend. Ignác’s crazy thoughts about his superiors were quite hilarious; it reminded me of myself.
Despite how excellent the book was, I did not appreciate the way events ended with Ignác. I guess that’s why it’s a novel crafted out of a true-life story. Other than that, I enjoyed every other thing about the book.
I would recommend this book to lovers of science-related stories. If you desire to learn a bit about medical history, then this book is also for you.
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