book cover of The Contract Surgeon

The Contract Surgeon

(1999)
A novel by

 
 
Set in the Great Plains during the bloodiest period in its history, The Contract Surgeon is a tale of bravery, medical daring, justice and love.

Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy, or Mac, is the young contract surgeon, pulled West from a prestigious medical career to be a surgeon for the U.S. Army in what would become known as the Great Sioux War of 1876.

Crazy Horse is the legendary Sioux leader, the most feared of the Sioux war chiefs. His dedication to his people forces him - after years of war and famine - to surrender to the U.S. Army. One, a man of science. The other, a mystic. Their unlikely friendship defied their peoples' war.

Mac is among the men who ride out with the column to accept the chief's surrender and is shocked to find that he recognizes the chief. They had met four years earlier in far different circumstances, each unaware of who the other was.

Their friendship develops after the surrender, goes far deeper than either might have guessed. When rumors soar that Crazy Horse is plotting revenge against the army, he is arrested; and in a bungled attempt to contain him, the chief is stabbed. McGillycuddy declares him his patient. The army wants Crazy Horse to live - in death he will become an indestructible symbol of rebellion.

In The Contract Surgeon, friendship is stronger than the law and the love of one friend for another is more binding than the Hippocratic oath. Beautifully written, set in the stunning North Dakota badlands, the novel documents the total destruction of a way of life while confirming the invincibility of the human spirit. Its tapestry of time and events is masterfully woven into the account of a single day - the last day in the life of the great war chief Crazy Horse - to reveal the secrets that created history.

Genre: Western

Praise for this book

"There is an aura that ghosts of the Sioux made him write this book, [which] should bring O'Brien to the wide audience he deserves." - Jim Harrison


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Used availability for Dan O'Brien's The Contract Surgeon

Hardback Editions

January 2006 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Contract Surgeon
Author(s): Dan O'Brien
ISBN: 1-58547-703-6 / 978-1-58547-703-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Center Point
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Contract Surgeon
Author(s): Dan O'Brien
ISBN: 1-55821-932-3 / 978-1-55821-932-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

March 2011 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Contract Surgeon: A Novel
Author(s): Dan O'Brien
ISBN: 0-8032-3587-9 / 978-0-8032-3587-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Bison Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


May 2001 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Contract Surgeon
Author(s): Dan O'Brien
ISBN: 0-618-08783-4 / 978-0-618-08783-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mariner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU