Richard Gordon’s life was moving rapidly towards middle-aged lethargy – or so he felt. Employed as an assistant in general practice – the medical equivalent of a poor curate – and having been ‘persuaded’ that marriage is as much an obligation for a young doctor as celibacy for a priest, Richard sees the rest of his life stretching before him. Losing his nerve, and desperately in need of an antidote, he instead signs on with the Fathom Steamboat Company. What follows is a hilarious tale of nautical diseases and assorted misadventures at sea. Yet he also becomes embroiled in a mystery – what is in the Captain’s stomach remedy? And more to the point, what on earth happened to the previous doctor?
About the Author
Richard Gordon is best-known for his hilarious 'Doctor' books and the long-running television series they inspired.
Born in 1921, he qualified as a doctor and went on to work as an anaesthetist at the famous St Bartholomew's Hospital, before a spell as a ship's surgeon and then as assistant editor of the British Medical Journal.
In 1952, he left medical practice to take up writing full time and embarked upon the 'Doctor' series. Many of these are based on his experiences in the medical profession and are told with the rye wit and candid humour that have become his hallmark. They have proved enduringly successful and have been adapted into both film and TV.
His 'Great Medical Mysteries' and 'Great Medical Discoveries' concern the stranger aspects of the medical profession, whilst 'The Private Life' series takes a deeper look at individual figures within their specific medical and historical setting.
Clearly an incredibly versatile writer, Gordon will, however, always be best known for his comic tone coupled with remarkable powers of observation inherent in the hilarious 'Doctor' series.
'Mr Gordon is in his way the P G Wodehouse of the general hospitals' - The Daily Telegraph.
'I wish some more solemn novelists had half Mr Gordon's professional skills' - Julian Symonds - Sunday Times