A Thousand Naked Strangers

A Thousand Naked Strangers

A Paramedic's Wild Ride to the Edge and Back

Book - 2016 | First Scribner hardcover edition.
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A former paramedic's visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta's mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.

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 twenty-six, 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 read about one man's journey of self-discovery--a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2016.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501110832
Branch Call Number: 362.188 HAZ
Characteristics: xix, 261 pages


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May 01, 2018

Interesting read, immediately forgettable.

Mar 29, 2017

The life of an emergency medic in a big city. Lots of stories of meeting poverty, drug dependence, madness and despair. It's a good book, but not quite sure why so many rate it 5 stars. On the plus side, it tells it how it is. On the minus side, it is often not a pretty picture, for example the infighting and rivalry often found between medics, fire-fighters and police, when you would expect these groups to co-operate more during an emergency. It describes some pretty horrible scenes. I'd avoid reading pages 175 and 176; some images it is hard to un-see or un-imagine. Still, if you want to get a realistic look at the profession, this would probably not be a bad book to start.

Nov 27, 2016

Possibly my new favorite book of all time. He was humorous and real. I am a medic myself and I recommended it to my medic friends. 5/5!

ArapahoeKati Oct 10, 2016

Loved this. I was sharing highlights of this to anyone who would listen to me. Kinda gross sometimes, but the hilarity will keep you burning through the pages.

Sep 16, 2016

Wasn't too sure about this book at first , but sure glad I decided to read it . Very good and very interesting . Sometimes humorous , but more importantly tells what this particular EMS guy encountered on the job. Quite enlightening and would have never thought that these things are encountered by the people that do this job . Would recommend this book for sure ! Actually hated to see it end .

Aug 10, 2016

A very interesting book about life as a paramedic. Not for the squeamish!

Jul 22, 2016

I was a little disappointed.

Jun 14, 2016

Very interesting read---read it in one day! Some gruesome stuff but all in all, very readable.

Jun 04, 2016

Very interesting book. Reveals all the things that paramedics go through on the job. A true story and easy to read.

Mar 03, 2016

Honest and thought-provoking, Hazzard takes a look at his 10 years as an EMS and paramedic in the Atlanta area and writes in a conversational, engaging way. Often disgusting and frightening, Hazzard reveals the hard work, struggles and craziness in the normal day of a paramedic. My only question is why do these people not get paid more? If you like living other lives and not having to wash out your vehicle afterwards, this might be the book for you.

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