Book Reviews: The Children's Hospital, by Chris Adrian

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The Children’s Hospital is a novel written by renowned American author Chris Adrian. In this ambitious and fascinating work, Adrian showed glimpse of children’s writing working side by side with the complex elements of adult fiction. More so, Adrian perfectly blends innocence and the seemingly crooked ways of mankind.

The story starts out in a famous hospital where third year medical student Jemma Claflin was stationed. Beyond the problems and complications of the patients within the hospital, there is a greater dilemma looming outside the hospital’s premises. Shortly, the whole of earth is covered with water seven miles deep with the hospital staying afloat and proves to be the safest place in the planet.

Jemma together with the medical staff of the hospital, its patients and all others that are inside the hospital were now trapped in the floating hospital which amazingly drifting towards the North Pole. Hence, in crafting out such a strong story with a not-so strong sense of conviction, Adrian showed his wide and creative imagination.

Nevertheless, it was quite imaginative to come up with a story similar to the Noah’s Ark without using any pair of animals (except for some cockroaches) or neither an ark. Then again, people are animals, if we are to think based on what we see nowadays. In fact, people are animals, that is with regards to science of course.

The Children’s Hospital is quite different from other apocalypse-themed novels not just because it doesn’t involve a giant meteor that is about the struck the earth (in the case of Armageddon) or catastrophic disasters cause by climate change (in the case of 2012) but because the story portrays a usual situation in an unusual circumstances.

The doctors were as dedicated as anyone could get: Forget the flood outside, forget the apocalypse, we have some sick patients here, some dying, some severely in need of medical attention – bottomline, we are in a hospital.

I don’t know if it’s just me but I like the whole concept of how Adrian showed what’s missing in the previous disaster novels and movies. The Children’s Hospital is just filled with tension-filled moments in tension-filled circumstances while the others that came before it were just full of tension-filled circumstances like; “we’re all gonna die.”

Amazingly, Jemma our medical student turned medical expert discovers that she has the ability to heal.

More so, I believe that it’s complete unnecessary. Nonetheless, it has such deep meaning. Needless to say, all the characters, all the twists and turns, all the events, all of it has a profound meaning deeply entranced in their inner precepts.

What’s so amazing is the fact that Adrian himself does not speak of such meaning and symbolism. It’s left for us readers to salivate upon its existence.

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