This Is Going to Hurt
Adam Kay was a junior doctor from 2004 until 2010, before a devastating experience on a ward caused him to reconsider his future. He kept a diary throughout his training, and This Is Going to Hurt intersperses tales from the front line of the NHS with reflections on the current crisis. The result is a first-hand account of life as a junior doctor in all its joy, pain, sacrifice and maddening bureaucracy, and a love letter to those who might at any moment be holding our lives in their hands.

This Is Going to Hurt Details

TitleThis Is Going to Hurt
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 7th, 2017
PublisherPicador
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Health, Medicine, Autobiography, Memoir, Medical, Biography

This Is Going to Hurt Review

  • Petra X
    January 1, 1970
    I finished the book. It was a mostly irreverent look at the early years of being a junior doctor, then an obstetrician, until something catastrophic happens to a patient and the author turned from medicine to writing comedy. It was an excellent read, one good anecdote after another and rather than a review I'd like to summarise two. One concerns herbal medicine and the other the very serious topic of spousal abuse and how the hospital dealt with it in pregnant women.1. Herbal A woman had come to I finished the book. It was a mostly irreverent look at the early years of being a junior doctor, then an obstetrician, until something catastrophic happens to a patient and the author turned from medicine to writing comedy. It was an excellent read, one good anecdote after another and rather than a review I'd like to summarise two. One concerns herbal medicine and the other the very serious topic of spousal abuse and how the hospital dealt with it in pregnant women.1. Herbal A woman had come to the hospital with a bleeding from her vagina problem. When the doctor told her it was the result of the Chinese herb she had been dosing herself with she said, "I thought it was just herbal how can it be that bad for you?" The doctor said that apricot stones had cyanide in, the death cap mushroom is often fatal, Nature does not equal safe and that there was a plant in his garden where if you simply sat under it for ten minutes you'd be dead.Later the author asked the doctor what plant that was. He replied, "Water lily." Ah so...2. Abuse. The hospital had a system to help women admit to abuse, which was difficult as their partners often accompanied them to ante-natal visits. In the toilets they had a sign saying 'if you want to discuss any concerns about violence at home, put a red sticker on the front of your notes,' and there were sheets of red dot stickers in every cubicle.So the doctor saw a woman with a few red stickers on the front of her notes. It was very difficult to get the husband to leave the room. He tried, the midwife tried, the consultant tried and eventually they got her alone. The woman just clammed up, scared and confused and would admit to nothing. Eventually they established that the red dots were artistic decoration by her two year old child when they went to the toilet together.I think Ockham's Razor applies here!5 stars for being a great read and exposing the very emotional side of being a doctor and not just the practice of medicine._____________________________________________More anecdotes from when I was reading the book.This is so funny. This 20 year old student goes to the doctor to request an abortion following condom failure. Turns out that she and her boyfriend didn't have much money so they turned the just-used condom inside out for round two! _______I knew I was going to read this book when I read, "A NOTE REGARDING FOOTNOTESRead the fucking footnotes."Laughed out loud.And then one of the first sentences, "I grew up in a Jewish family (although they were mostly in it for the food)... it's really got to be a good book with such louche writing.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    A genuinely funny collection of stories from a former doctor; some so horrifying, surprising, or amusing that I had those hard-to-breathe-while-laughing moments, immediately making Audible clips and sending them to all my friends. It's not for the squeamish, be prepared for lots of blood, births, bad language, and assorted 'implements' stuck in places they really shouldn't be. Rarely have I been so impressed (if that’s the right word) by the willingness of individuals to achieve a memorable sex A genuinely funny collection of stories from a former doctor; some so horrifying, surprising, or amusing that I had those hard-to-breathe-while-laughing moments, immediately making Audible clips and sending them to all my friends. It's not for the squeamish, be prepared for lots of blood, births, bad language, and assorted 'implements' stuck in places they really shouldn't be. Rarely have I been so impressed (if that’s the right word) by the willingness of individuals to achieve a memorable sex life by inserting objects into orifices and then having to go to A&E to have them removed. There are, of course, also very sad stories, including the one that led the author to decide he had to leave. It would have been wrong to focus solely on the laughs, denying the inevitable traumas, near misses, and deaths, some of which may have been prevented by having a properly run, well staffed, less overworked team of doctors. If nothing else, you leave the book with the understanding that the NHS is barely getting by. This is the very reason Kay wrote the book, as rebuttal of the politicians' portrayal of junior doctors as money grabbing and lazy, but only in the final section does he address this directly. Instead, he shows you a doctor and other staff worked to the very edge of their ability to cope. It's eye opening and I left it feeling even more grateful for this amazing resource we have. One we need to protect. In mixing comedy and reality, Kay has found an effective way to show us some truths while making us laugh so hard we have to hold back tears. It's the best kind of learning.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this. In part funny and heartwarming, yet also utterly heartbreaking and disillusioned. I think this strikes a particular cord with me at the moment as the author was an obs & gynae doctor, and I’ve recently spent time myself as an inpatient on such a ward. This is the first book in a while where I’ve read passages out to my husband while laughing out loud one minute and then had to hold back tears the next. It’s a full on rollercoaster of emotions that also seems to very accurately I loved this. In part funny and heartwarming, yet also utterly heartbreaking and disillusioned. I think this strikes a particular cord with me at the moment as the author was an obs & gynae doctor, and I’ve recently spent time myself as an inpatient on such a ward. This is the first book in a while where I’ve read passages out to my husband while laughing out loud one minute and then had to hold back tears the next. It’s a full on rollercoaster of emotions that also seems to very accurately describe what it’s like to work as front line staff for the NHS. I should know, I do it everyday too, and we all have our stories to tell that encompass the best and worst of British medical care. It’s one of my favourite things about the job, hearing stories from everyone about ‘that time a patient shoved a remote control up their rectum’ or ‘remember that night shift a woman faked passing out’. I think it’s what binds and bonds you all together. The camaraderie. Told with a liberal dose sarcasm and self deprecating humour, the author manages to walk that tightrope between friend, colleague and reliable narrator to a finely tuned ‘T’. My admiration for other healthcare professionals is limitless, and will continue to be so. It’s really the awful and gut wrenching stories interspersed throughout (especially the last chapters) that make you realise how much pressure and guilt our doctors are under. And for little pay might I add. Day after day, night after night they fight to provide the best level of care they can without succumbing to sleep deprivation, depression or worse. There’s a lot of emotion here, a lot of anger and sadness that’s so hard to see, yet is oh so common in the increasingly frequent demoralised NHS worker.It’s a very bittersweet read, that I devoured in one day, and I’m sorry it’s over. It’s one of the best memoirs of this kind I’ve read in a long time and I loved following Adam Kay on his journey through life as a junior doctor.
