Gabriel's Odyssey

Albert Moore, Author
Albert Moore, Author Poolbeg Press $15.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-85371-081-0
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
In this semiautobiographical novel, Moore, an English physician, straightforwardly chronicles the experiences of a young doctor named Gabriel who leaves Dublin to practice medicine in England but yearns to go to Africa. He departs at last, paying his passage by treating passengers aboard a cruise ship. Gabriel discovers that he feels more at home in Africa than he did in Europe, though he is overcome by the massive problems he finds. Working in small village hospitals near Mwanza and Tanganyika, Gabriel confronts leprosy and other diseases. He also learns about the ways of the people in that part of the world--such as their stoicism in the face of death--and the ``insurmountable barriers'' that separate him from them. With candor and humor, Moore describes Gabriel's medical trials in England and at sea; some are repulsively funny, such as Gabriel's struggle to restore a runaway intestine to a patient's abdominal cavity. Unfortunately, the most colorful scenes and dialogue don't appear until the latter half of the book, and Moore wastes too much time on Gabriel's uneventful childhood before getting to the heart of the story. (Aug.)
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