Veterinary surgeon and New York Times bestselling author Dr. Nick Trout is beloved among readers and is often compared to the late English veterinary surgeon James Herriot, author of the classic memoir All Creatures Great and Small. In an interview with Boston Magazine, Dr. Trout describes his feelings about this comparison:
I grew up reading James Herriot, and was fortunate to meet the man himself when I was a kid and my parents lived in the heart of Herriot country, in the Yorkshire Dales. There will only be one James Herriot and no one else will ever come close. I can only try to bring his stories into the 21st century and, in doing so, try to point out that the humor and the pathos of Herriot's novels, the passion to heal sick animals, the quirky and charming characters, still exists in today's veterinary medicine.
It is clear that Dr. Trout's writing shares Herriot's compassion and sense of humor - not only in Ever By My Side but in his prior works as well:
His first book, Tell Me Where It Hurts (2008) describes what it's like being behind the scenes as a veterinarian at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He explains how innovative technology in the field of medicine - including the invention of the internet - has changed pet care over time, and he evaluates the benefits and costs of such changes. Touching and often comical anecdotes (about pets and their owners) illustrate the realities of and, ultimately, the love that goes in to being a vet.
In his second book, Love Is the Best Medicine (2010), Dr. Trout tells the story of Helen, an abandoned (and stinky) cocker spaniel that is rescued by a loving family. She adapts to and enjoys the doggie high life until it is discovered that she has a tumor, and her odds of surviving are not good. All the while, a 14-month-old miniature pinscher named Cleo repeatedly fractures her bones and is in need of a routine surgery. Unexpectedly, these two stories intersect, and everyone, including Dr. Trout, learns a lesson about hope, healing and the power of connection.
To hear an interview with Dr. Nick Trout, check out NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
This article was originally published in March 2011, and has been updated for the
February 2012 paperback release.
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