Boudreaux, 169 pgs, Xlibris Corporation, xlibris.com. $29.99 CAN.
“In the smaller community hospitals of this country, Medical Doctors are like feudal lords in the power they wield. Some are absolute dictators,” writes Boudreaux in his tell-all exposé of the medical field. In his self-published novel, Boudreaux presents us with a fictionalized account of his experiences working over two decades in anesthesiology, regaling us with stories from behind the operating room curtain. The book recounts the life of Dr. Jerry Deluna, a greedy, power0hungry chief of anesthesiology in a small hospital in Ashburg, South Carolina. Deluna represents a consortium of the worst characters Boudreaux has met over his career: he’s self-serving, lazy, and ignorant. He drinks on the job, naps in his office, and exploits the system to his advantage, lining his pockets so he can take his much younger wife out fine dining and on lavish trips.
While Greed’s premise sounds salacious, ultimately the book disappoints. Writing is not Boudreaux’s primary profession, and it shows. Explanations of medical terminology or procedures, while at times helpful, are often unnecessary or disrupt narrative flow. Grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and repetition are present to the point of distraction. Crassly written sex scenes and numerous passages detailing the minutiae of what characters eat and drink are cringe-worthy. Moreover, there’s no conflict, character development, or narrative arc here and many pages in this already slim volume feel like filler. Overall, the book would have greatly benefitted from a vigorous round of editing.
That said, there are a few juicy tidbits. Boudreaux offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of anesthesiology, detailing the scandalous affairs, arrogant personalities, and life and death situations that are apparently commonplace in surgical wings—but reader beware: the dreadful writing just might put you to sleep. (Melissa Hergott)