Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctorby Pam Belluck
If you need an emergency appendectomy on Nantucket, the man who will perform it knows how to do so with a scalpel he carved himself. Island life is like that: a little unusual, improvised, independent, and outside the mainstream. And Nantucket's only surgeon, Dr. Timothy Lepore, a libertarian gun collector and roadkill collector with unusual views about the
If you need an emergency appendectomy on Nantucket, the man who will perform it knows how to do so with a scalpel he carved himself. Island life is like that: a little unusual, improvised, independent, and outside the mainstream. And Nantucket's only surgeon, Dr. Timothy Lepore, a libertarian gun collector and roadkill collector with unusual views about the practice of medicine, is as idiosyncratic a character as any of his patients. Still, he's the glue that holds healthcare together on this isolated, historically-celebrated island.
In Island Practice, award-winning New York Times reporter Pam Belluck takes readers deeply into Lepore's world, showing what it is like to practice medicine in a unique yet quintessentially American community, filled with independent-minded pioneers who could give a tinker's cuss or a whale's spit what the rest of the country thinks of them.
“A fun profile of Nantucket's gun-toting, marijuana-prescribing, house-call-making local doc.”People magazine
“Throughout, Belluck's prose is beautiful and lyrical . . . the Lepore she gives us is a fascinating character.”Boston Globe
“Island Practice is a thorough dissection of a man doing his best to stand up to impersonal twenty-first-century medical practices. . . . What's more, the book sketches a complex portrait of Nantucket itselfthe stuff you won't see in Frommer'sthat makes you glad that at least one guy is ready for anything.”Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[I]ntriguing cases handled by Lepore are described in the new book Island Practice, written by Pam Belluck, a New York Times health writer.”msnbc.com
“New York Times writer Pam Belluck . . . clearly knew great material when she found it.”Nantucket Chronicle
“Island Practice gives readers an inside look at the peculiar challenges of health care on the island while reflecting on those that all communities face.”Boston Globe's “White Coat Notes”
“If you were as entranced as I was with John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief, you'll find similar pleasures in Island Practice.”Huntington News
“Much in this book by Pam Belluck comes as a revelation. Some of it is fascinating; some of it is hilarious; and some of it is sad and very troubling. In Island Practice, Belluck has created a remarkable portrait of a physician and the island community to which he remains steadfastly devoted.”from the Foreword by Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and The Last Stand
“Pam Belluck has dissected the antics and heroism of a Nantucket doctor who doubles as the resident wizard. This physician not only makes house calls (even to tree-houses), but also invites patients to drop in at his house for treatment. If you suffer from Nantucket Feveror any other ill while on that islandDr. Tim Lepore is your man.”Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter
“A vibrant, throbbing, and sometimes painful book about life on an island and all the messiness that goes along with helping people through hard times if you're the local doctor. . . . Island Practice is chock full of colorful anecdotes of island life, humor, empathy, color ful and sometimes X-rated medical emergencies, and the mundane that make up the life of a country, or island, doctor.”Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror
“Funny, startling, and sobering by turns.”Columbus Dispatch
“This is a riveting portrait of a dynamic, headstrong physician. Medical nonfiction fans will find much to enjoy. Lepore may remind readers of Dr. Paul Farmer from Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains.”Library Journal
“Thank goodness for writers like Pam Belluck who, in Island Practice, presents Dr. Tim Lepore, a cross between Marcus Welby and Hawkeye Pierce of M*A*S*H fame. . . . Island Practice is a work of evocative imagery and human description. It is readable, captivating, and almost cautionary in its description of what we have lost in today's world of medicine. Author Pam Belluck has integrated medical, personal, and family issues into a fascinating portrait of a remarkable man.”New York Journal of Books
“Through the improbable story of an eccentric and intensely creative Nantucket doctorthe man has operated with flints!Pam Belluck has crafted an elegant and wildly entertaining depiction of the struggle to maintain humanity and empathy in the face of health care 's ongoing industrialization. A natural storyteller with a reporter's eye for detail and a stand-up comic's dry wit, Belluck leaves the reader with an urge to feign illness just to have an excuse to visit her subject. A truly wonderful read.”Warren St. John, author of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer and Outcasts United
“If you want to understand the ‘real' Nantucket, you must read Island Practice. Dr. Tim Lepore personifies the island's fierce, quirky, and independent spirit. This is a book about an extraordinary mana doctor, yes, but also a community hero. His story is as engrossing as the best fiction . . . but it's all true.”Elin Hilderbrand, author of Silver Girl and other novels
“[An] absorbing debut. . . . An intriguing biography of a uniqueand on Nantucket, irreplaceabledoctor.”Kirkus
“Page-turning prose. . . . Inspiring and entertaining, Lepore 's story and his beloved island come to life in Belluck's hands.”Publisher's Weekly
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- 6.58(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
Pam Belluck has been a staff writer for the New York Times for fifteen years, during which she has written about everything from cattle rustling to embryo adoption, and served for more than a decade as a national correspondent leading the paper's Midwest and New England bureaus. She has won several awards, a Knight Fellowship, and is a Fulbright Scholar.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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WOW, what an eye opener. I loved the story this book told. The most important part "to me" was the matter of how the health organizations are working to consolidate every hospital, doctor, nurse under one umbrella to which will be not a "hospital" but an financial organization that works only to control cost and peoples lives to perform like a online factory machine called the "United Health organization of the Country. This to me is no only not in my best interest or the patient and is scary! Other wise a read and enjoyable read. Pam get me another great book to read. Thank you. John d Augusta, Maine
I lived on Nantucket for twenty-three years and was a patient of Dr.Lepore. I felt that the book was very even-handled in describing the many facets of Dr. Lepore. I always felt that his heart was in the right place.