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  • Eleanor
    January 1, 1970
    A petition for Jeremy Hunt (and every other politician and individual wanting cuts to the NHS) to read this book immediately. As brilliantly funny as it was emotional, distressing and heart-wrenching. We don't look after our health services enough, and I hope this book helps more people understand why that needs to change.
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  • Sonja Arlow
    January 1, 1970
    I am going to be in so much trouble when my sister finds out I gave this book to my niece as this is probably not a very appropriate book for a 17-year-old. But she is determined to become a doctor and she needs to know it’s not just about rockstar surgeries and making buckets of money. It is the most insane working hours, thankless work with crap pay.The diary entries follow Adam’s ascend through the ranks, from a junior doctor to becoming a consultant, specialising in gynaecology or “brats and I am going to be in so much trouble when my sister finds out I gave this book to my niece as this is probably not a very appropriate book for a 17-year-old. But she is determined to become a doctor and she needs to know it’s not just about rockstar surgeries and making buckets of money. It is the most insane working hours, thankless work with crap pay.The diary entries follow Adam’s ascend through the ranks, from a junior doctor to becoming a consultant, specialising in gynaecology or “brats and twats” I learned more about giving birth than I ever EVER wanted to. The writing style is not geared towards making you feel a deep connection with Adam however towards the end my heart really went out to him and is the reason I rounded up to a full 4 stars.The format took a while to get used to as some diary entries were so short they felt like Doctor Doctor jokes, but once I got used to it I could not stop reading.This was really entertaining, in fact at times I had to literally wipe away tears of laughter. But there were a few stories where I felt the author went over the line, where someone should have told him to leave it out of this collection. These made up only about 10% of the book so it was easy to forgive. I also found the footnotes explaining medical procedures very interesting and not as intrusive as footnotes normally tend to be.But this was not just all laughs, there were quite a few very touching stories that brought me back to reality, this is not a book full of fictitious jokes, it’s a book full of real people with serious medical problems. The overall impression I was left with was how utterly grueling the process of becoming a doctor really is, how the NHS is setup to grind the doctors down even further, getting to know the human (warts and all) behind the white coat and how much a thank you from a patient means.If you have an interest in medical memoirs and want a good laugh, then give this a try.
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    This is a non-fiction read all about the NHS and the way that the system works. It's told in a diary format from the years when Adam Kay was a junior doctor and was part of the system. We see how the NHS has been struggling as time goes on to keep up the standards and staff levels, and we see the strain it can take on a doctor. We also get to see the way that Adam Kay dealt with many of the tests on his own time and relationships.However, at the heart of this story it's all about humour and anec This is a non-fiction read all about the NHS and the way that the system works. It's told in a diary format from the years when Adam Kay was a junior doctor and was part of the system. We see how the NHS has been struggling as time goes on to keep up the standards and staff levels, and we see the strain it can take on a doctor. We also get to see the way that Adam Kay dealt with many of the tests on his own time and relationships.However, at the heart of this story it's all about humour and anecdotes and we get a real look at some of the truly silly and down-right mad things that people do to end up in A & E. We also get to follow some of the stories which were quite embarrassing/funny or down-right painful (hence the title) and I found there were plenty of LOL moments in the book.There's a bit of a shocking ending, and that topped this off as a 4.5*s read for me. I really would recommend this one, and I enjoyed it immensely!
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    ‘This is Going to Hurt’ (2017) is essentially Adam Kay’s account of his time as a junior doctor in the UK’s National Health Service. ‘This is Going to Hurt’ is by turns, funny, moving, revealing, heartening and shocking. Kay has given us a very human account of life in the NHS in the role of a junior doctor and brings into sharp focus the absurdly long shifts and the super-human demands that are imposed and expected of doctors and many other health professionals in the NHS. It’s an account that ‘This is Going to Hurt’ (2017) is essentially Adam Kay’s account of his time as a junior doctor in the UK’s National Health Service. ‘This is Going to Hurt’ is by turns, funny, moving, revealing, heartening and shocking. Kay has given us a very human account of life in the NHS in the role of a junior doctor and brings into sharp focus the absurdly long shifts and the super-human demands that are imposed and expected of doctors and many other health professionals in the NHS. It’s an account that also brings home the very personal, life changing costs of unbelievably long shift lengths (doctors in the UK NHS sign an opt out of the European Working Time Directive – meaning they are routinely expected to work shifts of practically unworkable length) as well as how the personal and professional impact of the daily ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ is felt by those in the firing line.Quite clearly the daily demands of the job of junior doctor in the NHS are inordinately massive – and if it is a ‘job’, then it is one like no other. It is clear from Kay’s book that those embarking on this career path are certainly not in in for the money.Kay’s book is a best seller in the UK and it is easy to see why. So very many of us in the UK are quite rightly, passionately proud and protective of our wonderful institution that is the NHS (now 70 years old). Whilst at the same time, many of us are significantly concerned about the health, future and even the continued existence of our NHS. ‘This is Going to Hurt’ gives us a true, whilst disturbing picture from at least one doctor’s perspective and is written in a very light, accessible, episodic (diary entries) and engaging way. Clearly adept at this sort of writing – Kay is now a script writer/editor for TV comedy.‘This is Going to Hurt’ is a well put together, suitably humorous, respectful whilst irreverent account. It is a book that confirms many of our worst fears concerning life in the cash starved NHS. Importantly Kay provides us with the very human face to at least one NHS doctor – one amongst the 1 million plus health professionals and other employees of the NHS, who are generally faceless to the patient as a service user. Kay I think prompts us to stop and consider what it is like for those working in the NHS and to remember that they too are human and have lives just like us (although perhaps differently lived).‘This is Going to Hurt’ is well written and entertaining and at the same time makes and alludes to critically important points concerning the current state and future of the NHS – as well as the deeply worrying possibility of life in the UK without the NHS in its present form and the privatised alternative. If for this reason alone, Kay’s book should be read by as wide as possible audience – it is perhaps deceptively an important account and an important book and needs to be read. Ultimately it is about a health service of which the UK is quite rightly proud – of which many outside the UK are understandably envious of and which is sadly and consistently under threat from political ideologists within the UK. We should be proud of our NHS and we should be prepared to fight for its future.Long Live The National Health Service.
