The Outbreak of a Monstrous Infection

 

The Outbreak of a Monstrous Infection ISBN: 9781535616027 Book Fuel Copyright and written by Afshan Naheed Hashmi, PhD, C(ASCP), RAC.

The author opens the book with a quote from Donald Trump, then proclaims that “I feel safe and healthy in America. (Thus) This book is dedicated to all Americans and to the Movement: “Make America Great Again.”” Congratulatory statements follow on “this beautiful publication” by Nilima Mehra, Executive Producer and President Global TV Network, “the first Indian American (Executive Producer of GTV, Washington, D.C.) to broadcast her TV productions on a National TV”, and flattering brief description of the contents of the book by (Retired) Ambassador and former India University president, Har Swarup Sing, PhD. A formal dedicatory statement appears followed with a significant number of acknowledgements, a list of the numerous characters in the story. A lengthy introduction explains “My Story – How The Outbreak of a Monstrous Infection Came to Be” and is followed with further discussion “About the Book.” Finally, at Location 233 (of 935 total) or 22% of the total narrative, Chapter One begins the actual tale. The plot centers on a deliberate release of an infectious element known to be highly destructive upon a world-wide collection of notables attending a lavish wedding. The reason seemingly stemming from jealousy. Subsequent tenacious investigation ultimately manages to unravel the complicate means taken by the perpetrators to avoid detection.

Discussion: The story is an admixture of suspense and various aspects of medical science combined with an extravagantly luxurious life style beyond any that easily can be conjured up by the average American reader, even though occasionally being introduced to articles about the extravagancies in which mostly Hollywood residents engage. Admittedly, this reviewer acquired some understanding of the extent to which these luxuriously appointed activities can rise from a slightly extended stay in India a few years ago. Consulting on an allocation of research monies with the Assistant director of the Tata Research Institute in then Bombay, I was introduced to the father of a graduate student of mine in the States. Another of his sons was a rising star in the early developing Bollywood. We were entertained quite lavishly, shown several properties being considered for an extravagant dinner to be held in the following months. One, the Asoka Hotel in New Delhi, reputedly at the time was able to seat 1000 people for a formal dinner. Thus, the immense wealth attributed to the characters in this present novel are not totally beyond belief. However, the existence of such huge numbers being held by so many in the medical profession alone, does raise some measure of credibility. With respect to the verbalization and mechanics in general, a ‘stiffness’ in action and conversation seemed to pervade and material with regard to investigative activity was far too inadequate for this reader as well, no doubt, as for most crime story devotees.

Conclusion: The praise for this author’s first book on business affairs seemingly have been sufficient to establish her as quite a good writer. Perhaps she should continue in this area of endeavor, or if wishing to enter the field of fiction writing, acquainting herself more thoroughly with the area, along with attempting to find a good editor would be most helpful.

2* Regrettably and apologetically to an apparently fine author of non-fiction.

An Incredible Journey

     An Incredible Journey ISBN: 9780990393559 Barringer Publishing copyright and written by Thomas Z. Lajos.

Dr. Lajos’ story of his journey has been divided of necessity and presented in 5 distinct parts. Part I deals with the first 25 years including family background and describes its effects while under Nazi influence followed by dwelling behind the Iron Curtain for years; Part II describes his search for training in surgery, freedom and democracy first in the British Isles then Kingston and Toronto, Canada in the New World. Part III and IV provide details first of the professional years and the author’s training in general surgery followed by that in cardiac and thoracic surgery. Part V consists of several appendices that provide interesting factual material on several incidents, movements, manifestos and important people involved along with fascinating observations on political as well as movements and decisions with respect to total health care. The book also includes a list of figures and captions for the sizable number of pictures included, a Bibliography, and a very sizable Name index.

Discussion: This is perhaps one of the most inclusive biographies this reviewer has read. It also is one that demonstrates the tenacity of purpose of a man subjected to numerous almost insurmountable conditions during one of history’s periods of abominable activity. An era in which two men, Hitler and Stalin, with obviously malignantly degenerative thought patterns were particularly dominant. With respect to the biographer, his ability to recall the names and accompanying incidents associated with the person is most highly commendable. His descriptions of attempting to obtain surgical training as a Resident in so many different training venues quite clearly reveals the problems facing residents when they move from one program to another. Each program invariably is dominated by quite rigid protocols established and monitored by individual physicians usually quite specific in running the program as they see fit. One to two residencies usually are sufficient for most. His tenacity to gain maximum training was exemplary.

Summary: An autobiography about and by a man of fine intellect and all of ‘the right stuff’ to succeed. Truly “An Incredible Journey”.

5* An autobiography demonstrating truly exemplary personal attributes.

