Dr Theodore Dalrymple is a very witty man, averse to committees, legal jargon, social workers, prisoners, and tattoos. To earn his living he meters out advice and prescriptions in inner-city London to Britain’s uneducated and tattooed underclass, of which he has a healthy disdain for. This blackly humorous book could be viewed by some as depressing, but in my opinion it shouldn’t be read in public because it could cause sudden outbursts of laughter, the kind that makes you the unwelcome object of attention on a train for instance.
This doctor is rather world-weary. He’s seen it all and nothing surprises him. Here’s a little taster from Amazon:
“One day a man came to consult me.
He was extremely large – what failed dieters call ‘big-boned’ – and very fat. He lost no time in telling me he was diabetic.
‘Do you smoke?’ I asked.
‘Like a chimney,’ he replied.
He was completely unrepentant, so refreshingly different from all those snivelling wheedlers with hangdog expressions who give you a long story about how they nearly gave up but then their budgerigar died. I got the picture at once.
‘And of course, you drink like a fish,’ I said.
‘Like a fish,’ he replied.
‘Dieting is out of the question?’ I continued, with mounting admiration.
‘Completely, I love butter and cream, and meat with fat on it, and rich sauces.’
‘Well,’ I said, ‘I’m sure you know the risks better than I, so I’m not going to lecture you. But if you invite me to dinner, I shall come.’
5 stars from me, and thoroughly recommended for those who enjoy darkly humorous books. These stories are true too, which in my opinion makes it even better!