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In the aftermath of 9/11, Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life - his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age 26, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm - one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.
Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people's facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression or in an alley next to a crack den or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each - as he termed them - as a "tourist", "true believer", or "killer".
Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life's fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing listen about one man's journey of self-discovery - a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kathy on 05-23-17
A Wild Ride You Won't Forget!
I simply loved this book, and if life hadn't impinged upon me, I would have listened straight through. Really, it was too darn short to even consider an uninterrupted listen as it would have been over much too soon!
What was it I particularly enjoyed about this book? I so appreciated the author's total honesty about all aspects of his story--how he came to be an EMT/Paramedic, the difference between EMS and Paramedics, the training, the terrifying first weeks (months?) on the job, the "partner" problems, the evolution of Marty, the incompetence that was rampant, the burnout, and of course, the patients. I believe another reviewer described the book as "raw and unfiltered", and for me, that says it all.
George Newbern is becoming one of my very favorite narrators. He totally nailed it here!
In summary, I was engrossed during every moment of Kevin Hazzard's tale of his EMS/paramedic experience. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in knowing more about this field or are just looking for a very entertaining listen.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Mom/RN on 01-11-16
fun and honest
not a lot of medical details or explanations... but a ton of hilarious, disgusting and disturbing stories of what medics encounter. not appropriate for all ages btw, I was hoping to share with my preteen son but profanity and violence nixed that idea. . the author did great giving us all the juicy bits with only relevant details of his life in addition to his work experiences. I recommend for anyone considering a career in patient care to listen as a reality check of the highs and lows to expect. enjoyed!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful