Frank G(ill) Slaughter Margaret Wallace - Essay

Margaret Wallace

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

["Air Surgeon"] is hardly a book to give to a friend in the hospital. Dr. Frank G. Slaughter is not only one of the best of the medical novelists now at work, he is incomparably the most graphic and detailed. When you have watched an operation over Dr. Slaughter's shoulder you have seen more of its essential technique and grasped more of its significance than you would be likely to get from the first row in the amphitheatre.

Accordingly "Air Surgeon" is not for the excessively tender-minded. The reader who likes to know what goes on behind the scenes in medicine—and judging by the popularity of books by the about doctors he must exist in thousands—should be urged not to miss it….

"Air Surgeon" has plenty of plot. Most of it is rather melodramatic in hue and could be translated to the screen with a minimum of effort on the part of the scenarists….

The novel offers some lively scenes of life in an Army camp and in the mushroom trailers and taverns of Boomtown, the unsavory community grown up on its fringes. But the real meat of "Air Surgeon" is the story of up-to-the-minute flight surgery. Frank G. Slaughter is the old master of this kind of description with none of his rivals even close.

Margaret Wallace, "Doctor's Dilemma," in The New York Times Book Review (copyright © 1943 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), July 11, 1943, p. 8.