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This is Going to Hurt
Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
`Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable.' - Stephen Fry
Winner of the Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction Book of the Year
Winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers' Choice Award
Winner of Blackwell's Debut Book of the Year
Winner of iBooks' Book of the Year
Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships . . .
Welcome to the life of a junior doctor.
Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, these diaries are everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Brutally funny . . . jaw-dropping * New Statesman * At once hilarious and shocking, moving and irreverent, This Is Going to Hurt is a book that demands to be read. Adam Kay's deft comic tone is a brilliant counterpoint to his most serious of intents: to impress upon us the importance of the NHS in our lives and the irreversible damage being inflicted upon it by indifferent governments. -- Maggie O'Farrell The humour is unflinching in its darkness . . . Yet I did laugh. A lot. Kay is a skilful, muscular writer, his narrative swinging from laugh-out- loud anecdotes to tales of sheer horror. The book's title is harrowingly apt . . . In the end, this book is a call to arms. That the NHS lost Kay is a tragedy. That this diary was written well before the Government's battle with junior doctors is more disturbing
still' * Independent * All of human life is contained in these diaries . . . hilarious, horrifying * Prima * Brilliant -- Mark Haddon, author of <i>The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time</i> This is a brilliant book -- Russell Howard Laugh-out-loud funny . . . I found myself laughing in horror over and over, but Kay's poignant final act brought me to tears. This is a valuable window into the life of a junior doctor that should be required reading for all -- Sarah Shaffi * Stylist * Hilarious . . . a complete eye-opener * Red * A heartening, laugh-out-loud confessional on the indignities and quiet joys of being a junior doctor . . . Anchoring the wisecracks is Kay's heartfelt respect for Britain's junior doctors and the ignoble realities of a noble profession. At a time of anxiety over the future of the NHS, Kay's warts-and-all account will not only bring plenty of laughs but also delivers a moving report from the NHS's embattled frontline' * Financial Times * Blisteringly funny, politically enraging and often heartbreaking . . . hilarious . . . There is also a huge amount of pathos . . . This is a book brimming not just with humour but with humanity. Kay describes with visceral honesty the sacrifices made by junior doctors . . . This should be a wake-up call to all who value the NHS -- Hannah Beckerman * Sunday Express * Hilarious and heartbreaking . . . I howled, yelped and occasionally choked with laughter . . . It's an invigorating addition to the vogue for medical memoirs. I like to think of it sitting on a shelf next to Henry Marsh, Atul Gawande and Paul Kalanithi, turning the air bluer and bluer. It has something of all those writers, but with an added dash of a profane Adrian Mole . . . This book may hurt, but in an important and necessary way -- Cathy Rentzenbrink * The Times * Funny, tragic, uplifting and brimming with bodily fluids (sorry) . . . Kay makes for a compelling bedfellow as he explores the terrifying world of the amazing men and women (just about) holding the NHS together -- Francesca Brown * Stylist * Stayed up half the night laughing out loud over painfully smart, honest doctor diaries -- Emma Donoghue, author of <i>Room</i> Things I have done while reading this book: laughed aloud (too many times to count), read a passage to a stranger on a train (this was perhaps inadvisable but could not be helped), been consistently bowled over by the detail of Dr Kay's sharp prose & remarkably observant journey in a job so many of us have no real understanding of. It's an important book, a boots-on-the-ground memoir true to its title-but it's a good hurt I was left with upon turning the last page, the kind that resonates with empathy and consequence -- Ryan Gattis, author of <i>Safe</i> and <i>All Involved</i> Hilarious, poignant, depressing and shocking. Kay is such a brilliantly talented writer he manages to be both deadly serious and hilarious at the same time. Piles of this book should be in every GP surgery waiting room and A&E department in the country. Heartbreaking, dazzling, brutally honest -- Bridget Christie An urgent, devastating yet truly funny account of life at the coalface of the NHS. This Is Going to Hurt had me laughing, crying and open-mouthed - in horror and in awe - by turn of page -- Lisa Owens, author of <i>Not Working</i> This made me laugh out loud and cry in equal measures. Adam's book weaves in and out of his patients' lives and in so doing he tells, in a better narrative than I have ever seen before, of the pain and joy of working so close to despair, disease and death. It's a quite brilliant book and will soothe the sorrows of many junior (and senior) doctors and remind us all why we entered this wonderful profession. A must read for patients too - lifting the bonnet on the working life of your jobbing hospital doctor -- Prof Clare Gerada MBE, past chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners<b></b> Hilarious from the first page - very, very funny. I loved it -- Kit Wharton, author of <i>Emergency Admissions</i> This should be required reading for anyone who works in, uses or even voices an opinion about the NHS. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh some more, you'll think twice about ever reproducing -- Dean Burnett, author of <i>The Idiot Brain</i> By turns witty, gruesome, alarming, and touching. Always illuminating and searingly honest -- Jonathan Dimbleby Superb. Unusual and funny and sad -- Pam Ayres What a hilarious, stomach-churning, thought-provoking heartbreaker of a book. I loved every single page -- Jill Mansell If we lose the NHS, Adam Kay's diary of his him as a junior doctor will become a historical record of a unique, empathy-powered machine, and make it not just one of the funniest books I've ever read, but one of the saddest, too -- David Whitehouse A scurrilously funny, poignant and fascinatingly horrific tale of being torn to pieces and spat out by the strangely loveable but graceless monster that is the NHS -- Milton Jones As a hypochondriac I was worried about reading Adam Kay's book. Luckily it's incredibly funny - so funny, in fact, that it gave me a hernia from laughing -- Joe Lycett This is a ferociously funny book, but beneath the sheen of brilliant one-liners is a passionate, acutely personal examination of what the health service does for us, and what we're in danger of doing to it -- Mark Watson Horrifyingly hilarious and hilariously horrifying -- Danny Wallace Much like the NHS itself, this book is filled with hope, despair, miracles, catastrophe and acres of the sharpest gallows humour. A very funny book with a very sobering message -- Chris Addison By turns hilarious, shocking, heartbreaking and humbling -- John Niven What an amazing book. I laughed so hard and often I nearly choked, but it's also very moving and important. Everyone should read it. -- Cathy Rentzenbrink Unputdownable. You must read this book if you like reading, like laughing or love our NHS. It's a spit-your-tea-out-laughing clarion call to stand up for our junior doctors with all our might -- Shappi Khorsandi As hilarious as it is heartbreaking - and it IS heartbreaking (also hilarious) -- Charlie Brooker Finally a true picture of the harrowing, hilarious and ultimately chaotic life of the junior doctor in all its gory glory, dark comedy and unavoidable sadness. A blisteringly funny account shot through with harrowing detail, many pertinent truths and the humanity we all hope doctors conceal behind their unflappable exteriors. -- Jo Brand I'm not a Doctor (despite what I sometimes say) but I'd prescribe this book to anyone and everyone. It's laugh-out-loud funny, heartbreakingly sad and gives you the lowdown on what it's like to be holding it together while serving on the front line of our beloved but beleaguered NHS. It's wonderful -- Jonathan Ross Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable. -- Stephen Fry