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Paramedic to the Prince

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  717 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Drive-by shootings, drug overdoses, and multi-car accidents - as a paramedic, he thought he had seen it all, until he answered a small job advertisement that changed his life forever.
Welcome to the mysterious world of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one of the most fundamentalist Islamic countries on the globe. Working as a paramedic at the only level one trauma center in th
Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published December 7th 2009 by Booksurge (first published March 19th 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,063)
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Mar 29, 2016 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting story of a fascinating country, its people and customs. Unevenly told and with a touch of arrogant superiority at times. There's a lot of talk of the riches one can amass as an expat (tax free income, many gratuities, free lodging, etc). As a reader, I got the impression that as time went on, the author himself became a bit spoiled and entitled but throughout his experience he's a man of integrity and hard work who respects the people and their customs, while loving their country ...more
Megan Smith
May 24, 2011 Megan Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's obvious from the writing style that it's actually written by the paramedic, versus a ghost writer, and I liked that about it. The writing style is that of a guy sitting around telling stories. It hops all over the place in no particular order and uses phrases like "it was a zillion degrees," but I think that made me like the book that much more. It's an easy and light read, with only a few sentences here and there about horrible things (the way women and anim ...more
Jan 01, 2012 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really nice to have a book that doesn't pontificate or dispense viewpoints and simply lets us judge for ourselves. A fascinating (and somewhat disturbing) POV of Saudi Arabia.
Julie Laporte
I loved this and hated this all at the same time. I read it on the Kindle, and the editing was absolutely horrible. Not just your usual error, either--whole syntax errors. That's enough to drive me nuts...yet I know so very little about this subject, and the author's experience is so unique--privy to the life of a prince in Saudi Arabia--even getting to see Mecca and the Kabala as a non-Muslim.

Yet I couldn't help but get hung up on the author's voice, which really came through loud and clear--I
Jan 29, 2013 Kat rated it liked it
Readers wanting a crash course in expat life in Saudi Arabia will find this book helpful. Though lacking in structure, the book's humorous anecdotes kept me interested, especially the author's accidental visit to Mecca and his stories of working in various Saudi Arabian hospitals. His personal experiences during the time he served as medic to the Crown Prince are intriguing. Not many people can say they’ve joined world leaders as they convened on yachts and stayed at various palatial estates. Th ...more
Sometimes you come across a book online (in this case while looking up books similar to In the Land of Invisible Women, although I was hoping for better writing) and it looks really interesting. A great cover -- in this case the blue one -- and a story about a culture you're curious about.

Sometimes it is easy to find a copy of that book, so your curiosity is quickly sated. Sometimes you can't find a copy anywhere -- neither of the library systems in your town have it; it's not available on the b
May 29, 2011 Beverly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-bio
Fascinating look into paramedic practices in Saudi Arabia and frustrations it brought to an American trained paramedic. Interesting look into the life of the Saudi royal family.

The book suffered from poor grammar here and there; the kindle edition desperately needs a good editor.
Brooke Hailey
I'm not quite halfway through and it's starting to get boring. It was intriguing at first, but now it's getting pretty slow. And the grammatical errors are rampant! I think Notestine has an interesting story to tell, but he needs a better editor!
Nov 02, 2012 Golem rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The ability to self-publish books has certainly increased reader's exposure to previously undiscovered fields of work and play, but without the critical eye of a well-meaning editor some texts become painful, and Paramedic To The Prince is one such book. It is an unstructured, one-dimensional, chronologically challenged account of an American paramedic's decade long life in Saudi Arabia. I really wanted to like this book but was defeated by tortuous syntax, grammar and the random paragraphs. The ...more
I don't even know how rate this book. If I were to rate it on writing style, spelling, editing, and typos, it would get one star, if that. If I were to rate it on interesting stories and learning more about Saudi Arabia, it would get a 4. The first part of the book about his life as a paramedic in a hospital in Saudi and later to the prince is fascinating. The latter half of the book where he just rambles his opinions about Saudi life in general is less so. I think a good editor good have taken ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
I had a hard time putting this one down. The Saudi culture is...very different from ours. Reading this book was like coming upon a bad car accident - you know you should look away but just can't.

The author tells many fascinating anecdotes but I was wishing his editor had tightened up the writing. The stories jumped around a bit and at times it wasn't clear which person he was speaking of.

I'm hoping to find out what Mr. Notestine has done since leaving Saudi - did he become a lawyer? How does he
Diane Lybbert
The author leaves his EMT duties in the US to go to the Middle East (prior to 9/11). He finds that in Saudi hospitals ER units, the EMTs have much more responsibility: performing triage, making treatment decisions, etc. Because of the culture, many decisions are not made, but left to Allah to determine if the person should live or die. Because of this, however, Tom gains much valuable experience as well as the trust and respect of the staff. He is given the opportunity to work at the Palace, as ...more
Princila Murrell
This book is not really well-written, but if you can get past that and read for the content, this book provides the unique experience of the author--an intriguing look at his life as a paramedic at a hospital and then to a Saudi prince.

While I do not agree with some of his opinions regarding paramedic practices in Saudi Arabia, I was fascinated by his account of life as a member of a Saudi prince's medical team. Honestly, in the 9 years that I've lived in Saudi Arabia, I've never met any member
Mylene Orillo
Jan 21, 2016 Mylene Orillo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book from Amazon because it's not available in the Philippines. It took me over a month to receive the copy, but it didn't disappoint me. I was hooked. can't put the book down. I wanted to finish it and I did finally!

