Noah Gordon's "The Physician" is one of the finest examples of historical fiction I have ever read. Rich in historical and cultural detail, with fascinating characters, I did not want to put the book down.Rob Cole is apprenticed to a barber-surgeon when his father dies, and travels all over Anglo-Saxon Britain with him. Rob discovers that he has a true passion and gift for healing and wishes to become a physician. There are few well-trained physicians in his homeland, and through one of them he learns of the school in Ispahan, Persia, led by Avicenna (ibn Sina). He decides he wants to attend there.The problem? No gentiles may attend the school. So, he disguises himself as a Jew and is accepted into the student body.Gordon presents fascinating cultural details of three faiths (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) as they existed during the 11th C. CE. Details of daily life are well-researched, and the characters within the pages, both fictional and historical, are well-rounded.Highly recommended for historical fiction fans.