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First Aide Medicine

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Jack worked at the surfboard shop, Karen was a lifeguard, and every night was perfect. And since teenage love destroyed by suicide is hard to get over, Jack simply holds on to his dead girlfriend. At first it is the long phone calls deep into the night, reliving the memories of drinking, black metal bands, the medicine…and the parties an old man named Manson would throw fo ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Emergency Press (first published April 22nd 2013)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  75 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"Butterflies made of unused organs could come flying back out of my origami hands. It was like a little gift I gave to myself that I stole from somebody else. I only offer so much as I can stand. I give out signals of disinterest. That's because I only care for Karen."

You've never read anything like this. Startling, perverse, beautiful, haunted -- a transcript of bruised fantasies and sexual humiliation, but under everything a truly original voice, unscorched and strong. This is not so much a no
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, bizarro, e-books
Jack hearts Karen. Karen commits suicide, and the rest of the story reads like a haunted, surreal love letter trapped in a never ending nightmare.

This is Jack's descent into madness through little vignettes of his tortured mind. Prose poetry told from the perspective of a monster caught inside his own personal hell. There is a perplexed, dis-jointed feel throughout the whole of this short novella. Disgusting yet beautiful imagery and fantastic illustrations sprinkled though out. A hard one to p
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-author
In this book, we follow Jack, who is feeling left behind as all of his friends have either moved, died, or disappeared. He is particularly hung up on his girlfriend Karen and how she died. A strong tone of heartbreak guides everything he does.
Further along, Jack learns of the 5 rituals attached to Karen's mirror and enters a world that leaves you guessing. Are the experiences dreams or real, and are they happening with the ghost of Karen, or the "corpse of her ghost?"
Written in a poetic, metaph
Donald Armfield
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bizarro, horror, giveaways
Take Edgar Allen Poe's "The Black Cat" drop it a bowl of maggots with some sorrow and you'll have "First Aide Medicine"

"Once upon a time Old Man Manson gouged his kitty's eye out when it killed his arctic fox."

A tale about the dead that follows behind you and reminisces about the past of how it use to be. Before the funeral. The suicide that threw it all away, revenge must be taken.

Karen the beautiful life guard, her boyfriend who works at the surfboard shop reunite to seek revenge on Old Man Ma
Jun 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
If there’s one thing that all the reviewers here can agree upon. This book reads like a bad acid trip.

But I would define it simply as a surreal children’s horror story.

Or not simply. I shouldn’t say simply. It’s very complex and mired in an insanity akin to a nightmare.

The descriptions are very psychedelic, and I don’t mean that stupid concept of hallucinating laughing gnomes or whatever. It’s like when you see something, it registers falsely in your mind (the way a shadow sometimes looks lik
Jul 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
A poorly written , Gobbledygook piece of utter nonsense that was a complete waste of my time . 1 star is actually to much but we can't give a 0 rating or I would . ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction
It's important to say that this isn't my kind of thing. I don't like stream of consciousness, I don't like not being able to tell if the main character is experiencing one long acid trip or is schizophrenic, and I don't like stories that don't have a discernible structure.
That's just me. Some people have much more tolerance than I do, and that's OK.
This story - which is apparently about a guy whose girlfriend, Karen, committed suicide after having an affair with a much older man - doesn't satis
Mar 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. At first I appreciated it's loose lyrical approach, but was quickly overtaken by just how poorly written it was. It saddened me because some very legitimate flashes of pure brilliance where overshadowed by it. I hate giving bad reviews. Maybe I missed something. Others seem to have enjoyed it. I have to agree with another reviewer, the illustrations got in the way. It would have been more effective to let the reader imagine rather than giv ...more
Caleb Wilson
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
A short novel that combines the morbid whimsy of striped, furry monsters and cats with eye-patches with the crushing sadness of betrayal and suicide. A very potent combination, and not one I can remember reading before. Lots of grotesque and powerful images, like the loss of teeth (often happens in my own nightmares) and the perverted old man stuck naked in a pricker bush. The author’s black and white illustrations, small and cryptic, were also great.
Samuel Moss
Sep 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2013
[Full Disclosure: Nicholas approached me to review First Aide Medicine and provided me with a free electronic copy of the piece. I originally wrote this response as a personal letter to Nicholas and sent it to him. He encouraged me to post it on goodreads in order to foster dialogue. -Sam]

Hi Nicholaus,

You approached me to review First Aide Medicine. Twice I think. I took it on because I enjoy reading and reviewing fresh work, especially works that are considered outside of the norm. I have not h
Joseph Spuckler
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
First Aide Medicine by Nicholaus Patnaude is a rather astonishing trip into the mind. Patnaude was raised in Vermont, attended Bard College, and did social work before moving to Istanbul where he works as a teacher.

