Radcliffe Publishing Ltd: Oxford, ISBN 1-85775-654-1, 2005, 136 pp, £21.95
It is just typical that I was reading this series of essays,when I might have been just ‘too hot’ but was actually just perfect, holidaying in the tropics this winter.
It is just typical that I was reading this series of essays, when I might have been just ‘too hot’ but was actually just perfect, holidaying in the tropics this winter. I usually read something light-hearted on holiday but I was pleased that I left Bill Bryson at home and turned to this book.
Neighbour, in I’m too Hot Now has an easy anarchic self-deprecating style which while razor-sharp is full of warmth and humour. It is a book which made me think but could also make me laugh aloud. The reason, I think, is that Neighbour is not afraid to reveal something of himself in his essays whether he is talking about ‘blue-bottomed sheep’ or Schubert lieder, whether he speaks as himself or one of his alter egos, his great great aunt Laetitia or the Radcliffe armchair professor in clinical philosophy. There is at times almost a controlled ‘stream of consciousness’ on such an array of subjects that it is challenging and amusing at the same time. This is medical writing interspersed with reflections on such diverse subjects as history, philo-sophy, science and the arts.
Many of these pieces were written for the back pages of the British Journal of General Practice or for the Green Journal (now Education for Primary Care) and reveal a little of Neighbour’s taste for books, food, music, life and pretty much anything that you might think of, or might not for that matter.
Neighbour has rightly acquired something of a cult status amongst general practitioners and GP registrars in this country, most notably as the author of the Inner Apprentice, a book that is extensively quoted (and misquoted). For those who enjoy good writing, a good read and like a challenge to convention and pomposity in all its guises, this compilation of writings will not disappoint.
Professor A Niroshan Siriwardena
School of Health and Social Care,
University of Lincoln
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