Today in “The Afterword,” the National Post’s book section, Adam Gopnik prepares to deliver the Massey Lectures; Philip Marchand looks at Human Happiness, by Brian Fawcett and several other reviews, including January Magazine editor Linda L. Richards’ look at The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla:
When approaching Kalla’s writing, it’s important to remember he was an emergency-room physician long before he became an author. As a doctor, he doesn’t need to be a fantastic stylist. He isn’t expected to dazzle with his bedside manner or win needlework prizes for his stitchery. While he needs to be good, he doesn’t have to show off. In his six previous novels, Kalla has written with competence, though not always with elegance. His half-dozen novels, including his 2004 bestselling debut, Pandemic, have all focused on contemporary medical issues with the urgent pacing and life and death meanderings of the modern thriller. The Far Side of the Sky is a different animal.