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  • Leo Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent!Breezed through this one. The sense of humour worked well, balanced with the horrors of Kay's job.An Xmas present from my sis. She said, "You won't regret quitting medicine after reading this."She knows I don't, really, though reading this I wondered if I would.I think people assume I regret quitting medicine more than I do, which is, not at all. It had "not for me" all over it, and I've never experienced such an immense relief since leaving. My body was like, "Yeees, shut this shit do Excellent!Breezed through this one. The sense of humour worked well, balanced with the horrors of Kay's job.An Xmas present from my sis. She said, "You won't regret quitting medicine after reading this."She knows I don't, really, though reading this I wondered if I would.I think people assume I regret quitting medicine more than I do, which is, not at all. It had "not for me" all over it, and I've never experienced such an immense relief since leaving. My body was like, "Yeees, shut this shit down! Let's do anything else with the next... everything of our life!"I made it a year and a half at St Andrews then switched to Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde, spending the intervening months folding schoolwear in a shop so I knew that anything at uni would be worth it eventually.If this is even the first time you're reading that I ever studied medicine, it's because while I value your literary opinion immensely, I don't wake up giving a fuck how clever you think I am! (Okay it does come up in Saxual Healing, but it was relevant. A bit ;) )A friend asked me about it when I met him in Greece this summer. I said, "It was never something I was supposed to be, so I don't think about it at all."Maybe an equivalent is, "Was it difficult coming out?" Maybe, but it was less tough than staying in.Anyway, I met some other people on that holiday, and it clicked."So you live in Norway," a man said. "What was Norway before they had oil? They were farmers! Fishermen! You know, we here in Greece are hoping to discover new oil reserves. And as a banker I work with many of the same companies as you anyway.""Sure, sure," I said.Why say, "Despite your weird attempted 'historical own', the guys I work with sure don't catch their own fish anymore!" or, "That stable oil price will help you guys secure energy independence after your exploration efforts definitely lead to reserves. Oil is the, uh, future..." I didn't engage, though. I was on holiday and didn't know the guy. (And I also wasn't drunk.)No one SHOULD have to justify themselves to others, but that's not how most people let the world work. Kay isn't bothering to justify himself and openly pokes fun at the idea that anyone could pick a suitable career at a young age, or that the criteria for acceptance for careers even make sense. But this is mainly a clarion call to action against the current conditions for junior doctors and perhaps a deeply reassuring text to those people who feel inadequate because they're not doctors.Wow what a sacrifice it is. I sure wasn't able to make it.
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  • Rebecca Foster
    January 1, 1970
    Kay practiced medicine for six years before leaving to write comedy for TV. These occasional diary entries spanning 2004 to 2010 are very funny indeed. He specialized in obstetrics and gynecology (“brats and twats”), and some of the humor is rather puerile but stays just the right side of tasteful. Although he plays his experience for laughs, he can be serious, too, showing how overworked and underappreciated young doctors can be – especially thanks to recent NHS policy. The incident that led to Kay practiced medicine for six years before leaving to write comedy for TV. These occasional diary entries spanning 2004 to 2010 are very funny indeed. He specialized in obstetrics and gynecology (“brats and twats”), and some of the humor is rather puerile but stays just the right side of tasteful. Although he plays his experience for laughs, he can be serious, too, showing how overworked and underappreciated young doctors can be – especially thanks to recent NHS policy. The incident that led to him leaving medicine is particularly wrenching. Still, if you think of all the lives he saved and new lives he ushered into the world during six years of practice, he can be so proud of his achievements.Favorite entry:“Tuesday, 21 October 2006Moral maze. In the labour ward dressing rooms after a long shift. I’m leaving at 10 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. thanks to a major obstetric haemorrhage ending up back in theatre. I’m meant to be going to a Halloween party, but now I don’t have time to go home and pick up my costume. However, I am currently dressed in scrubs and splattered head to toe in blood. Would it be so wrong?”
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  • Francesca
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is the first nonfiction book I've ever given a full five stars to. Usually the highest they get is 4.5 which is usually rounded down to 4 as I save the 5 star ratings for truly incredible books or ones that really had a profound effect on me. This book deserves every single star. Hilarious and heartbreaking all at once, it highlights the importance of the NHS which we should all be fighting to protect and make better. Can not recommend this book highly enough! Full review to come.
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  • Anne HS
    January 1, 1970
    The Best MedicineWell, you may not die laughing, but I was certainly in stitches and convulsed with hysterics, not to mention emotionally distraught, reading this diary of a junior doctor‘s training in the NHS. Apart from the side-splitting humour, it is an excoriating account of the manifold administration deficiencies throughout the National Health Service, once the jewel in the crown of Britain’s welfare society. The author decided to specialise in ‘obs & gynae’ (known in the medical worl The Best MedicineWell, you may not die laughing, but I was certainly in stitches and convulsed with hysterics, not to mention emotionally distraught, reading this diary of a junior doctor‘s training in the NHS. Apart from the side-splitting humour, it is an excoriating account of the manifold administration deficiencies throughout the National Health Service, once the jewel in the crown of Britain’s welfare society. The author decided to specialise in ‘obs & gynae’ (known in the medical world as ‘brats and - something I can't repeat here beginning with ‘t’) because you end up with twice as many patients, unlike in geriatrics, and it's a tragi-comedy from there on.You will never look at your hospital doctor the same way after reading this, but I would recommend you do so, rather than turn up in A &E if you can possibly avoid it.
