The emotionally-charged story of South Eight follows a young doctor’s collision with the demands and contradictions of modern acute care medicine, both its power and failings and the moral questions it ultimately provokes.
For Dr. Abel Arkin, those questions reach back to his time as the spotter on an Army sniper team in Afghanistan, when the clarity of his training and skills converged with the uncertainty of mission outcomes and personal trauma. The old dilemmas and doubts join those of the present when a newly arrived patient tries to blackmail him with the threatened exposure of a wartime catastrophe and simultaneously underlines Arkin’s increasing ambivalence about what he is actually accomplishing for his patients, what may be missing from the life-and-death calculations he makes every day. In pitch-perfect language, Atlas builds suspense not simply around a disturbing medical and professional dilemma, but in troubling questions of individual trust and conviction. Both a literary mystery and love story, South Eight is also a piercing exploration of the reality of modern medicine, one with important insights for doctors and nurses, as well as for the patients they treat. Which is to say, for all of us.
Praise & Reviews
“Larry Atlas’s South Eight perfectly blends suspense and moral dilemma to create a haunting tale that will leave you at the edge of your seat. This is the kind of book that not only entertains, but makes you think—something new to consider about life, death, and modern medicine in every chapter.”
— Maxine Paetro, #1 NYT Bestselling Author
“Larry Atlas’ scintillating new novel, South Eight, is an unflinching display of the nuts and bolts of modern medical practice. Wrapped in intrigue, the most critical moral dilemmas confronting doctors everyday: life, death, and love, are laid bare with the compassionate insight and precision of a veteran practitioner.”
— David Strathairn, Award-winning actor, Good Night, and Good Luck
“South Eight is both gripping and sensitive. We enter the world of doctors and hospitals, of soldiers and the military, with ease and grace. This is a beautifully written novel; it moved me deeply.”
— Andre Bishop, Producing Artistic Director, Lincoln Center Theater