This is Going to Hurt - Adam Kay
Some of you may remember a while back I posted an Instagram poll on which book I should review next, the winner by a mile was the highly acclaimed book by Adam Kay - This is Going to Hurt. Almost anyone who is anyone has come into contact with this book one way or another: recommended by a work colleague; on the front table of the book store; reviewed by well-known celebrities. I knew I had to see for myself what all of the talk is about.
For those who (for some reason) don't know - This is Going to Hurt is a journal of sorts composed by Adam Kay over the years as he progresses from keen university student, to consultant. Ultimately, the diary ends with the reasoning to why Kay chose to abandon his life with the NHS and instead become a script writer and comedian.
I was initially drawn in on the first page, the way Kay opts to select nicknames of "minor" Harry Potter characters as a way to maintain confidentiality. I knew that from there, the book would hold the same tongue-in-cheek humour throughout. I can honestly say that I have not laughed so much at a book, ever. I mean, serious laughing! There were times when I was on my morning commute on the bus and I'd find myself laughing out loud, much to the confusion of other passengers.
Throughout the entries we discover just how hard our junior doctors are worked by the system, for very little return. Of course, most people are aware of how difficult our NHS staff do work, but admittedly, I wasn't aware of the true impact the profession has on friends and family alike. Reading about how junior doctors are expected to work upwards of 24+ hours (half of them for free) really brought things down to Earth, as Kay describes how he misses birthdays, upon stag do's, upon anniversaries, etc, etc.
Along with being a true eye-opener, this book has had me in fits of laughter, as well as shed tears - grieving over the injustice of it all. However, I have to say that it isn't for the faint-hearted, easily offended, or slightly squeamish. Example: "...the patient has just opened her bowels and the pan looks like Lush have released a horrific new red and brown bath bomb" Delicious.
What I liked
Hard-hitting, no bullshit.
I cried with laughter at some parts, the dry, sarcastic tone of the novel is exactly the kind of humour I adore.
Easy to read, all medical terminology and jargon is thoroughly explained in the footnotes (even if you know the meaning of them, I urge you to still read them - there are some hilarious hidden gems in there!)
A MUST read. I genuinely do not need to say any more than this.
What I didn't like
Now this point, I did talk over with my mum, whom I let borrow the book once I had finished. For me, I think the book actually may not be hard hitting enough? Yes, I admit I did shed a single tear upon reading the ending - even someone with an ice cold heart would be moved by this novel. However, I feel as though more emphasis could be put on the unpaid over-time, for example, rather than playing it off as nothing and trying to make a joke out of it. There are still people in this country who will moan and complain about sitting in waiting areas for longer than they anticipated, after reading this book I know they will think twice. Naturally, my mum disagreed and said it was hard-hitting enough and that she was heartbroken, so that just shows the difference in our personalities really.
Overall rating: 9.5/10
Would I recommend?: YES!
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought too?