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  • Liz Janet
    January 1, 1970
    Interview with author that brought the book to my attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_co...For years I have been watching news comedy shows from the U.K., mostly Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News, and in every series the panel has to dispel the opinions of some member of the conservative government about how the NHS is a cancer and the portrayal of Junior Doctors as money-grabbing and undeserving people who only seek their own wealth. This book is a more direct answer to tho Interview with author that brought the book to my attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_co...For years I have been watching news comedy shows from the U.K., mostly Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News, and in every series the panel has to dispel the opinions of some member of the conservative government about how the NHS is a cancer and the portrayal of Junior Doctors as money-grabbing and undeserving people who only seek their own wealth. This book is a more direct answer to those politicians who believe they can blatantly lie on television in order to support their budget cuts, told in the diary entries of one of the doctors during his training.Adam Kay takes on the issue with the most amount of British humour he could possibly muster, considering he had some pretty idiotic people pop into hospital, ( including a couple who turned a condom inside out and obviously got pregnant, which isn’t even the worst one) and the evident fact his and his colleagues hard work was being undermined by bureaucrats who would never understand all the work the doctors actually do.“Patient too drowsy to assess.”I pop in. The patient is dead.But the book is not only the comical experience of an overworked man, but an observation on class and the wealth of the state and their influence on the well-being of the population, a remark on the demands these doctors were expected to fulfill, and how all these lead to the detriment of the doctor’s personal lives. A MUST READ!
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  • Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
    January 1, 1970
    Not being in the UK, I can’t pass comment on the NHS or any of that, but I had seen plenty of chat about Adam’s book so I loaned it from the library to see what it was like. I am a fan of medical memoirs, so it was right up my street.Adam writes with wit and humour, and even in the worst of situations this levity really makes a difference to the narrative. Doctors see people on the worst days of their lives, but we also see them on the worst days of theirs, even if we don’t realise it. We don’t Not being in the UK, I can’t pass comment on the NHS or any of that, but I had seen plenty of chat about Adam’s book so I loaned it from the library to see what it was like. I am a fan of medical memoirs, so it was right up my street.Adam writes with wit and humour, and even in the worst of situations this levity really makes a difference to the narrative. Doctors see people on the worst days of their lives, but we also see them on the worst days of theirs, even if we don’t realise it. We don’t know what they are going through, but Adam has given an insightful look into his life as a Junior Doctor and just how much it impacted him.I think what I enjoyed the most was the almost conversational aspect of the book. It’s written in diary entries from his time in hospitals, so they are often brief, but some of the entries are very powerful. Others really made me feel for him as his own personal life suffered at the hands of working absolutely crazy hours and nobody could understand why he was missing important events outside of work.I really enjoyed This Is Going To Hurt, even though enjoy seems like the wrong word considering the subject matter, but you know what I mean. Adam Kay has a way with words, and it made this a really easy read. Tough subjects obviously, but he made it more relatable with his affable writing manner.If you enjoy glimpse into the medical profession, and a little humour with your non-fiction the you should most certainly add this one to your list!Recommended!
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to two longish train journeys I started and finished this book today. You can believe the blurb, it is hilarious. Properly laugh out loud funny. It's also poignant and a timely reminder of what a resource the NHS is and how it has been eaten away by politicians. You really should read this book, you'll love it. Unless you are squeamish or pregnant. If you are pregnant, wait till your baby is born then read it. If you are squeamish, read it with your eyes closed or a bucket beside you! Jus Thanks to two longish train journeys I started and finished this book today. You can believe the blurb, it is hilarious. Properly laugh out loud funny. It's also poignant and a timely reminder of what a resource the NHS is and how it has been eaten away by politicians. You really should read this book, you'll love it. Unless you are squeamish or pregnant. If you are pregnant, wait till your baby is born then read it. If you are squeamish, read it with your eyes closed or a bucket beside you! Just read it.
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  • ALLEN
    January 1, 1970
    A funny, excoriating memoir about a "junior" ob/gyn physician who, like the characters in M*A*S*H, is "nervous in the service" -- but in this case the service is not the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, but Britain's National Health Service during recent years of budget retrenchment (2004 to 2010, though from all appearances the cuts are getting worse). Like the conscripted medics in M*A*S*H, Adam Kay and his colleagues had to deal with weirdly ineffective decisions coming down the chain-of A funny, excoriating memoir about a "junior" ob/gyn physician who, like the characters in M*A*S*H, is "nervous in the service" -- but in this case the service is not the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict, but Britain's National Health Service during recent years of budget retrenchment (2004 to 2010, though from all appearances the cuts are getting worse). Like the conscripted medics in M*A*S*H, Adam Kay and his colleagues had to deal with weirdly ineffective decisions coming down the chain-of-command that are spun to send spuriously comforting political messages to the "folks at home" rather than merely save money at all costs. When a volunteer translator renders the Punjabi word indicating a chronic bleeder into "hermaphrodite" rather than "hemophiliac," it's funny but potentially deadly. When an NHS decision from on high takes away the doctors' sleeping cots, remember that your next deliverer of a C-section may have been on his/her feet for 18 hours. God forbid those lazy malingerers should try to stay alert and refreshed! Adam Kay's writing style is funny, but we can see the humor and patience wearing thin when a hemorrhaging patient splashed blood on his scrubs, pants, expensive CK boxers and manhood underneath. The pay these young physicians received for their herculean efforts is usually pitifully small, and once again the invisible bureaucracy seems to have them in their sights--when the docs switch from Nike-type trainer shoes to the much cheaper Crocs, the brass ban use of Crocs but offer no clothing allowances. It's at this point Kay begins to wonder whether the joy of delivering baby after healthy baby really compensates for the occasional heartbreaking failure, the ridiculous hours, low pay, bureaucratic turgidity that ignores success but comes down hard on trivial infractions, and above all the inability to schedule a social life when everyone seems to be slotted in as backup for everyone else. That last problem really hits the fan when time off the author had been promised for a two-week overseas vacation is nullified by a weekend of duty right in the middle. Nobody's fault, but there's no going AWOL. A couple of notes about the language in this highly entertaining memoir with a high "can't-put-it-down" quotient: typically, Kay uses the common four-letter term instead of "manhood" above; Yanks who object to profanity may find the use and frequency of it in this book disconcerting. British slang is freely applied, too, but I forgive him all this for his scrupulousness in footnoting medical terms (which he very much intends to be read), so we readers can understand what references like "trans-vaginal probe" and "pre-eclampsia" and the convoluted acronym "TAH BSO" all mean. We readers know from the introduction to this powerful book that Adam Kay eventually left the National Health Service for a turn at comedy. While the National Health Service does not (yet) subject its patients to American-style bills, we have to wonder about the priorities of any society that rewards gag-writing for telly so much higher than saving the lives of mothers and fetuses.
