After a long career as a Suffolk GP, Dr Philip Rhys Evans may well be astonished to find himself lined up as a surprise literary hit this winter. But a short book compiled by the now-retired doctor with his wife Christine detailing the funny, bizarre and poignant situations he has encountered over his many years in practice is now a novelty Christmas title attracting glowing reviews . . . The Spectator magazine’s critic, among others, found it “a delight”. “How many books have we seen like this that are very slightly more boring than they should be? This one isn’t,” he wrote.
The doctor’s book is described as “a very personal look at the pleasures and eccentricities of English life from a well-read individual with a keen sense of humour and many decades of observing his fellow men and women in his work”. It focuses on the author’s many interests, including wine, cricket, poetry, Chekhov, PG Wodehouse and “the arcane goings-on of the Church of England”, often sourced from announcements in parish newsletters . . . For his own part, Dr Evans intended the book as a slice of his life as an English country GP, which “exposes one to an extraordinary range of people and situations – always fascinating, sometimes absurd, often sad and poignant”.
We are delighted to see that Philip Rhys Evans’s A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book has been featured in the Observer as a recommended Christmas book, set to fill many stockings this festive period.