Jack works at a surf, well sort of a surf shop. It sells boogie boards, suntan lotion, and cheap sunglasses; but not surfboards. Karen is a lifeguard and the two of them have great time together until Karen takes her life. From there things get really weird. It is hard to let go of s
Travis Fortney
Jul 08, 2013 rated it liked it
My review from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, which you can find here:


First Aide Medicine, the debut novel from Nicholaus Patnaude out now from Emergency Press, starts off promisingly, albeit with an italicized prologue that's a bit jarring to the eye. And the writing in the prologue is just, well, strange. For example: "Let the blood run down his sides faster than sweat so that we can be merry. Cut his life to a flame in a pinch as we await the Ghost
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: to-read-again
Full Disclosure: I was approached on the Bizarro Genre group to read this novel/novella for a review by the author. While in the midst of the reading, I also had a chance to ask a few questions to the author.

The review
This is not a book.

First Aide Medicine (FAM) masquerades as a book, what with chapters and words and paragraphs and sentences ...
but it is not a book.

Whether this mask was placed on FAM or fell on it accidentally,
I'm not sure.
The author told me that the poetic language was the
Jul 17, 2013 rated it liked it
First Aide Medicine tells the story of a twenty-something protagonist whose girlfriend Karen was killed after cuckolding him, and he needs to work up the energy to enact revenge on her killer-- in that way, it's thematically a little bit like Hamlet, but it's told in an extremely close up point of view, so that everything is seen through the narrator's eyes without much of the context of what he's seeing-- it's very immediate, and for a book with a lot of odd goings on, occasionally confusing. S ...more
MG Mason
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a short novella, around 17,000 words, but bulked out with a lot of illustrations. There’s no harm in trying something a little different I suppose.

It starts with an intriguing prologue that is written rather like an internal monologue – it’s kind of disturbing in a roundabout sort of way, reflective and brutal so I was hooked from page one of this short novella. The internal monologue tone carries on. The first person narrative works well for the story and you will immediately find yours
Jun 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
First Aide Medicine was the first and probably will remain the only time where the author gave me a free copy in exchange for a review. I'm sorry to say that I did not like it. To its rescue: I never would have read First Aide Medicine otherwise. The twisted story is far removed from my personal taste. Reading through the other reviews for this book, it's actually removed from the taste of almost everybody who has been asked to review it.
It starts out reasonably enough when Jack reminisces about
Laura J. W.
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
As an indie author, I know how hard it is to match up readers to a book that is not from the accessible mainstream vein of fiction where the top ten books dwell. Nick Patnaude took a risk and asked me, and apparently several other Goodreads members, to read First Aide Medicine, so I stepped up on a whim and was pleasantly surprised, so I kept reading. At first glance, First Aide Medicine is a short claustrophobic tale about teenage love, loss, obsession, and revenge—it is a curious little book w ...more
Ken Deshaies
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a difficult book to review, for me. I am inclined to read books that are more linear, or that at least have a foot in reality somewhere. That said, I am still glad I read this. The book reads like a dream - actually more a nightmare - as Jack tries to deal with the suicide of his girlfriend. It's difficult to keep straight from one moment to the next whether or not you are in a dream sequence. So much of it is. But the reality speaks to dysfunctional families where the parents are self-c ...more
Semina Pekmezović
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
First of all, I would like to deeply apologise to the author who had kindly sent me this book way back in 2013 to read and review. For some reason I can't even remember any more, didn't do it, but a few days ago while I was combing through my Google Drive, I've stumbled upon this novella and decided that enough was enough and that I should do keep my promise.

I guess it's better late than never.

