Failed by random!


Alas, today’s random book is nowhere near as interesting as it ought to be, given the subject.

It’s the prose. Sorry to say; prose which in its every plodding sentence, every heavily turned phrase, every  flat metaphor, successfully communicates only the purest essence of BLAH.

It lacks even the crisp clarity of simplicity.

And it’s a shame, because this woman’s life seems like it deserves better treatment!

Pat wanted to begin his career as a country doctor. His plan was that they should settle in Canadaigua, a small community about twenty miles from Buffalo, where they would put down their roots and start raising their family while Pat served his internship. Kate would remain at home.

“But what about my internship?” Kate asked in bewilderment.

“Oh, you’ll have plenty to do at home,” Pat replied. “One doctor in the family is enough. You can help me when I begin to practice. Or you could take a temporary job doing desk work in a doctor’s office or a laboratory to help out until the children start coming.”

Katie stared at him. Surely he could not mean that she was to give up her own career, abandon her dreams of becoming a doctor in her own right, and merely become a country housewife or an office assistant, after her years of study and her lifelong passion to practice medicine?

But that is exactly what Pat did mean. What kind of a home could she make for him if she had to attend to her own practice? Wouldn’t it be enough for her to help him become successful, and look after his comfort, and bear his children? If she loved him, that should be her chief concern.

Doctor Kate, Angel on Snowshoes, the story of Kate Pellham Newcomb, MD, by Adele Comandini, Rinehart & Company Inc, 1956.

I almost feel that this was written at a prose level intended for children — but it’s a big fat book.

Am I wrong? Or is this just an early example of “invisible prose?”

"Of his liveliness, Chief Dacoteau said, 'Him not born.  Him spawned by muskies in lake waters.'"

Did Native Americans ever actually speak this way or was it only in the movies?:

Either way, hard going.

2 Responses to “Failed by random!”

  • spacecat Says:

    Paid by the word? An unintended consequence…

  • Lindig Says:

    There’s a museum in Woodruff WI that was her medical office (seems her husband got ill and so they moved to WI). She also appeared on a 1954 episode of “This is Your Life” because she built a hospital there as a result of her “Million Pennies” drive. Seems that Comandini is a considered a primary source because she’d actually met Newcomb but if that’s a sample of her writing, she’d have been better off with a ghostwriter.