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  • Mubeen Irfan
    January 1, 1970
    Have you ever read a book where you are laughing out loud every single page with a big smile on your face throughout and then choke up on the ending page? I do not know of any book where I have dropped so far down in so little time. Maybe a few Breaking Bad episodes but no book that I can recall. That is the beauty of (Dr.?) Adam Kay mic drop. I ended up googling junior doctor crises, reading up on how NHS is faring so bad after setting health care standards for rest of the world for so many yea Have you ever read a book where you are laughing out loud every single page with a big smile on your face throughout and then choke up on the ending page? I do not know of any book where I have dropped so far down in so little time. Maybe a few Breaking Bad episodes but no book that I can recall. That is the beauty of (Dr.?) Adam Kay mic drop. I ended up googling junior doctor crises, reading up on how NHS is faring so bad after setting health care standards for rest of the world for so many years. The book does not seem relevant to current affairs and you might take it as a British style memoir/satire at first but then you realize there are some important points being made here which are very relevant to the current NHS crises esp with the Junior doctors protesting and Jeremy Hunt not paying any heed. I found out how Stephen Hawking (yeah, the one Stephen Hawking) has called out on UK politicians for ruining the service and deliberately sabotaging NHS to pave way for an American style private insurance health care. Everybody knows how good that is working for people who cannot afford it.On a lighter note, a style in which the author is writing masking the above grave political crisis, this is British humor at its best and readers will be surprised at how many face-palm moments the doctors have to deal with in their practice. I was reminded of House & Scrubs while reading it and I loved those shows not sure why because I have never wanted to be a doctor. But what I really want is Adam's sense of humor and satirical writing style.
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  • Graham King
    January 1, 1970
    What an amazing book. It's genuinely hilarious but utterly and completely devastating and heart-breaking. It has changed my perception of the NHS and junior doctors. If you are ever likely to be ill, you should read this. If you are ever likely to conceive, you should read this. If you are a woman and likely to give birth, you should read this. If you are a man and likely to spawn kids, you should read this. If you think you are ever likely to die, you should read this. Even if you're bloody ric What an amazing book. It's genuinely hilarious but utterly and completely devastating and heart-breaking. It has changed my perception of the NHS and junior doctors. If you are ever likely to be ill, you should read this. If you are ever likely to conceive, you should read this. If you are a woman and likely to give birth, you should read this. If you are a man and likely to spawn kids, you should read this. If you think you are ever likely to die, you should read this. Even if you're bloody rich and cocooned by hugely expensive medical insurance, you should still read this. (Actually, you should especially read this if you are hugely rich and cocooned by hugely expensive medical insurance. Or just read page 139).
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  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    Horrifying, hilarious and illuminating in equal measure.
  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book I read this year that I wish I had written (and, had I kept a diary, I probably could have - except the horrific penis-related injury I treated was not a de-gloving, but a fracture).I'm a *junior* doctor, and his stories of life, death and everything in between just sound so reassuringly familiar. It's kinda nice to know that somebody else has been there, done that, got the T-shirt and got it stained by blood almost immediately. Relationship breakdown? Check. Missing out This is the second book I read this year that I wish I had written (and, had I kept a diary, I probably could have - except the horrific penis-related injury I treated was not a de-gloving, but a fracture).I'm a *junior* doctor, and his stories of life, death and everything in between just sound so reassuringly familiar. It's kinda nice to know that somebody else has been there, done that, got the T-shirt and got it stained by blood almost immediately. Relationship breakdown? Check. Missing out on weddings/birthday parties/funerals because you had to be in work? Check. Developing a scathing, sarcastic sense of humour in order to deal with the death, tragedy and pain that constantly surrounds you? Also check.For those who are not medical professionals, I would highly recommend reading it. It sheds a light on a reality that some might not know exists: what goes on behind the scenes and what happens to your doctor on a day-to-day basis (spoiler alert: it ain't all good). And, honestly, we probably need more people to read it if we want to save the NHS.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    *Unpopular opinion*This was a DNF for me. I went into this book not really knowing what to expect so it probably shouldn't come as a complete surprise then that I didn't finish it. I think this book sums up why I never went into Medicine and in order to survive in the medical world, you need to detach yourself from some pretty horrific things.Kay describes mortality in a very glib way which I suppose is accurate coming from a Doctor who deals with death on a regular basis. To me though life is m *Unpopular opinion*This was a DNF for me. I went into this book not really knowing what to expect so it probably shouldn't come as a complete surprise then that I didn't finish it. I think this book sums up why I never went into Medicine and in order to survive in the medical world, you need to detach yourself from some pretty horrific things.Kay describes mortality in a very glib way which I suppose is accurate coming from a Doctor who deals with death on a regular basis. To me though life is more sacred than that and someone's relative/loved one who has just died is briefly commented upon and then overshadowed by something which is crude and vulgar. Having read the first section of the book, life is deemed as cheap which is something I am not comfortable with (since I have a morbid fear of death) so I didn't appreciate this aspect.Furthermore, there are too many crude references for my liking. Kay focuses far too much on the 'downstairs' , and I'm not sure whether he finds some of these witty but they fall far short of the mark for me. I am not impressed by routine mentions of the word 'ringpiece' - ugh, or how medical professionals refer to Obs and Gynae aka 'brats and twats'. Again, to me this reads as really juvenile and immature humour - cheap laughs from those who don't actually have a GSOH. Although, it doesn't surprise me in the least. Since I liaise with this sector of people, my levels of respect for them have really plummeted. I didn't enjoy this book at all. The humour just wasn't funny, the way it was written sounded like the author was trying way too hard to impress the reader at times - I just couldn't gel with it. 1 star.
