Magnificent Obsession Is Not Even Memorable

 Old Medical Books


Magnificent Obsession
is one of Lloyd C. Douglas’s string of forgettable novels about the psychological benefits of practicing New Testament principles.

If you read White Banners or Green Light, you’ll find this novel familiar. Only the names have been changed to protect the author’s royalties.

In this novel, a neurosurgeon learns that if he does good deeds in secret, he is rewarded financially. He records his philanthropic experiences of not letting his right hand know what his left hand is doing (very tough for a surgeon) in secret code in a diary.

After Hudson’s death, the wealthy young n’er-do-well who deciphers the code is inspired to replace Hudson. In two pages, Bobby Merrick goes from ready-to-flunk med school to head of the Hudson Clinic.

Bobby not only becomes as good a doctor as his hero, he saves the doctor’s beloved daughter from a life of dissipation. He also wins the hero’s widow.

Douglas mashes romance and religion into a soggy pulp. Fortunately, the plot is so contrived and the characters so predictable that you’ll forget the book within an hour of finishing reading it.

Magnificent Obsession
Lloyd C. Douglas
Peoples Book Club, 1929
330 pages
1932 Bestseller #8
My Grade: C-

Photo credit: “Old Medical Books”  uploaded by aerogurl  http://www.sxc.hu/photo/122275

© 2012 Linda Gorton Aragoni
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