Reading the book has made me realize how lucky I am to be Filipino, even though they consider us as third class citizens. That even though they say the Philippine government is corrupt, there are far more worst corrupt countries that we didn't know of; and being born f
Jul 11, 2014 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Readers
I always say this is one of the best books I've ever read. It taught me so much about Saudi Arabia. I'm going to read it a second time because it was so good!
May 10, 2013 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting, full of fascinating tid-bits about life in Saudi.
An engaging assortment of stories. The book lacked a direction, although each chapter seemed to revolve around a particular theme. Stories are interspersed among each other, sometimes quite randomly and without setup.

Paramedic to the Prince is a decent idea of a story. However, it doesn't have the clarity and depth to really bring it to the next level.

If the book was a work of fiction, using a paramedic in Saudi Arabia during this time period, it would be very intriguing. In a fictional account
Jul 02, 2012 Sophie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on my Kindle initially thinking it wouldn't be great as it was pretty cheap however that couldn't have been further from the truth.

There isn't a story or a plot as such as it's a non-fictional book; the story of a man who takes off from the States and lands himself in a completely different world in Saudi Arabia.

I found some of the things Notestine wrote about to be really fascinating about the lifestyle connected with the wealthy people in Saudi (whether or not I should take
Dina Tanners
Oct 13, 2013 Dina Tanners rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after reading three other newer books set in Saudi Arabia, one non-fiction and two fiction. The fiction books were slow-paced mysteries written in the past few years by Zoe Ferraris, who was married to a Saudi and lived 12 years in Saudi Arabia. The other was In the Land of Invisible Woman, the story of a Pakistani-British woman doctor who worked in KSA for several years. These three books gave me a good background into KSA in the past 15 years, so I had a good basis for reading ...more
Feb 01, 2016 Seth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This was a fascinating perspective on daily life in Saudi Arabia for a paramedic who worked there for nearly a decade, both in a hospital and on the staff of Crown Prince Abdullah, both before and after September 11. the author notes that he has a love-hate relationship with the country and spent most of his time in an emergency room, but it was still a fascinating perspective and an engaging, quick read.
Theresa Foxx wishert
I appreciate the author's viewpoint and the knowledge of emergency medical care that he brings to the book. Even of more interest is the view of Saudi society and the viewpoints of the various groups. I would put this book as a must read to assist any reader to have a better understanding of the attitudes of parties within Saudis Arabia. Thank you, Tom, for your accounting of your time in the Kingdom.
Nikunj Thakkar
Jul 28, 2012 Nikunj Thakkar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saudi Arabia has always been a mysterious land, probably for me. The bedouin culture, hospitality etc. has always been an interesting aspect of their society. I got more interested in knowing about the middle east from the last book i read by Mailha Masood.

Tom has kept the book interesting, describing his tenure in the National Guard hospital, the palace and now King Faisal hospital.

From what i had read in the reviews that there as parts where the reader could be shaken, with the incidents of b
Alisa Kester
Interesting to get a viewpoint of 9/11 from an American who was actually in Saudia Arabia, watching the tv with his utterly thrilled Saudi friends and co-workers as the Towers fell. The celebrations, the delight - you don't get to hear about that side of the Middle Eastern culture very often on mainstream news.
Apr 02, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
Awesome stories and events. Poor grammar usage

Fascinating read, but poorly written which is why I gave 4 stars. The author has some wonderful stories ofthe events he experienced tnere and the culture shock that comes with it
Rich Blumm
Jun 29, 2016 Rich Blumm rated it it was amazing
So eye-opening you can't put it down!

This is an intimate, thought-provoking first hand account of how amazing and awful life can be, even as a foreigner (let alone a Saudi), in "modern" Saudi Arabia. Hard to put down!
Jan 07, 2016 CA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saudi Arabia is a country whose culture I know little about. I was interested in finding out more but wanted to do so through a memoir. I found this book very interesting I am now going to read from where this book left off early in the 2000's as would like to read more about the changes.
Fatima Afridi
Aug 11, 2016 Fatima Afridi rated it did not like it
Poorly written!

It could've been a very interesting read but it's been written extremely poorly. Grammatical errors and abrupt beginnings and endings made it so difficult for me to finish reading this book. The narrative suddenly changes to the present tense in the last fourth of the book. No continuity whatsoever. Awful editing and proofreading to boot! I would not recommend this book.
Jacynthe Hinderyckx
Jul 13, 2015 Jacynthe Hinderyckx rated it it was amazing

A very interesting and in-depth read of the life and experiences of an American paramedic in the mysterious Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Ginger Phillips
Mar 14, 2015 Ginger Phillips rated it really liked it
Very enlightening

This book is written with a very heartfelt sincerity. I could feel the author's enthusiasm. Would love to see a more structured memoir from him.
An American paramedic goes to Saudi Arabia to earn some tax-free money and experience this incredibly different culture. An insider's look at Saudi culture. Notestine is very blunt when stating facts about Saudi customs and extremism. However, I never felt like he was judging the country or it's people. He certainly didn't agree with many of their beliefs, but he didn't put them down for it. He approached touchy subjects about the treatment of women and Americans as "just the way it is". Written ...more
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“Jeddah is the natural cultural capital, an old fortified port on the Red Sea, the home of merchants and immigrants. Jeddah is historic, confident, less threatened by new ideas. Riyadh today is bible-belt fierce, and brash.” 0 likes
“With all this cash flowing in pretty soon there were a hell of a lot of healthy, well fed Saudis, with nothing much to do. They could cope with desk jobs, the bureaucratic, organizational jobs, but when it came to hands-on action, all the new resources were staffed and maintained by foreigners. Publicly, everyone agreed that this had got to change.” 0 likes
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