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Book and Media Reviews
June 16, 2010

Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer

JAMA. 2010;303(23):2417-2418. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.815

Rats—the small rodent kind and the large human kind—figure prominently in Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer. Hordes of rats infest this novel, and they are nearly impossible to exterminate. Georg Letham, the narrator of this sprawling story, is a 40-year-old European physician with self-destructive tendencies and a deep affection for money. Although Letham prides himself on his ability to inspire trust, he is not trustworthy. By the end of the book, the twisted physician rediscovers his humanity and uncovers the epidemiology of yellow fever.

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