Annet's Reviews > Black Flies

Black Flies by Shannon Burke
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's review
Oct 03, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 31, 2011 to January 01, 2012

Found this book in a bookstore in San Francisco, not the usual book I would read, but somehow I was drawn to it. This is a grim, realistic, minimalistic, direct and very well written book, gives an upclose and confronting view of young paramedic Ollie Cross. Having missed out on medical school, he signs up as paramedic patrolling the streets in New York (Harlem) with a number of colorful characteristic partners, to get experience and try to get into medical school this way. He gets sucked into the tragic events and patients a paramedic encounters on the streets of Harlem, shoot-outs, suicides,bad accidents, bad cops, unhinged medics, hopeless situations. Ollie starts out optimistic and spirals down a depressive route, barely surviving. Realistic pictures of the team, the partnership, the wrong colleagues and the tragedy of some paramedics who can't cope in the end, the camaraderie between the partners... it was a book I got into from the first page and could not put it down. A realistic struggle between good and evil within the paramedics is basically what you witness, a struggle where the borders between good and evil seem vague in the end. Reads easy and quickly and I found the last 50 pages an emotional read. Highly recommended, great great book.
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Reading Progress

12/31/2011 page 114

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