“Kelly” Grayson and me are quite different people – we live half a world apart, we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum and the debate on gun control and socialised medicine.
None of that matter because he's a top bloke and a regular blog read of mine. Kelly is a Paramedic in the South United States and has been writing the 'A Day In The Life Of An Ambulance Driver' blog for as long as I can remember. I often leave his site either laughing of shaking my head in amazement.
As I am obviously an influential member of the blogging community (subsection: medical whining) Kelly saw fit to throw me a free review copy of his new book – 'En Route'.
I read it in one sitting (actually a lie, I read it in one 'laying' as I read it in bed). Starting with his first days on the job and the sheer fear and confusion that brings through calls that are memorable, heartbreaking and hilariously funny Kelly has done some seriously entertaining writing.
Taken from his blog the book is a collection of short stories – like sitting in a bar listening to a mate tell you about the jobs that stick in his head, I reckon that Kelly must be a born entertainer.
He's also an excellent medic – I've learned a few things reading his writing, and not just about the crazy way the American ambulance services work.
What underlies a large part of the book is his very distinct voice – the US South is a culture of it's own and that really shines through in this book. The superb medic, the tone of voice and the humour and anger that strikes us ambulance lot makes this a unique book, and one I was sad to finish. Even though it's a bit of a busman's holiday and I remember a number of stories from the blog I still wanted to read more.
At the moment 'En Route' is only available in the US, but Amazon do international shipping (it's about £5 to the UK), and in my opinion it's well worth the extra cost.
UPDATE: The book is available in the UK – and it's well worth the cost – The Route: A Paramedic's Stories of Life, Death, and Everything in Between