The Winter Sisters

The Winter Sisters: A Novel ISBN: 9780984974894 QW Publishers, Copyright and written by Tim Westover.

The story opens with a prologue set in 1811 that introduces the three Winter Sisters – Rebecca, the oldest, Sarah and Effie the youngest. They are ‘healers’, taught by their now deceased mother, well known for their abilities by residents of the nearby town of Lawrenceville and the surrounding area of Georgia. Raised in Hope Hollow in which the mother had settled long before the town existed, they had moved to town, largely because of Rebecca’s association with one of the town’s inhabitants and lived there for some time until driven out by a ‘fire breathing’ minister who had incited the townspeople to riot against these ‘devil’s advocates and witches who produced their cures through potions and other demon-directed methods’. In the resulting action, the man with whom Rebecca related was badly burned and even Effie, the youngest who did appear to have some manner of occult power, could or would not save him (causing something of a rift in her relationship with Rebecca). The sick, if still desperate enough, still followed them when they returned to Hope Hollow, but now were threatened on the journey by a rabid panther that roamed the forest. An animal that the minister insisted was the Devil’s own creation serving the desires of these witches. Because of the new difficulty encountered by the sick and infirm residents, the Mayor persuades Dr. Aubrey Waycross, an urban hospital trained physician to move there. The story gradually unfolds as Waycross arrives with his training of the day that still embraced Galen and Hippocrates. This consisted of using lancets, emetics, enemas and blistering agents, with bloodletting when called for, as well as other treatments obvious to the names of the agents employed. Thus, his practice vies with the herbal and holistic approach as developed to that time because he sees their results effective in many instances. So, simultaneously he attempts to combine the two approaches as he also becomes enamored of Rebecca. During the development of the plot, the characters of each of the three sisters proceed along quite different lines that aid in its development and a number of supporting characters including a travelling medicine man, the minister, and several other town characters, also provide different aspects of the story.

Discussion: The author has set forth a fascinating description of medicine as it existed, and was practiced, in rural (often to a degree urban as well) areas and populations of the era. As such, the tale is well worth reading. Unfortunately, a number of hiccups occur in recounting the tale. Most prominent, from this reader’s perspective, is difficulty attempting to define and empathize with the main characters. Waycross’ activities frequently appear quite thoughtless, even at times ridiculous; Rebecca appears to act in accord with her position in that place and time, but still is rather wraith-like in presenting a persona; Effie is even more of a wraith as she wanders about with her apparent occult power, and her ultimate close relationship with Thumb, a typical medicine man, seemingly unpredictable; Thumb, in turn offers his share of question marks; Sarah is a ‘loose cannon’ wandering around; Other, supporting characters also provide interesting, often amusing additions to the story. The ending, at least for this reader, was abrupt, somewhat inexplicable and unfulfilling.

Summary: A look at the practice of medicine in the 1800’s, perhaps particularly of interest at this time because of the surging interest among patients and even physicians in the holistic approach to treatment.

4* Special interest for current holistic medicine interest; hiccups as noted.

NONDisclosure

NONDISCLOSURE ISBN: 9781733771405 published, copyright and written by Geoffrey M. Cooper.

Brad Parker is a highly successful scientific investigator who, like numerous such individuals are coerced into assuming a position of curtailing his investigative activities to assume a position of department chair at one of the prestigious universities in Boston. His administrative assistant comes to him with a problem of not being able to discover the reason for a $20,000 shortage in their budgetary allotment at the same time his top grant money recipient Mike Singer comes to him reporting an even graver problem. He believes another prominent staff investigator has just raped one of the graduate students working with them. He reports the situation to the dean and the president and one of the members of university’s police force, Karen Richmond, is sent to investigate. She insists that Brad work with her because of his obviously extensive knowledge of the individuals involved. Further details would be a disservice to potential readers. Suffice it to say, that although a fictional tale, the convoluted story gradually evolves to expose an involved set of actions that most readily could be factual. It is a fascinating look at a prominent, long existent problem particularly associated with the student-mentor relationship in the university ‘publish or perish’ milieu that exists in such institutions. Another item examined is the rivalry among investigators.

Discussion: Sub titled “A Medical Thriller”, this book also is a tale of mystery and romance. Its setting is academia. Its theme is modern day research and problems that not infrequently can arise when fertile minds produce important interdisciplinary results. It places a spotlight on universities finally facing the long ignored problem of sexual harassment on all levels, but seemingly more prevalent within the academic sciences where, as described above, a situation exists from which the misuse of authority so readily could arise. It also demonstrates a situation that has grown to ridiculous proportions within the last few years. The almost uncontrollable competitive situation among pharmaceutical houses to spend huge amounts of monies to aid in the discovery of significant results and for the originator to acquire some degree of compensatory gratification. As an individual once immersed in academia, this reader highly recommends this author’s presentation as a thoroughly enjoyable novel based on matters about which he demonstrates an intimate knowledge.

