Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Deadly Dinner Party by Dr Jonathan A. Edlow

Edlow, Jonathan A. - The Deadly Dinner Party Picking up where Berton Roueché’s The Medical Detectives left off, The Deadly Dinner Party presents fifteen edge-of-your-seat, real-life medical detective stories written by a practicing physician. Award-winning author Jonathan Edlow, M.D., shows the doctor as detective and the epidemiologist as elite sleuth in stories that are as gripping as the best thrillers.

In these stories a notorious stomach bug turns a suburban dinner party into a disaster that almost claims its host; a diminutive woman routinely eats more than her football-playing boyfriend but continually loses weight; a young executive is diagnosed with lung cancer, yet the tumors seem to wax and wane inexplicably. Written for the lay person who wishes to better grasp how doctors decipher the myriad clues and puzzling symptoms they often encounter, each story presents a very different case where doctors must work to find the accurate diagnosis before it is too late. Edlow uses his unique ability to relate complex medical concepts in a writing style that is clear, engaging and easily understandable. The resulting stories both entertain us and teach us much about medicine, its history and the subtle interactions among pathogens, humans, and the environment.

I found this in the library by chance. I like a scientific/medical mystery book of this kind, so I brought it home.

While the case studies were interesting, the writing did, on the whole, let the book down. The author had a tendency to outline the problems, hint or explain the issue quickly and then diverge into a history lesson about the bacterium/condition/additive/whatever in question before finally finishing up conclusion of the case study and final outcome.

For me, it just flattened everything, and the mystery and resolution thereof got seriously bogged down in everything else. It's not that I don't want to know the history of the condition, but the way it was done in this book didn't work for me.

The information was interesting, but it wasn't exactly a stimulating read. Not bad, but certainly not amazing either. But a short read and a nice break from the epic fantasy I've been reading lately.

The Deadly Dinner Party
Dr Jonathan A. Edlow
Read: 15-7-10 to 16-7-10

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