The Spirit of the Place (Paperback)

The Rewards Program that Pays for Itself
  • EARN 5 to 40%
    Earn 5% in Club O Rewards on every order & up to 40% on select items.
  • FREE SHIPPING Every Order, Every Day*
    No matter how big or small, your order always ships for free.
    Dedicated customer service and early access to exclusive deals.
    Club O pays for itself, or we make up the difference
Today: $14.40
High Sellout Risk
ITEM# 14100248
  • Delivery Estimate

    Select a Product Option to view shipping

    • Product Alerts

      Stay in the know! Choose which alerts you’d like to receive on this product.

    The Spirit of the Place (Paperback)
    • Wishlists
    • Save for Later

    Notorious for its Rabelaisian comedy, and celebrated for its humanism, Samuel Shem’s The House of God was hailed as “troubling and hilarious…brutally honest” (The New York Times), a “Catch-22 with stethoscopes” (Cosmopolita...


    ITEM#: 14100248

    Samuel Shem is a doctor, novelist, playwright and activist. A Rhodes Scholar, he was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for three decades. Shem has been described in the press as “easily the finest and most important writer ever on to focus on the lives of doctors and the world of medicine,” and it has been said that “he brings mercy to the practice of medicine.” The Lancet called his first book, The House of God, “one of the two most significant medical novels of the twentieth century.” Its sequel, Mount Misery, is about training to be a psychiatrist; Fine is about a psychoanalyst.
    His 2008 novel, The Spirit of the Place, about a primary care doctor in a small town, was reviewed as “The perfect bookend to The House of God.” It won the 2008 Best Book Award in General Fiction and Literature from USA Book News and the Independent Publishers National Book Award in Literary Fiction in 2009.
    With his wife, Janet Surrey, he wrote the Off-Broadway hit play Bill W. and Dr. Bob, about the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, which won the Performing Arts Award of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in 2007, and the nonfiction book We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues Between Women and Men, winner of the 1999 Boston Interfaith Council’s Paradigm Shift Award. He has given over fifty commencement speeches on “How to Stay Human in Medicine.”
    Notorious for its Rabelaisian comedy, and celebrated for its humanism, Samuel Shem’s The House of God was hailed as “troubling and hilarious…brutally honest” (The New York Times), a “Catch-22 with stethoscopes” (Cosmopolitan). Now in his most ambitious novel yet, Shem returns to dissect the complicated relationships between mothers and sons, ghosts and bullies, doctors and patients, the past and the present, and love and death. Settled into a relationship with an Italian yoga instructor and working in Europe, Dr. Orville Rose's peace is shaken by his mother's death.

    On his return to Columbia, a Hudson River town of quirky people and “plagued by breakage,” he learns that his mother has willed him a large sum of money, her 1981 Chrysler, and her Victorian house in the center of town. There's one odd catch: he must live in her house for one year and thirteen days. As he struggles with his decision—to stay and meet the terms of the will or return to his life in Italy—Orville reconnects with family, reunites with former friends, and comes to terms with old rivals and bitter memories. In the process he’ll discover his own history, as well as his mother’s, and finally learn what it really means to be a healer, and to be healed.


    ISBN 9780425258781
    Genre FICTION / Medical
    Format Paperback
    Pages 402
    Publisher Date 2012-12-04 00:00:00.0
    Publisher Berkley Pub Group
    Copyright Year 2012
    Height 8.25 in
    Wdth 5.5 in
    Thickness 1.0 in
    Unit weight 0.72 lb
    Language English
    Edition Detail Reprint
    Audience General/trade
    Authors Shem, Samuel

    Product Reviews

    Questions & Answers

    Yay! Be the first to ask a question about this product.
    Get your product questions answered right here.

    Shopping Tips & Inspiration

    Shipping & Returns


    This item will be delivered to you via USPS Trackable Media Mail or UPS Mail Innovations and will take from 2 days to 3 weeks from the time the item leaves our warehouse. *

    Standard Return Policy:

    Items must be returned in new or unused condition and contain all original materials included with the shipment. More Details

    FINAL SALE EXCLUSION: Items marked as FINAL SALE are not returnable unless the problem you experience is the result of our error.

    * For your protection, all orders are screened for security purposes. If your order is selected for review, our Loss Prevention Team may contact you by phone or email. There may be a two business day delay to process your order.

    ** Most Oversize orders are delivered within 1-4 weeks. Some orders may take 6 weeks to be delivered.