Doctors Lock Horns in Disputed Passage

“Tubby” Forrester is a brilliant anatomist and neurosurgeon with a tongue as sharp as his scapel.   Jack Beaven feels that tongue his first day in medical school.

As much as he dislikes Tubby personally, Jack respects the man’s genius and vows to be a top scientist like Tubby. Jack succeeds so well he becomes Tubby’s assistant.

Later Tubby recommends him for the medical school faculty. They work together, but without any personal relationship. Yet Jack becomes more and more like Tubby.

Tubby has Jack see a case referred by one of his college chums, Bill Cummingham, a GP noted for taking a personal interest in patients — a daft idea to scientists like Tubby and Jack.

Jack falls for the boy’s aunt, an American girl raised in China by Chinese foster parents.

Jack’s romantic interest softens him to Bill’s view of treating patients as people instead of cases and leads, indirectly, to cracks in Tubby’s crust as well.

No one would mistake Disputed Passage for literature, but the plot and characters are far above the pot boiler level. 

And, despite Lloyd C. Douglas’ annoying vague religiosity, the novel kept my interest to the end, something a Douglas novel rarely does.

Disputed Passage
By Lloyd C. Douglas
Houghton Mifflin, 1939
432 pages
1939 bestseller # 6
My Grade: B
© 2009 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

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