The main protagonist is an alcoholic in his mid-twenties who still lives at home in his parent's basem
Querus Abuttu
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
First Aide Medicine (2013), written by author Nicholaus Patnaude, is a surreal tale that places the reader inside the odd and fractured mind of Jack, a young man who pines for his dead love, Karen. Jack’s mental mullings, weird dreams and strange memories of Karen interact with people, places and things connected with her death and cause the reader to reflect on issues of grief as well as mental disease. Is Jack schizophrenic, failing to have taken his medication, and now suffering from delusion ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Firstly, this is not the sort of book/novella/thing that I usually read. Most of the time I like my metaphors quick and easy and occasional. I gave this book a try because of a request by the author (and I hate turning people down for anything).

So basically, this was a really nasty acid trip, or something. There were bits where I could kind of understand what was going on, but a lot of it was bizarre and probably metaphorical. (After English 2, I'm kind of over interpreting the different meaning
Oct 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I found this book difficult to read. I started it several times before I actually suck with it and read it through to the end. It is a strange story about a guy Jack, who works in a surf shop, and his girlfriend Karen, a lifeguard who is dead. Jack has a difficult time getting over her death, and this book delves into the myriad of reasons why. At times, I was not sure whether I was reading the thoughts of a man who had deep mental problems or was tripping out. The author obviously admires horro ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is outside my usual reading choices, but what the hell.. sometimes you need a trip outside your 'normal' whatever that means...
Jack loses Karen and things get weird. Some readers have a problem absorbing streaming thoughts, if that is you, this won't work. There is a rhythm here- an insane one, but a rhythm all the same. I can see my daughter's friends eating this book up, they are at that age- mad at the world, tired of silly stories of vampires in love that end in a glorious happy ever af
Bryan Serwatka
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
The author contacted me and asked me to review First Aide Medicine as a way to spark conversation around its release. This sort of solicited publicity tends to be done well before the release, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

Reading through the opening chapters I genuinely thought the voice and style of the prose was being consciously facetious and simple, but as I slogged through I grew increasingly upset that the slivers of originality throughout the novel were being spoilt by the story'
First Aide Medicine is like a very weird and gruesome acid trip. i was confused fairly often but i think that was the intent of the author and it's on me that i didn't really appreciate it and doesn't mean it's a bad book. i've never really read anthing like it before. i mostly go in for fantasy novels and other more linear stories.|

i will say that there are certain passages that i loved though, Patnaude definitely has a way with words. my two favorites are "It's all a blur of nightmare fur and
Savannah Wilson
Jul 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
First Aide Medicine is now one of my favorite books, I started it about an hour ago and I just finished it begging for more. Though I love surreal sort of stories like this one, I'm always cautious because not everyone can execute it correctly. However, Patnaude worked with this concept amazingly. I got sucked into it from the very first page, though I was really sold from the moment I read this line: "Our love is a vine of entrails that can follow any coffin anywhere, no matter how deep any gra ...more
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
The disorienting juxtaposition of a goth teen romance on the beach is just one of the ways in which this novel plays with the macabre. The narrator's morose angst is deadpanned by an author up to some tricks in this tragicomic tale of a suicide girl come back to haunt her boyfriend. The narrator's logic is aslant, uncanny, full of emotional volatility, his non sequiturs strange and strangening, his descriptions self-consciously, enjoyably grotesque.

We don’t want her parents ever to see u
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
"When you sleep with a corpse, all the green leaves turn black."

What a horrifyingly compelling little novella this is!

Jack works at a surfboard shop that doesn't sell surfboards. Karen used to be a lifeguard - before committing suicide and throwing Jack into a deadly tizzy.

Told with a lyrical voice, even though with a tinge of a bad acid trip trip accent, "First Aide Medicine" is a maggoty, green, slimy, cutter's freakish-nightmare of a tale. Am I glad I read it? Yes. As I wrote - compelling - a
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it
like a found marble composition book that contains the writing and drawings of someone just growing out of being goth, first aide medicine has all the qualities of young love lost and the wierd allegories and paces we put ourselves through on the road to recovery. there are parts (as we drew closer to the end) where i lost the thread a little bit, but the engine of this book is style: the self consciously maximal writing of a youthful narrator, tying together abstractions and metaphors and then ...more
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Bizarro Fiction: looking for reviews for First Aide Medicine 10 31 Mar 20, 2015 11:49AM  
An excerpt from Nicholaus Patnaude’s illustrated novel, First Aide Medicine, was published in The Seahorse Rodeo Folk Review November, 2010 issue. First Aide Medicine, which won the 2010 International Emergency Press contest, has been published in both print and ebook formats. Nicholaus Patnaude currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey.

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