Miracles and Mayhem in the ER: Unbelievable True Stories
By Brent Russell, M.D,
This book appeared on one of the many lists I receive touting discounted Kindle e-books. I immediately went over to Amazon.com and noticed it had pretty decent reviews. Besides, if I didn’t like it, I was only out $3.00.
I think this is the first time I’ve ever reviewed a book immediately after finishing it, but then, Miracles and Mayhem in the ER is that kind of book.
It’s partly because I live in the Portland Oregon area where most of the book takes place (and became totally confused when he talked about working at “Brookwood” hospital, trying desperately to remember where this was; it wasn’t until I read the afterwards that I realized he’d made it up), I think it was more to the point that this was a really good read.
I found myself not only reading it during lunch but also, before I went to bed. I really enjoyed his stories, whether it was that one night he became a believer in the fact that the crazies do come out during the Full Moon (I noticed that too working inbound customer service for AT&T Mobility – nothing like working the late shift and having drunks try to pay their phone bills) or discussing the Portland area and its great outdoors.
What I really appreciate about Dr. Russell’s style of writing is that he managed to weave his background growing up in Mississippi in with his stories of his training and the ER. I’ve read other books (most notably Thomas Starzl’s The Puzzle People: Memoirs of a Transplant Surgeon where he continually apologizes for being a racist in his earlier days) where the doctor’s background story takes away from the main narrative. Not in this book. He expertly wove his personal story into the over-all medical narrative.
As you can guess, I highly recommend this book and I’m looking forward to reading it a second time because I know it will be as a fun a read as the first time.
Highly recommended and I give it a solid 5/5.
Next up, The Woman with a Worm in Her Head: And Other True Stories of Infectious Disease.