cover image Sutures


Christopher Sandford / Author, Christopher Sanford / Author So

Physician Sanford debuts with a rather callow first-person account of an intern's struggle through his first year at a California hospital. His narrative is distractingly anecdotal, relaying humor, melodrama, the usual graphic descriptions and even a bit of social commentary in a scattershot manner. He moves from one brief incident to the next like a harried doctor making rounds, which restricts him from giving any one scene more than superficial treatment. We vaguely get to know the protagonist, Terry, and his initial love interest, an intern named Winnie, but Terry's assorted friends, lovers and other colleagues are distinguishable only by their social and professional roles. Ironically, Sanford's chief insights concern Winnie's relationships with Terry and with her aging-hippie mother, and once Terry and Winnie break up the narrative loses focus. Sanford's dialogue has the flatness of unedited conversation, and his attempts at comedy often produce unintended silliness. (Jan.)