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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Complete Blood, Sweat and Tea
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2011
This is the book that the BBC's excellent "Sirens" series is based on. However, it's a re-issue of "Blood Sweat and Tea", so if you have that, you're not going to get anything new buying this. It also isn't book of the programme, so if you've watched Sirens, then read the book for another perspective.

The book itself is excellent. It is basically some re-edited blog posts, but isn't disjointed like some blog-to-book efforts. The writing is clear and straightforward, and it catapults you straight in to the world of Tom Reynolds and his patients. I recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2011
As a former NHS professional and teacher working in child and adolescent psychiatry, I frequently crossed paths with the police and ambulance service. Having read this book, my support and admiration for these wonderful men and women has increased even further.
I laughed out loud, had several lumps in my throat and was even reduced to tears on occasion. This is an excellent behind the scenes peek at what paramedics encounter on a day to day basis. An extremely interesting and highly enjoyable read. If you enjoy true life accounts of what it is like to be a member of the Uk's emergency services, I would strongly recommendPolice, Crime & 999: The True Story of a Front Line Officer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2011
Having been a fan of the blog for some time, there was every reason to buy this book, which includes both Blood, Sweat and Tea: Real Life Adventures in an Inner-city Ambulance and More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea.

The book is written in a blog format with different "posts", sometimes related to each other, most of the times not. A good thing that set it apart from the blog was the comments at the end of each post from Reynolds, sometimes just to let us know about the outcome of the patient or the situation, to reply to some comments made on the blog or even to correct some of the things he had written about.

As soon as I got it in the mail and started leafing through it, I was immediately stuck in and had difficulty putting it down. Being from a family of health workers, I can tell you, there was a queue to read this.

Overall a great read, full of funny quips, heart-wrenching moments, mind-boggling stupidity and everything in between.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2013
This two-books-in-one edition comprises blogs written by 'Tom Reynolds' (not his real name), a Paramedic. It's quite an extensive look into the life of an emergency ambulance worker, so much in it that will surprise you. There's humorous tales where people really should not have called the ambulance out! This sort of thing happens again and again. There's also some really sad stories. This really kept me enthralled, I couldn't put it down. Apparently the book inspired the TV series 'Sirens', although I hadn't heard of that. I would usually much rather read the book than watch the TV edition and I'm glad that I read this. This book is also available in two single volumes-'Blood, Sweat and Tea' and 'More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea' just so people do not buy the same item twice as differently titled. So much information in it, a fantastic read which I couldn't put down.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2011
As a nurse I loved watching Sirens.... and because of that I came across this book, and I have to say, I think I love it more than the TV series with its romantic twists and bizarre patients.
This book was not only funny, and a great source of warmth and laughter for those that work in health care, but it gave me a real insight into the world of the paramedics. I have done the odd shadow-shift with them as part of my training but reading this book/blog really made me realise just how we all take the rough with the smooth, and want to help people and save lives.

Its really reminded me of what I love about my own job, and how we all work as a team.
Yes I am very fluffy and over-sentimental now from reading this book, but it covers the amazingly broad spectrum that is human life that Tom saw in the back of his ambulance, that can be seen in A+E and the wards of the hospital and yet we still want to do our best and help folks, no matter how hard it gets.

Love this book and a must for those that are in health care and need to be sure its not just them that always has the luck to get vomit on your nice clean, ironed uniform LOL.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2011
After seeing the TV series, I decided to buy this book - I loved it! I took it on holiday and was really easy to dip in and put of because its a series of blog posts. The writing is humourous at times and other times it makes you think about what ambulance people have to go through on a daily basis. At the end I had a lot of respect for the emergency services and what they do. I would definitely recommend it.
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This volume is the combined books named "Blood Sweat and a Cup of Tea" and More Blood More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea" which means it is a large book of great accounts of the day to day work of an "ambulance man". It is a collection of blogs that show the big picture of what it is really like to work on the front line of the NHS. Some of the tales are funny, some heart breaking and some just plain weird. But all are fascinating. I've always been greatfull to the "boys n girls in green" coming to help in our hour of need but now I have an even greater knowledge and repect of all their efforts. A great entertaining and thought provoking read.
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on 12 October 2012
I bought this on the back of the TV series (once I realised it was based on a book) and I enjoyed reading the first third or half of the book, but after that it was a little 'samey'. The topics of the book tend to repeat themselves (drunks, Matern-a-Taxi's) which, undoubtedly, would suit the initial format (the book was copied from a blog) but doesn't suit the conversion.

There are some memorable stories in there and overall it is an interesting look into the life of an NHS paramedic, but it could have used a severe edit to remove a bulk of the entries.
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on 11 August 2013
While Sirens may not be the best-written book that I've ever read, it is competent enough and moves along ever so briskly, flitting from one tale to another. Certain parts were quite an eye-opener to me as a non-medic, others enjoyable, some were a bit too moany, some such as the part about the cat were just disagreeable and unnecessary. A mixed bag.

I would've given this 3.5* out of 5, but as others remarked here, Sirens is just a rebadging of two older books which I find kind of misleading, so it's 3/5 from me.
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on 16 August 2011
Having watched the Channel 4 series 'Sirens' and thoroughly enjoyed it, I was intrigued to find this was its inspiration. It's such a joy to read, in short blog-post chapters. It really makes you think about the job of ambulance crews. In many ways you feel as if you're there with each job. Funny, horrendous and heartbreaking, Sirens will stay with you long after you finish reading.
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