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  • Stacey (prettybooks)
    January 1, 1970
    This is Going to Hurt is one of my favourite books of the year. If you're all over book industry news, you'll know that it just won the Non-Fiction Award and Readers Choice Award in the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, and I'm sure they are the first of many accolades! I know that I've been recommending it to everyone I know, young and old. Continue reading this review over on Pretty Books.
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  • Allie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsAlternative title suggestions: Going for Guts and Glory in Gynecology Mother’s Little Helper (Hospital Edition)Things *Not* to Put in Your Naughty PlacesOver a period of six years, Adam documents the hilarious, horrifying, poignant, banal, and heartbreaking experiences from his training as a young physician in the NHS. The book was not particularly political on the contentious issue of healthcare, despite the author’s clear preference for universal care over privatized care (which is pr 3.5 StarsAlternative title suggestions: Going for Guts and Glory in Gynecology Mother’s Little Helper (Hospital Edition)Things *Not* to Put in Your Naughty PlacesOver a period of six years, Adam documents the hilarious, horrifying, poignant, banal, and heartbreaking experiences from his training as a young physician in the NHS. The book was not particularly political on the contentious issue of healthcare, despite the author’s clear preference for universal care over privatized care (which is prohibitively costly, available to very few Britons, and does not seem to guarantee better care). Given his specialization in Gynecology, which typically involved forceps, surgery for complications with childbirth, and problems with patients’ nether regions, this is not a book for the squeamish.* But amidst the chaos, exhaustion and long difficult days (and longer nights), there are moments of human kindness, lives saved, and babies born. We often glorify doctors or castigate them, but forget that they are just people, doing their best in a frequently bad situation. So the next time you see your doctor, say thank you. It may be the nicest thing that happens to them all day.***One particular incident with a woman, a spike, and a lot of cocaine stands out as especially gruesome.**And also thank your nurses, who were still called “sisters” at the time the book was written.
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  • Basma
    January 1, 1970
    Insightful and hilarious. I enjoyed his footnotes and am very happy that they were added as I was able to quickly pick up on the medical terminology used instead of having to look it up or having to miss the point. Sometimes his sarcasm irked me but overall I found it funny considering the topic. I always find medical books of this sort very fascinating and I think this is growing to become a genre of it's own that I look forward to delving into.
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  • Noriko
    January 1, 1970
    The first thing that comes to mind about this book was: Hilarious and hard-hitting. I tend to get bored by non-fiction books especially memoirs, but I had such a great reading experience, I had so much fun reading this book.The author, Adam Kay, is now a comedian and a comedy writer but he also has a track record as an obstetrician and worked for NHS before he changed his occupation.This book is basically composed of his diary entries when he was working for NHS, a stripped-down accounts of life The first thing that comes to mind about this book was: Hilarious and hard-hitting. I tend to get bored by non-fiction books especially memoirs, but I had such a great reading experience, I had so much fun reading this book.The author, Adam Kay, is now a comedian and a comedy writer but he also has a track record as an obstetrician and worked for NHS before he changed his occupation.This book is basically composed of his diary entries when he was working for NHS, a stripped-down accounts of life as a doctor and what big of an impact his work had on his personal life.My first impression was, once again – funny and hysterical. That the author is a comedian totally explains the humor sprinkled in the entire book. It’s witty, a bit sarcastic… even the footnotes where he explained the medical term and symptoms cracked me up. I have never laughed that out loud over a book.I liked each chapter is split up by his rank as a doctor. Starting off from House officer to Senior Registrar, each episode – each diary post portrays his growth, struggles, moral mazes, and the enormous amount of pressure he’s under and most importantly, the sense of accomplishment and joy he finds in saving lives or facilitating safe deliveries.As I got further and further into the book, it became palpable that his responsibility increases as he climbed the rudder as a doctor; the higher in the totem pole, the heavier the responsibility became and it finally started to affect his personal life significantly.But what really struck me is the message that we tend to let it slip; “Doctors are human, too.”We tend to regard doctors as superhuman, like superheroes who can miraculously cure any diseases and know literally everything. As doctors act in a very calm and collected manner – even when breaking bad news to patients’ relatives – we, more often than not, forget that they also have emotions and are as fragile as we are.In fact, a devastating thing happens close to the end and it was literally something that altered his perspective as a doctor completely. Since that day, he became a different doctor and never went back to his former self.I cannot divulge any further about the book, but it was hard-hitting, thought-provoking, and devastating as well. The writing is convincing and gripping, I could totally understand why experienced doctors tend to be said they’ve become less aggressive towards dicey operations whose success rate is low and become more territorial than before, such as wanting to do everything on their own rather than delegating to their juniors. Reading this, I realized it is not in fact that they’ve become conservative or less motivated, but it’s their coping strategy to secure patients’ lives; a desire not wanting to lose any more precious lives that could have salvaged had they chosen otherwise.I don’t know if it’s a good change or a bad change, but that’s the path that every doctor must have gone through. A path that painted with experiences you might want to avoid but might not be able to if you chose to stay as a doctor.It felt as though the final piece of the puzzle finally fell into place. It resonated with me so much.Finishing this book, I feel as though I got a better glimpse of what could be behind the stoic façade of doctors’ expressions. The struggles, anxieties and angst behind those masks.I don’t know almost anything about the situation surrounding NHS, but the open letter to the Secretary of Health in the end is definitely worth a read. I bet it rings through you as much as it did through me.I am so glad that I finally got to read this book. This is hands-down one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read so far. I tremendously enjoyed reading this strikingly funny, but heartbreaking collection of anecdotes.If you haven’t already, you must read this book. This book totally worth your time and you won’t be disappointed.