5* Well done novel by knowledgeable author.

Breathe, Sleep, Live, Smile

Breathe, Sleep, Live, Smile ISBN: 9781599329208 Advantage Media Group, copyright and written by Dr. Lynn Lipskis and Dr. Edmund Lipskis.

Sub-titled “Integrative treatment for TMJ, sleep apnea and orthodontics”, this book sets forth the close interrelationship that exists among these elements and others. It opens with statements by two professional mentors who have provided much inspiration for the authors’ accomplishments and is followed by a forward that is reciprocally complimentary. Then an Introduction describes their “Journey for Answers”. Next, ten chapters describe various aspects of the many problems that may be encountered, as well as the treatments they provide for resolution; a Conclusion; facts “About the Authors”; “Our Services” and finally, a list of 35 pertinent references.

Discussion: This is the second book on this subject I have read recently and believe that this increased awareness of a relationship between the oral cavity and the rest of the body is perhaps one of the more significant and necessary advances to have occurred in dentistry in quite a number of years. This volume has been written by two dental professionals – one who had been a long-time sufferer with TMJ pain; the other, a skilled Orthodontist. Together they read and studied endlessly so as eventually to solve not only the personal problem, but to establish a closely knit group with practitioners in numerous disciplines. The reason for such interaction is obvious but seemingly long ignored by most in the dental profession. Specifically, breathing difficulties, or with the TMJ, a pain in the back, even in one’s feet, may result from, or be interrelated with, oral developmental problems, and as the authors describe, even the reverse can be true. The specialty of their office is to perform orthopedic/orthodontic therapy through non-surgical means that will eliminate/repair distortions of the skull arising from functional problems and/or breathing difficulties that are developing or have developed. Their most important initiating step is to perform a complete examination and evaluation of the patient. With these results in hand and with their wide knowledge of the interrelationship between all body parts and functions, they now are ready to proceed OR to refer them to the proper individual for treatment. These may be sleep physicians, orthopedists, endocrinologists, psychologists, podiatrists, and more.

Conclusion: This is a book containing a plethora of interesting material for the layman and nuggets of wisdom for many practitioners of dentistry, as well as medicine and health workers in general. Judicious editing would have removed the slightly annoying amount of repetition in the presentation. However, this seems to be a regrettable trend that is being encountered more frequently both in fiction and non-fiction these days.

5* Highly recommended for laymen as well as health professionals.

The Blueprint for Back Pain

The BLUEPRINT for Back Pain Relief, Non-surgical Solutions ISBN: 9781590249932, Advantage Media Group, copyright and written by Bradford T. Butler, DC.

This little book consists of an introduction explaining why ”There is a Better Way” for treating the huge number of individuals suffering from various forms of back and associated pain. This is followed by nine chapters, a Conclusion and Final Thoughts and 37 Endnotes of pertinent references. Chapter One explains in detail What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You. Two, describes how the “Real Costs” are emotional with such factors as fear, insecurity, anxiety and more actually resulting in more devastating loses than merely those of a monetary nature. Three, provides cogent reasons with respect to whether anticipated treatment is “too late”. Four, provides a much needed and very well-described description of the anatomy of the back so a patient can obtain the required knowledge to aid a care-taker by more specifically describing the position of the pain. Five, the importance of understanding that conventional treatment methods frequently treat only the symptoms and not the problem, It further explains the phases of degeneration and how other structures/functions become involved. Six, the need to set a goal. Seven, discussion of need for application of more than one therapeutic method at a time. Eight, the importance of indulging in physical fitness to stop back pain from even beginning. Nine, a particularly well done chapter on providing a template for the patient to employ when attempting to find the right care provider.

Discussion: The author has set forth for the layman perhaps one of the most easily read informational books on back pain this reviewer has seen. It describes the anatomy, how changes cause effects, and sets forth a totally rational treatment procedure. He further quite specifically describes much of the problem with conventional medical therapy that has descended to a quite low level where the patient’s health is secondary. Today, hospital/pharmaceutical/medical complexes, administered by individuals who have minimal or no knowledge of medicine or the human body and, aided and abetted by the government, are the health providers for most of the service. Often, initial examination/care even is provided specifically by non- medical personnel. The complex’s mantra is to treat as many bodies, as possible and make sure the bottom line is large. Don’t worry about individuals, or the origin of their symptoms. Just get a large number of bodies in and out as quickly as possible.

5* Easily understandable by all.