Dear and Glorious Physician Is a Lukewarm Biography

Writing fictional biography is a hazardous occupation.

Authors are expected to stick to account plausiably for all the mistakes,  foibles, and inconsistencies that make the characters interesting, while sticking to historical facts.

Dear and Glorious Physician illustrates just how difficult the task is.

The physican is, of course, Luke, widely believed to have penned the gospel that bears his name and the book of Acts. Taylor Caldwell’s task is to show how a Greek doctor came to know all the history in those books.

Caldwell has Luke raised in the home of a Roman soldier, mentored by a Chaldean physician, taught by Greek philosopher, educated in Egypt. As Luke moves through the Mediterranean world, Caldwell makes each locale’s sights and sounds come alive.

Unfortunately, she is less successful at making Luke himself come alive.

In the picture Caldwell draws, Luke is a  loner who makes friends everywhere he goes. He’s afraid of dogs, but cuddles wild jackels. If that seems plausible to you, you’ll probably accept that is a world-class athlete (judo’s his speciality),   handsome as Apollo ,the confidant of Caesar, and that he can can raise the dead when his brilliant medical skills fail.

Dear and Glorious Physician
is worth reading for the setting and scenery.

Look elsewhere for  entertainment or for better understanding of people.

Dear and Glorious Physician
By Taylor Caldwell
Doubleday, 1959
572  pages
1959  bestseller # 7
My Grade: C+
© 2009 Linda Gorton Aragoni
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Linda Aragoni

I read. I write. I think. I make big ideas simple. I help teachers teach expository writing to teens and adults. In my free time, I read and review old novels.

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