Friday, January 1, 2016

Book Club / Diverse Books: The Remedy

The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis by Thomas Goetz--well, the title pretty much says it. This book is about tuberculosis and how Robert Koch specifically contributed to the search for a cure and the medical field in general.

(picture taken from Goodreads)

First Impression: This is really interesting! Maybe it's because I spent two-thirds of my life mocking science with my disregard, but books and articles with a scientific basis have fascinated me a lot in the last few years. There's a lot of information to absorb in this book so far. Goetz knows how to pick a historical topic of interest, and I'm intrigued. At the same time, there are a lot of pages of background information that lose me a bit. It puts everything into context, but it also makes the book move pretty slowly. Heavy on historical facts.

Conclusion: I liked The Remedy, but it wasn't what I expected from the title. After I read most of this book but before I read the Acknowledgements, I just kept thinking about how it reminded me more of an article in a scholastic journal than a book. Then I read the Acknowledgements, and it made more sense. Goetz's inspiration for the book was, in fact, a scholarly article. And while the information was all interesting, I think this was the reason for my issues with his format. He approached the story on a smaller scale and kept circling back to cover different details. Arthur Conan Doyle's part of the book is really very small in the sense of how much he contributes to the search for a tuberculosis cure. I did learn some more about his life as a doctor before he started to focus more on writing, so that was interesting. Overall, I liked elements of the storyline, and I learned quite a bit, so this book was alright but not fantastic. Good information, okay composition.

The Remedy was my July read for the "Time" portion of the 2015 We Read Diverse Books Challenge.

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