Download Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor Audiobook

Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor Audiobook, by Pam Belluck Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Pam Belluck Narrator: Joe Barrett Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9781481593809
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (177 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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If you need an appendectomy, he can do it with a stone scalpel he fashioned himself. If you have a condition nobody can diagnose—“creeping eruption” perhaps—he can identify what it is and treat it. A baby with hair tourniquet syndrome, a human leg that’s washed ashore, a horse with Lyme disease, a narcoleptic falling face-first in the street, a hermit living underground—hardly anything is off-limits for Dr. Timothy J. Lepore.

This is the spirited, true story of a colorful, contrarian doctor on the world-famous island of Nantucket. Thirty miles out to sea, in a strikingly offbeat place known for wealthy summer people but also home to independent-minded, idiosyncratic year-rounders, Lepore holds the life of the island, often quite literally, in his hands. He’s surgeon, medical examiner, football team doctor, tick expert, unofficial psychologist, accidental homicide detective, and occasional veterinarian. When crisis strikes, he’s deeply involved.

Lepore has treated Jimmy Buffett, Chris Matthews, and various Kennedys, but he makes house calls for anyone and lets people pay him nothing—or anything: oatmeal-raisin cookies, a weather-beaten .44 Magnum, a picture of a Nepalese shaman.

Lepore can be controversial and contradictory, espousing conservative views while performing abortions and giving patients marijuana cookies. He has unusual hobbies: he’s a gun fanatic, roadkill collector, and concocter of pastimes like knitting dog-hair sweaters.

Ultimately, Island Practice is about a doctor utterly essential to a community at a time when medicine is increasingly money driven and impersonal. Can he remain a maverick even as a health-care chain subsumes his hospital? Every community has—or, some would say, needs—a Doctor Lepore, and his island’s drive to retain individuality in a cookie-cutter world is echoed across the country.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “If you want to understand the ‘real’ Nantucket, you must read Island Practice. Dr. Tim Lepore personifies the island’s fierce, quirky, and independent spirit. This is a book about an extraordinary man—a doctor, yes, but also a community hero. His story is as engrossing as the best fiction…but it’s all true.”

    Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author of The Island

  • “Pam Belluck has dissected the antics and heroism of a Nantucket doctor who doubles as the resident wizard. This physician not only makes house calls (even to tree houses) but also invites patients to drop in at his house for treatment. If you suffer from Nantucket Fever—or any other ill while on that island—Dr. Tim Lepore is your man.”

    Dava Sobel, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Outstanding imagery and character description. Readable, interesting, and almost cautionary in its description of what we have lost in today’s world of medicine…Thank goodness for writers like Pam Belluck who, in Island Practice, presents Dr. Tim Lepore, a cross between Marcus Welby and Hawkeye Pierce of M*A*S*H fame.”

    New York Journal of Books

  • “Belluck’s prose is beautiful and lyrical…The Lepore she gives us is a fascinating character.”

    Boston Globe

  • “A careful, eminently readable character study of a fascinating, difficult man whose curiosity and compassion are far too rare in the practice of modern medicine.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A fun profile of Nantucket’s gun-toting, marijuana-prescribing, house-call-making local doc.”


  • “Through the improbable story of an eccentric and intensely creative Nantucket doctor—the man has operated with flints!—Pam Belluck has crafted an elegant and wildly entertaining depiction of the struggle to maintain humanity and empathy in the face of health care’s ongoing industrialization. A natural storyteller with a reporter’s eye for detail and a stand-up comic’s dry wit, Belluck leaves the reader with an urge to feign illness just to have an excuse to visit her subject. A truly wonderful read.”

    Warren St. John, bestselling author of Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer

  • “A vibrant, throbbing, and sometimes painful book about life on an is­land and all the messiness that goes along with helping people through hard times if you’re the local doctor…Island Practice is chock-full of col­orful anecdotes of island life, humor, empathy, colorful and sometimes X-rated medical emer­gencies, and the mundane that make up the life of a country, or is­land, doctor.”

    Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror

  • “If you were as entranced as I was with John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, you’ll find similar pleasures in Island Practice.”

    Huntington News

  • “Funny, startling, and sobering by turns.”

    Commercial Dispatch

  • “Page-turning prose…Inspiring and entertaining, Lepore’s story and his beloved island come to life in Belluck’s hands.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This is a riveting portrait of a dynamic, headstrong physician. Medical nonfiction fans will find much to enjoy. Lepore may remind readers of Dr. Paul Farmer from Tracy Kidder’s Mountains beyond Mountains.”

    Library Journal

  • “[An] absorbing debut…An intriguing biography of a unique—and on Nantucket, irreplaceable—doctor.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen | 2/19/2014

    " A surprisingly good, inspiring and wonderful read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 teal | 2/9/2014

    " Touching look at a real Nantucket Character....who happens to be a surgeon and a whole lot more. Gets to the heart of what Nantucket is really about.....and it is not all million dollar homes and biliionares "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 E | 1/29/2014

    " I do love a small town doctor memoir. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dee | 1/20/2014

    " His story seems better suited to a featured article/profile than a full length book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nat | 1/13/2014

    " Well-researched and well-written. But it leaves you with the feeling that Nantucket is not a nice place to live. My memories of two years on the island are very different form those expressed in this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Piepie | 1/12/2014

    " A nice taste of life on an island as seen through the practice of Nantucket's primary surgeon & general practitioner. Dr. Lepore is an interesting man. Personally, I wish he was my doctor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 1/6/2014

    " Not just about the indefatigable doctor, the book is also about the Island of Nantucket. Happy I had once visited; made it easier to picture the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 12/4/2013

    " What an interesting and well-written book. Dr. Lepore is a unique person, so stays focused and independent for the welfare of his patients. He has a few quirks. Pam Belluck is a very good writer. Will look at the NYTimes for more written by her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nora | 11/16/2013

    " This was a great book about a fascinating doctor and his practice. It's a light fun read that is about the real people who live on Nantucket year round. After reading so much Elin Hildebrand, it's an interesting contrast. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pcox | 5/17/2013

    " I enjoy a successful unconventional hero. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leeann | 4/18/2013

    " This was a facinating biography of an island doctor and Nantucket. I learned about ticks and their diseases and about the lives of those that live on Nantucket. It was hard to read before bed because I wanted to stay up and read one more chapter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cherie | 3/12/2013

    " You will never think about tics in the same way again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 CJ | 3/8/2013

    " The character was truly interesting and the writing drew you in, but the organization was lacking. In dire need of better editing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alaine | 2/7/2013

    " very enjoyable nonfiction read about a doctor practicing medicine on Nantuckat Island, enjoyed the characters, the setting "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/4/2013

    " Great book..amazing character! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/24/2013

    " This doctor is weird, but is going all out for his patients-anyone who needs him regardless of ability to pay. I wish their were more like him! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/20/2013

    " As a new Nantucketer, it was fun to play the "find mentions of Brian's uncle" game! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 11/23/2012

    " Sam and I have worked with this doc on Nantucket for >20 years. He's a great and really unique guy. The book is a good read, and an accurate portrayal. He really does have a jackalope drinking beer in his waiting room! "

About the Author

Pam Belluck has been a staff writer for the New York Times for more than fifteen years, during which time she has written about everything from cattle rustling to embryo adoption and reported from places as diverse as Medellín, Colombia, and Seongnam, South Korea. She served for more than a decade as national bureau chief, covering some of the biggest stories for the paper and is currently a health and medical writer. She has won several awards, a Knight Fellowship, and a Fulbright Scholarship.

About the Narrator

Joe Barrett, an actor and Audie Award and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has appeared both on and off Broadway as well as in hundreds of radio and television commercials.