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  • George (BuriedInBooks)
    January 1, 1970
    Hi friends, welcome back to my latest review! This time I review the true story of a junior doctor on the front line during the NHS crisis.Adam Kay decided to go to medical school after school and thus began years of training and placements in NHS hospitals around the country. Adam started as a House Officer after many years he works his way up the ladder.This is going to hurt is the dairy entry's of Adams time with the NHS. This book will make you laugh, cry then laugh again as well as shocking Hi friends, welcome back to my latest review! This time I review the true story of a junior doctor on the front line during the NHS crisis.

Adam Kay decided to go to medical school after school and thus began years of training and placements in NHS hospitals around the country. Adam started as a House Officer after many years he works his way up the ladder.
This is going to hurt is the dairy entry's of Adams time with the NHS. This book will make you laugh, cry then laugh again as well as shocking at points.
I really enjoyed This Is Going To Hurt and finished it really quickly in a few sittings.
I have given the full five stars as I really enjoy medical books and I think I laughed after almost all of the diary entries. The length of the book was also great for me as it didn't feel dragged on. Although some people may not enjoy it as much as medical terminology is often used, most is explained but not all is.
 I definitely recommend The Is Going To Hurt to anyone interested in the NHS and the story's of those who work for it.
Thanks for reading my review!
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  • Ferdy
    January 1, 1970
    The one thing I didn't like about this was the humour, it didn't work for me, there were like bad dad jokes. I mean, there were a couple of times I laughed a little but usually the humour fell flat, I would have preferred there'd been no attempt at humour at all, as it felt too forced and cheesy. Apart from that, this was an excellent read. Adam Kay kept a diary about his experiences as a junior doctor, everything from his early days to becoming a registrar and then his decision to quit medicine The one thing I didn't like about this was the humour, it didn't work for me, there were like bad dad jokes. I mean, there were a couple of times I laughed a little but usually the humour fell flat, I would have preferred there'd been no attempt at humour at all, as it felt too forced and cheesy. Apart from that, this was an excellent read. Adam Kay kept a diary about his experiences as a junior doctor, everything from his early days to becoming a registrar and then his decision to quit medicine altogether. It was extremely engrossing getting an insight into the inner workings of the NHS from a junior doctor's perspective, and it was fascinating to get some insight into a junior doctor's day to day job. It was quite shocking how much Adam was expected to do and how he was thrown in the deep end, he had no help or training and he literally had no life but work. All the time and energy he put in was never really appreciated by anyone. It was exhausting to read at times, he spent so much of his time working for a rubbish wage and a grueling, thankless job with no proper mentoring all whist dealing with loads of complaints and the most idiotic patients ever. It was understandable why he jacked it all in, it was depressing though that a doctor as talented as him quit his medical career because of bad management, impossible workloads and idiot politicians. And its even more depressing that things won't change in the future and junior doctors and other NHS staff will still be treated like rubbish by the higher ups. At least this exposed some of the idiocy in the system.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    I came across Adam Kay when I went to see him perform his music and actually read extracts from what is now his book. I was struck at the time of the yo-yo of hilarity and heartbreak, joy and utter dejection in his narrative and the book does incredible justice to it. I am not one to get outwardly emotional when reading, but this book really shows you the hell that our wonderful NHS staff do to keep us running. You really share in Adam's high points, downright funny happenings and *Spoiler* prep I came across Adam Kay when I went to see him perform his music and actually read extracts from what is now his book. I was struck at the time of the yo-yo of hilarity and heartbreak, joy and utter dejection in his narrative and the book does incredible justice to it. I am not one to get outwardly emotional when reading, but this book really shows you the hell that our wonderful NHS staff do to keep us running. You really share in Adam's high points, downright funny happenings and *Spoiler* prepare yourself for a heartwrenching crash that will have you in tears. A book that everyone should read.Not all heroes wear capes...
