The protagonist of Doctor Bloom’s Story by Don Coles (Vintage) is embarrassingly tall, in his mid-50s, Dutch, likes to read good books, and I suspect that he’s handsome in the way that tall Dutchmen are supposed to be handsome. He writes, too, recreationally; he gets the girl in the end and at the same time retains a bit of a crush on someone else (I confess to having a bit of a crush on Dr. Bloom). Perhaps Dr. Bloom’s ability to love and his candid revelations of imperfect past love are what make him so sympathetic and just darned likable. It could be his Dutchness: the Dutch are so fair, so harmless (they prefer bicycles to cars). Don Coles (who also is a well-known poet) sets his protagonist up as a white knight on his way to save the damsel as well as an aging cardiologist can, and while this is no great work of literary fiction, I couldn’t put it down. Dear Dr. Bloom finds himself in a conundrum and he doesn’t extricate himself from it until quite near the end of the novel.