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Blood, Sweat and Tea: Real Life Adventures in an Inner-city Ambulance Paperback – 1 Aug 2006
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One of the most gripping blogs around - The Guardian
Have you ever wondered what?s going on inside that ambulance you see screaming past with its sirens on and blue lights flashing? Does it contain a heart attack victim fighting for their life, while trained medical professionals administer emergency treatment? Or have you considered that it might be yet another ?maternataxi? ordered by a woman who can?t be bothered to book a real cab and who then complains she can?t smoke on the way to hospital? Meet Tom Reynolds. Tom is an Emergency Medical Technician who works for the London Ambulance Service in East London. He has kept a diary of his daily working life since 2003, first as a webside called ?Random Acts of Reality? and now for the first time as a no-punches-pulled book. His award-winning writing is, by turn, moving, cynical, funny, heart-rending and compassionate. From the tragic to the hilarious, from the heartwarming to the terrifying, the stories Tom tells give a fascinating - and at times alarming - picture of life in inner-city Britain, and the people who are paid to mop up after itSee all Product description
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You can imagine, then, that when I was trawling Amazon for free e-books to make up the figures on my Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge and saw that this particular book was among them, I was somewhat excited.
In hindsight, I probably went into it with my expectations raised too high. Simply put, this book just doesn't match up to what I was hoping for.
Firstly, it's based on a blog, which is fine. I knew that. However, I hadn't expected that it would literally just be copied and pasted from the blog, spelling and grammatical errors included. If I'm reading a blog, then I can deal with people using 'it's' where they mean 'its'. If I'm reading a book, however, then I expect some discerning editor to make the reading experience a little more fluid. It's just damn jarring to try and work around obvious mistakes.
Secondly, the constant repetition of the phrase 'I'm not racist, but ...' and 'I'm not racist - I hate everyone equally!' made me particularly glad that the writers of the TV adaptations had clearly not based their protagonists on the author of this book. He sounds like the kind of guy you'd see at a party and would lead you to beg your friend to please, dear god, let you sit at the other end of the table.
It really isn't all bad. There are some genuinely hilarious bits, as well as some actual human emotion, and I don't regret reading it. I'm just very glad that it was free.
This isn't on those 'med-school applicants - recommended reading' lists, so not many young people would mention this book.
But apart from aiding my ability to impress the professors/doctors, I thoroughly enjoyed the sarcastic humour of this book. The only reason I'm not giving this 5 starts is because I don't believe in creative perfection.
And I know you want to know -- The medical shcool, offered me a place!
The author appears to have some anger issues and I have to say that his comments about nobody having a chance if they've had a heart attack before they get there are somewhat depressing.
Other than that there are 'fascinating' insights into his life...."ate in the drivethrough, had a puncture, sat on the side of the road waiting for it to be fixed'
As you can probably tell from the rating, this is one of those books I truly enjoyed. Ok, I read it over a couple of weeks during the breaks between lectures when I had nothing better to do but just because I didn't get so sucked in I couldn't put the book down it doesn't mean this book wasn't gripping. The blog post type format made it easy to find a place to stop as the stories weren't really related so you're not compelled to turn the page to find out about what happened to the person you were just reading about.
This one can get a bit depressing at times, nobody thinks reading about sick children and dying patients is fun and games but there's enough humour (sometimes quite dark humour) to offset this. Oh, and reading about some of the reasons people call out the emergency services can make you lose a little bit of faith in humanity (I don't seem to be conveying how much I enjoyed the book very well here) but all those moments are worth it just to read the descriptions of traffic dodging and the weird panicky things people seem to do when they hear a siren.
However, the book was written by someone who has become used to human tragedy, but you must become hard as nails to see dead and dying wounded and ill people every day , day in day out, I do agree about it being terrible when 999 is abused esp by drunks, this book was hard to put down once I began and the targets in London seem ridiculous as well for the size of the place.
Well written , based on someones real experiences has some funny bits as well it isnt all bad news.
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I liked the humour in it & could relate to it.Read more