• Twelve Patients

  • Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital
  • By: Eric Manheimer
  • Narrated by: Eric Manheimer
  • Length: 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (432 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the spirit of Oliver Sacks Awakenings and the TV series House, Dr. Eric Manheimer's Twelve Patients is a memoir from the medical director of Bellevue Hospital that uses the plights of 12 very different patients - from dignitaries at the nearby UN, to supermax prisoners from Riker's Island, to illegal immigrants, and Wall Street tycoons - to illustrate larger societal issues.

Manheimer is not only the medical director of the country's oldest public hospital, but he is also a patient. As the audiobook unfolds, he is diagnosed with cancer and is forced to wrestle with the end of his own life - even as he struggles to save the lives of others.

©2012 Eric Manheimer (P)2012 Hachette

What listeners say about Twelve Patients

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Book

Eric Manheimer did an awesome job of not only writing the book but also narrating it. I have been involved in Hospital healthcare for over 30 years and understand his joys and his frustrations.

Eric was able to tell his story and the story of his patients in such a way that it made you feel like you were right there at the bedside with him. When describing patient's conditions and procedures, he did it in a way that the lay person could understand exactly what he was talking about, yet he didn't "dumb it down" so much that the professional was bored. Each patient was a story by itself, which kept the book interesting. Also, by describing his life at Bellevue, he was able to show the decline in Healthcare in the US over the past 30 years without being preachy about it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading non-fiction true life medical stories.

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Nice Listen

Where does Twelve Patients rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is very different to the rest of the ancient historic books that I normally read, but this was very interesting and eye opening to the daily reality of managing a Hospital

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The knowledge and attention to detail

What does Eric Manheimer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice changes when needed, in some other chapters it seem still painful for him to re-live the past.

If you could give Twelve Patients a new subtitle, what would it be?

Life at Bellevue

Any additional comments?

Great to listen, a sad reflection of our society

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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touching stories.

While the stories were insightful, giving you the feeling of actually sensing the characters turmoil, the doctor should have let someone else read the book to us. He sounds flat and for lack of other words, like he is reading out loud in class.
I think I would have enjoyed reading this book instead of listening to it.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Rings so true

Would you listen to Twelve Patients again? Why?

Yes. I am a nurse who deals with patients and events very similar to the ones Manheimer describes. He very effectively captures the difficulties, anguish and satisfaction of being in the medical profession. He also weaves in the societal ills that lead to physical illness.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Manheimer's story is one of the most affecting.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

How did you get to this place.

Any additional comments?

Moving, meaningful and realistic. I am a nurse manager and I plan to buy a copy for each of my 30 nurses.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Allowed me to brush up on my Spanish

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I bought this audible book because of the high reviews. I expected to learn something about medicine/bellevue.Those subjects were somewhat discussed (unbelievably in English) but the rest of the book might as well have been in Spanish because that's all I heard as the author speaks back and forth to his paitents - in my foreign tongue. Nice - but for some reason it drove me CRAZY or LOCA depending on how you look at it. He also explains his and other's Latino culture - IN DETAIL.....until I went completly LOCA and - ELIMINADA DEL LIBRO!!!!!! (for our English readers) means DELETED THE BOOK!!!! This book might be fine and a very good listen for others. It just hit me the wrong way. Sorry

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Eric Manheimer?

i dont know - eric manheimer was dry but did have some care in his voice

Any additional comments?

must have latino background to understand

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Riveting tour of Bellevue from trusted insider

Where does Twelve Patients rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 25%

What was one of the most memorable moments of Twelve Patients?

When Dr. Manheimer learned that he had cancer and was now also a patient.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Overall yes, seem to drag a few times but still riveting.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Stirred my emotions, compassion, fear of being sick, voyeurism, sense of getting real life, privileged information/life stories although names and identities are hidden.

Any additional comments?

Good opportunity to better understand a section of New York Cities daily life, covering all economic and cultural levels. Felt like I was there at Dr. Manheimer's side. I really enjoyed this audio book.

4 people found this helpful

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Couldn't follow this

The narrative is convoluted and I could not follow it. Some of the author's self-revelatory anecdotes were interesting but many of them sounded like a scree from a benzedrine storyteller. I tried to listen all the way through, but had to switch it off for lack of interest.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Narrated in near monotone.

