Friday, November 16, 2018

Audiobook Review - Gutter Medicine by Roger Huder @rogerhuder

Gutter Medicine: Twenty-Six Years as a Firefighter Paramedic by Roger Huder
Narrated by Tom Jordan
Publisher: Roger Huder
Publication Date: October 25, 2018
Date Read: November 8, 2018
Length:  5 hours 29 minutes
Source: Audiobook Boom
★★★★☆
My career as a firefighter/paramedic stretched from 1974 to 2000 when were inventing EMS as we went along. These are stories from those years on the street. That place I named so long ago, the other reality that exists just outside most people’s everyday lives. It is a place that seems to exist parallel to the normal workaday existence: yet it is only a car accident or cardiac away for any of us. It manifested itself in brushfires, house fires, shootings, stabbings, hangings, accidents with injuries, cardiacs, codes, drownings, and a thousand other emergencies.

The street was more than a physical place. It was a place filled with excitement, fear, tragedy, horror, sadness, despair, joy, and laughter. It was a place where routine decisions could have terrible consequences: I am going to the grocery store. Or, I will get the wiring fixed next month. Where people died or were maimed. Often, it was a terrible place. Or maybe it was reality. It was where all safeguards ended and our job began. There were thousands of cases, but these are the ones etched in my memory. The ones that will never go away.
My Review

I enjoyed this memoir.  I sometimes wish that I would have gone into the medical field but I was still queasy about blood and other bodily fluids as a young adult.  Let's just say that I got over that queasiness and enjoy learning about medicine in all of its bloody glory.  I found this to be a well done look at being a paramedic that I found entertaining and informative.

Paramedics have been around for as long I can remember.  I remember watching Emergency! on TV as a child in the 1970's.  We actually caught a few episodes of the show on television not that long ago and I was somewhat surprised by how different things worked for the first responders.  For an outsider, gradual changes in a profession aren't really noticed but when you look back it is obvious how far you have come.  When Roger Huder started his career as a paramedic, the profession was just beginning and the textbooks had yet to be written.

I found this to be a very thoughtful look at the years that Mr. Huder spent doing this vital job.  I did enjoy some of the cases that he talked about that has stuck with him over the years even though many of them are heartbreaking.  I felt his frustration in getting the cooperation that he needed from hospital staff and his supervisors during the early years.  I was also amazed by some of the dangerous situations that he was put in without a lot of backup.  I found the portions of the book where he talked about how his job impacted his home life to also be quite powerful.

This was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to Tom Jordan's narration.  I think that he did a fantastic job with this book.  He has a very pleasant speaking voice that was easy to listen to for hours at a time.  I thought that he was able to bring a lot of emotion into the book and his delivery made the story entertaining.  I wouldn't hesitate to listen to his work again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others.  I found this to be a book that really stuck with me and made me appreciate all of the first responders that risk so much to help others.  I am very glad that I made the decision to give this book a try.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author via Audiobook Boom.

24 comments:

  1. I could not do this kind of job and I greatly admire the people who do. They are the real heroes in our society not overpaid celebrities!

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  2. not a fan, I mean... working at the front lines is traumatic, and writing can be therapeutic. But I think if I read it i'd be really depressed because the world can be such a dumb place

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    1. It was a really interesting look at what it would be like to work this kind of job.

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  3. I couldn't do this and I totally respect those who do, but I think the book would be fascinating to read or listen to.

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  4. This sounds really, really good. Excellent review. I would like to read this one too. It's not the same but I read several books about working dogs which remind me of this kind of situation, going into it and possibly dangerous. Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. This is the second paramedic memior that I have read this year and they were both very interesting. It was a nice change of pace.

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  5. I have a paramedic friend and his stories are always very interesting. I'll have to keep this in mind when I want to read non-fiction. Wonderful review! :)

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    1. I think that it would be a job that would never get boring.

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  6. It would be interesting to read about. To be there though, I think I am a behind the scenes person more

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    1. I am not sure how I would be at this kind of job. I do love learning about the medical field though.

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  7. I really love those books that makes us think and especially helps us appreciate those that sacrifice so much for us.

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    1. I do too. I found this to be a very thoughtful book.

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  8. I have been watching the show 9-1-1 off and on which is a fictionalized show about first responders. They really do have their work cut out for them. In my career I haven't often worked with paramedics--mostly just the police, and so that's more a side I get to see. This sounds like a great memoir.

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    1. We have been watching that show too, Wendy! It is very well done.

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  9. The people who do this job are amazing. I've been watching a reality tv show following ambulance/paramedics here in Australia, and it's fascinating and heartbreaking and so eye-opening what they go through.

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    1. I think that it would be hard to do this job for an entire career. It would be hard in so many ways.

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  10. Kudos to the people who do this kind of work.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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  11. This sounds like such a powerful read. Great review!!

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  12. These people do such amazing work day in and day out, often for inadequate pay considering the risks involved and certainly without enough recognition. This sounds like a fascinating and educational memoir. Good find!

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    1. I couldn't agree more. They deserve so much respect for the job that they do.

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