Critical Care A Novel

Richard Dooling




Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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A National Book Award Finalist

Dr. Peter Werner Ernst is an internal medicine resident at a major hospital's intensive care unit. He functions on eight hours of sleep for every three shifts at work. Overseeing the care of eight patients, Dr. Ernst's job is to keep death at bay—at least until the day shift comes on, and any potential death goes on someone else's record.

When Felicia Potter enters the ward to visit her comatose father, Dr. Ernst sees the opportunity to spice up his grim routine with a little romance. What he cannot see is how his relationship with the young attractive model will call into question his integrity, his dedication to his career, and just how far he will go for the sake of his lust.


Praise for Critical Care

"A bitter and disturbing, though often very funny, first novel with a sensibility that Dr. Strangelove fans will recognize."—Beryl Lieff Benderly, The Washington Post Book World

"Dooling demonstrates a fresh talent for storytelling and clean, clever writing . . . His command of the medical and legal professions makes him a writer worth reading."—Collette Bachand-Wood, Boston Sunday Herald

"A scathingly funny black comedy . . . almost impossible to put down."—Harper Barnes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Savage . . . Mr. Dooling's caricatures of self-important or senile doctors are wickedly clever."—The Atlantic Monthly

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Richard Dooling

  • Richard Dooling is the author of White Man's Grave, a 1994 National Book Award finalist, and Blue Streak: Swearing, Free Speech, and Sexual Harassment. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Story. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.