What’s The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan all about?:
The second short story in this collection is about an Indian man who loses his job but decides to masquerade as a doctor, even going as far as to open his own clinic and treat patients.
What did I think?:
I gave the first story in this collection The Infamous Bengal Ming five stars when I reviewed it recently so already the second had a lot to live up to. I’m happy to report that it lived up to all of my high expectations, and I’m starting to get really excited about this collection of short stories. Our main characters are a married Indian couple, Gopi and Manju Kumar and we first meet them when Gopi is fired from his job at CompUSA. Instead of going to the unemployment office as his wife advises him to do, Gopi has the brilliant and strange idea to establish himself as a doctor, buying a small office through which he can see patients with his savings, and informing his wife that he was now a television salesman. Gopi produces cards with his information and credentials (Dr. Raju Gopalarajan, MD; Womens Difficulties And All Other Matters), scouring the library for those relevant medical details that he may need to be familiar with and purchasing vital supplies like gauze, rubbing alcohol, and even a small supply of prescription drugs. But surely Gopi cannot keep up this charade for long? His relationship with his wife is suffering and he may be called upon to perform small surgical procedures….this is surely a recipe for disaster?
I cannot believe how much I was affected by this story. As mentioned above, I gave the authors previous story in this collection five stars, and that is also the case for this one. For me personally, it was written beautifully – from the gentle start which explores the relationship between Gopi and Manju, to the tension building climax. Some of the scenes were almost unbearable to read, and I found myself grimacing in disgust, yet being unable to put the book down. I’m definitely not going to spoil the ending, and don’t want to say much more about the plot, but believe me, it is absolutely fantastic, and everything a short story should be. I’m almost afraid to read the third story now after the previous high standard of the last two! There is no doubt in my mind that this is an author to watch, and for others to aspire to.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
NEXT SHORT STORY: Things That Fall From The Sky by Kevin Brockmeier from the collection Things That Fall From The Sky