“The Physician” Author Noah Gordon Dies at the Age of 95
Noah Gordon was uniquely positioned to enjoy bestselling author status outside of his native United States.
When his best-known work, “The Physician”, was released in 1986, it had sold nearly 10 million copies in 35 countries. Its German translation, “Der Medicus”, has sold six million copies.
Set in the 11th century, the series followed the adventures of orphan Robert Jeremy Cole, from his childhood in England to his life in Europe and his studies at Isfahan Medical School – now in Iran – where he learned from the great doctor Avicenna. It was the first in a trilogy, with subsequent novels “Shaman” (1992) and “Matters of Choice” (1995) also becoming bestsellers.
“Der Medicus” was shot in 2013 in English by German director Philipp Stölzl, and starred British actors Tom Payne and Ben Kingsley, as well as future German actor Elyas M’Barek.
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It was an immediate box office success and even earned its producers a Bogey Award – a German award based on the number of people who see a film in a given time frame – for attracting over 1,000 visitors per screening. the opening weekend, and 1 million visitors in 10 days.
A musical based on the book was also staged in Spain in 2018. Today it is available for viewing on streaming giant Netflix.
Better known outside the home
However, it took more than four years for “The Physician” to hit American shelves. The fact that Gordon is better known outside the United States was also the subject of comments by both the New York Times and the Boston Globe in 1996 and 2015 respectively.
Gordon, who had just celebrated his 95th birthday, was born on November 11, 1926 in Worcester, Massachusetts, on the east coast of the United States, and grew up Jewish. He served in the United States Army near the end of World War II.
He first studied medicine, following his parents’ wishes, but turned to journalism after a semester.
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Among other things, he worked at the Boston Herald newspaper and later became editor-in-chief of Science magazine. He then switched to independent journalism and continued to write scientific articles in addition to novels.
His first book, “The Rabbi,” was published in 1965 and was inspired by his experiences of American Jewish growth. His second book, “The Death Committee”, followed four years later.
He published his last novel, “Le vigneron”, in 2012. The story takes place in Catalonia, Spain, at the end of the 19th century during the Carlist wars.
“Noah’s life and work touched the lives of millions of readers around the world,” his family said in a statement. “His work continues.”
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