Potentially interesting material delivered in near monotone and reported without the insight or reflective thinking that engages a reader in a meaningful way.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Who let this man read!

Compelling story. Rich insights. Droning voice that imperiled my life as I tried to stay awake behind the wheel.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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The WORST Narration Possible

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It needs a professional reader.

What was most disappointing about Eric Manheimer’s story?

That what could have been interesting stories were made dull and almost incomprehensible by the author's narration.

Would you be willing to try another one of Eric Manheimer’s performances?

No, never!

Did Twelve Patients inspire you to do anything?

Not listen to it again.

Any additional comments?

Please, Audible (and other audiobook producers), convince authors they are not usually the best person to read their own work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anna Young
  • 04-10-19

Love the Book and the TV series

Very funny, sad and all emotions and I read this after watching the TV Serie. Cant wait for the next book

5 people found this helpful

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  • Fullmama
  • 05-15-19

fascinating look at Americas public health

Couldn't put it down. Although it can be dark and depressing given the dyre state of health care and poverty

3 people found this helpful

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  • Flek
  • 11-09-19

Fascinating but depressing

Learned a lot about complexity of cases but the story seems unbalanced, most of the cased about Latinos somehow linked to the author's ties with Mexico. Moral of the story seems to be the difficulties of illegal immigrants in USA. Persevered through it but didn't like the voice of the actor reading it, nor his cadences and speed. For anyone thinking they will be hearing more of the same from the TV show New Amsterdam - don't but it.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-19

Narrators voice not engaging.

Not as engaging as the TV series

The actor who plays Max would have been a better narrator.

I know it was the author but I just didn't find him easy to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for CopperBeardy
  • CopperBeardy
  • 06-13-19

Great read!

Enthralling and a good listen, was performed well and intresting series of events at the hospital. some will make you think about bad life can turn

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • dunabunk
  • 10-27-20

Not bad story, awful narration

I know it is the author narrating the story but there is very little storytelling in the narration. I'm 2 chapters in and the monotone is extremely hard to listen to. I keep stopping and starting again. Not sure if I'll make it through another 11 hours of the book.

Not sure if it's the book or narration but there also doesn't seem to be a clear divide between patients. Several times I've had to rewind and discover that the author is no longer talking about the same person.

If you want to read this book I would definitely recommend getting a kindle copy or a physical copy. Not the audio version.

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  • C
  • 06-28-20

Vivid and engaging

Touching memoirs of a true humanitarian. Dr Eric writes vividly about his experiences and brings his own words to life with engaging narration. Clearly as brilliant a writer as a medical director. I will revisit this book over and over.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 05-14-20

A decent book but a tough listen

Watching the series inspired me to read the book. I’ve been bouncing between the kindle and audible and hugely preferred the book. The story is good but the performance made it a slog to listen too. Very emotionless performance. Great author no so much a narrator

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  • Pookies friend
  • 02-14-20

Interesting and informative but difficult to listen to

The book is full of interesting medical story’s all of which are full of the obvious care and dedication to the author
I struggled to stay listening though due to the constant interpretation of language and repetition of clarification of medical terms.
Sadly the narration is very monotone and often with pauses and accentuation in the wrong places making it a difficult listen, possibly due to the multi lingual discussions through the book.

Sadly disappointed as this left me feeling that listening was a struggle rather than an enjoyment.
The content was really interesting and written with a passion for the patients and the challenging role faced by a doctor who is clearly dedicated to the profession and those around him.
Sadly the presentation made listening to this book a chore- really disappointed.

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  • Judi Potts
  • 11-28-20

Narration awful

It’s unfortunate that the author narrated his own book, it has spoiled what would’ve been a good book. His reading is dull with no inflections in his voice. He made the book boring with his one toned voice.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Robyn McCahon
  • 07-30-20

Fantastic

such an enjoyable listen. A real eye opener into American healthcare. So glad I live in Australia

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chaman Ipalawatta
  • 06-28-21

You look at life and death differently after this

this book got me to look at life differently and think hard about what we take for granted... Must read ...