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Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More like fiction than a memoir, 24 Dec. 2011
This review is from: It Won't Hurt a Bit: Nursing Tales from the Swinging Sixties (Paperback)
This book was something of a disappointment. I felt that the book seemed more like a novel than a memoir and I found the author's style of writing to be ambiguous and inconsistent with a non-fiction book. I found her lengthy portions of dialogue incongruous and that after 40+ years, it was unlikely that the details of lengthy conversations between people could be replicated and yet this book contained such exchanges numerous times. On that basis, I found these conversations unbelievable and they seemed more like "vehicles" for the author to try her hand at witty dialogues which didn't quite ring true - not what I expect in a memoir. The narrative was often erratic and awkward to follow without having to go back and re-read and it was often difficult to work out who said what in these dialogues.

I found it very difficult to remember which of her fellow students were which, as there was little time taken to describe each of them to make them distinct from each other. We were provided with a collection of names with almost nothing to differentiate one colleague from another in any meaningful way. I also found many of the anecdotes in this book to be rather hackneyed. The story of numerous patients' dentures being collected for cleaning in a basin so that they became mixed up has been related in virtually every nursing memoir I have read and it's difficult to believe that this incident could have repeatedly happened so often in so many hospitals over several decades... It would have been nice to read a humorous story that I hadn't heard before.

I felt the book was lacking in tales I could relate to and it did drag at the beginning, before suddenly launching into a gallop in the final quarter of the book. All in all, I had hoped for a little more from this. Sorry. :-(
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