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  • Mook Woramon
    January 1, 1970
    บันทึกไดอารีเลาเรืองราวชีวิตประจำวันในชวงทีเรียนอยูของอดีตหมอทีเคยเรียนสูตินรีเวช แลวลาออกตอนปีสุดทายกอนจบมีทังเรืองสุข ทุกข เศรา เซง ใตสะดือหนอยๆ เนืองจากสูตินรีเวชกไมพนไปจากอวัยวะสืบพันธุผูหญิงนันแหละจะอานเอาสนุก เอาฮากได เพราะเรืองทีฮากฮาจริง แมภาษาอังกฤษไมแขงกเขาใจได ความฮาจะปนทะลึง ตลกโปกฮา เพราะหมอสูตินรีเวชกยุงอยูกับตรงนันของผูหญิง เชน มีคนใสอะไรแปลกๆในชองคลอดแลวเอาออกไมไดตองใหหมอเอาออกให คนไขหลังคลอดขอกินรกตัวเอง คูสามีภรรยามาปรึกษาวาทำไมไมมีถุงยางทีไซสพอดีกับเคา เมือใหสามีใสใหดูปรากฏวาไ บันทึกไดอารี่เล่าเรื่องราวชีวิตประจำวันในช่วงที่เรียนอยู่ของอดีตหมอที่เคยเรียนสูตินรีเวช แล้วลาออกตอนปีสุดท้ายก่อนจบมีทั้งเรื่องสุข ทุกข์ เศร้า เซ็ง ใต้สะดือหน่อยๆ เนื่องจากสูตินรีเวชก็ไม่พ้นไปจากอวัยวะสืบพันธ์ุผู้หญิงนั่นแหละจะอ่านเอาสนุก เอาฮาก็ได้ เพราะเรื่องที่ฮาก็ฮาจริง แม้ภาษาอังกฤษไม่แข็งก็เข้าใจได้ ความฮาจะปนทะลึ่ง ตลกโปกฮา เพราะหมอสูตินรีเวชก็ยุ่งอยู่กับตรงนั้นของผู้หญิง เช่น มีคนใส่อะไรแปลกๆในช่องคลอดแล้วเอาออกไม่ได้ต้องให้หมอเอาออกให้ คนไข้หลังคลอดขอกินรกตัวเอง คู่สามีภรรยามาปรึกษาว่าทำไมไม่มีถุงยางที่ไซส์พอดีกับเค้า เมื่อให้สามีใส่ให้ดูปรากฏว่าไปใส่ถุงยางที่ลูกอัณฑะ จะอ่านเอาสาระก็ได้ว่าระบบแพทย์และสาธารณสุขของอังกฤษ(ไดอารี่บันทึกช่วง 2005-2010) ก็ป่วยวายป่วงไม่ต่างจาก สปสช บ้านเรา เจ้าหน้าที่ในสาธารณสุขทำงานเยอะกว่าเกณฑ์ที่กำหนด ค่าตอบแทนอยู่ระดับเดียวกับค่าแรงขั้นต่ำ การทำงานติดต่อกันไม่ได้พัก และไม่สามารถลาป่วยได้ถ้าหาคนแทนไม่ได้ บางคนจะจัดงานแต่งคือจัดบ่ายแล้วรุ่งขึ้นไปทำงานต่อ ซึ่งจริงๆในไทยตอนเรียนอยู่ก็คล้ายๆกัน อาจารย์บอกว่า"เธอมีเหตุผลในการลาได้สองอย่าง ลาออกกับลาตาย" ซึ่งไม่ต้องแปลกใจว่าทำไมอัตราการฆ่าตัวตายสูง เพราะการดูแลคนไข้ไม่ใช่เกมส์ ถ้าเราดูแลไม่ดีแล้วคนไข้ตาย เราจะจัดการกับความรู้สึกเรายังไงให้เราเดินหน้าต่อได้ การที่คนเขียนซึ่งตอนนี้ทำงานเป็นคนเขียนบทละครทีวีเพิ่งออกมาเปิดเผยไดอารี่ช่วงนี้ เพราะเล็งเห็นว่าผ่านไปสิบปีระบบสาธารณสุขแทบไม่ต่างจากเดิม เลยอยากให้คนภายนอกได้เข้าใจการทำงานของคนในระบบมากขึ้นและอยากให้เกิดการปรับปรุงระบบสาเหตุที่คนเขียนลาออกจากการเทรนนิ่งบอกใบ้ไว้ในหนังสือแล้ว อยากรู้ไปอ่านดูนะ
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  • Gaby
    January 1, 1970
    "Such an inspirational view of working in the NHS. The humour throughout gave it a lighthearted feel but it also very cleverly touched on a number of concerning issues. Very informative regarding medical vocabulary and procedures which makes this book extremely accessible to the general public! Would hugely recommend!"The book follows Kay on his medical journey as a Junior Doctor across different placements. It allow a very transparent view of responsibility, feasibility, and capabilities of a y "Such an inspirational view of working in the NHS. The humour throughout gave it a lighthearted feel but it also very cleverly touched on a number of concerning issues. Very informative regarding medical vocabulary and procedures which makes this book extremely accessible to the general public! Would hugely recommend!"The book follows Kay on his medical journey as a Junior Doctor across different placements. It allow a very transparent view of responsibility, feasibility, and capabilities of a young person at the start of their career within medicine. Each diary entry is full of humour and accurate medical vocabulary – which thankfully is translated and explained in frequent footnotes. This enables the book to be accessible to the general population as well as those with basic medical knowledge.Kay’s writing is honest and full of humour. His personality really shines through whilst giving quite a realistic image of the circumstances he worked in. Some of the writing is quite graphic and the vocab crude, but that just captured my attention more and before I knew it, I was flying through the chapters. The humour and surprises within this book portray the human element of medicine that some memoirs sometimes lack.The book also touched on many worrying issues of working within the NHS. As much as the service is an absolute credit to our nation, the reality of how the limits of this service (and it’s staff) are being tested, becomes apparent. I found it hugely heartbreaking to hear of how Kay made the decision to leave medicine due to the strain and lack of support. Clearly his background in comedy has enabled him to produce this fantastic memoir to lightheartedly communicate such issues. I found the Afterword to be particularly heartfelt.It is a very real possibility that if the NHS and its staff are not taken care of, we will lose it – which is a worrying thought. I think this book opens up a very important discussion as to what can we do to make a change to this? Regardless of the politics and economical arguments concerning the NHS, you can see that Kay has written this from his heart. Which, considering his decision to leave medicine, is extremely admirable.It will come as no surprise that I have this book a five star review. I know I will be recommending this to my NHS colleagues and other healthcare professionals for months to come! And I also know, that they are bound to enjoy it as much as I did.
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  • Claire Fuller
    January 1, 1970
    This was funny, and sad, and shocking. It's not going to be in my top books of the year - it's not that kind of book. But it wasn't trying to be great literature - it was trying to be funny, sad, and shocking. It was good to hear Kay read his own words, but I could have done without the extra bits at the end of the audio book (although the open letter to the health secretary was fine). But I didn't really want to hear how hard it was for Kay to be sent on a month long book tour, or an interview This was funny, and sad, and shocking. It's not going to be in my top books of the year - it's not that kind of book. But it wasn't trying to be great literature - it was trying to be funny, sad, and shocking. It was good to hear Kay read his own words, but I could have done without the extra bits at the end of the audio book (although the open letter to the health secretary was fine). But I didn't really want to hear how hard it was for Kay to be sent on a month long book tour, or an interview that really added nothing to the book.
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