The Good Doctor

Author(s): Damon Galgut


A powerful, taut and intense tale of a friendship overshadowed by betrayal, set against the tawdry hopes and disappointments of a post-apartheid South Africa.

When Laurence Waters arrives at his new post at a deserted rural hospital, staff physician Frank Eloff is instantly suspicious. Laurence is everything Frank is not-young, optimistic, and full of big ideas. The whole town is beset with new arrivals and the return of old faces. Frank reestablishes a liaison with a woman, one that will have unexpected consequences. A self-made dictator from apartheid days is rumored to be active in cross-border smuggling, and a group of soldiers has moved in to track him, led by a man from Frank's own dark past. Laurence sees only possibilities - but in a world where the past is demanding restitution from the present, his ill-starred idealism cannot last.


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Galgut's prose, its gentle rhythms and straightforward sentences edging toward revelation, is utterly seductive and suspenseful.... Galgut is a master of psychological tension.... Tragic and brilliant...." Globe and Mail

"Damon Galgut has written a lovely, lethal, disturbing novel." The Guardian (U.K.)

"Exquisite.... It is a testament to Galgut's skill that this mostly quiet novel can leave such a lasting sense of urgency. And shame. That, after all, is what great fiction is meant to do." Denver Post

"Possesses the economy and pace of Hemingway and the lyrical grace of Graham Greene...." Booklist

"A truly remarkable novel, steeped in contemporary history, yet at the same time transcending it. I was enthralled by its intensity and the immediacy of every small twist and turn of the story." Andre Brink

"A tremendous brave book. The author never flinches, and makes his hero's dark logic compelling and hair-rising. . . . Galgut writes like a man on a long fast night drive through bad places.... It's brilliant." Dermot Healy

"From the first page the reader is gripped by a rare twinning of convictions: that it is strange and new, and that the imaginative rendering is of the highest quality.... There are traces of J. M. Coetzee and Graham Greene but Damon Galgut is a true original." Geoff Dyer

"If there is a posterity, The Good Doctor will be seen as one of the great literary triumphs of South Africa's transition, a novel that is in every way the equal of J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace... [Galgut is] a novelist of great and growing power." Rian Malan

Damon Galgut was born in Pretoria in 1963 and lives in Cape Town. He wrote his first novel, A Sinless Season, when he was seventeen. His other books include Small Circle of Beings, The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs, The Quarry and The Impostor.

The Good Doctor won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and was shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Dublin/IMPAC Award.

His latest novel, In a Strange Room is shortlisted for the Man Booker prize 2010.

General Fields

  • : 9780857891723
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : Atlantic Books
  • : April 2011
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : June 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Damon Galgut
  • : Paperback
  • : New Cover
  • : 823.92
  • : 216