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Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS

4.78  ·  Rating details ·  329 ratings  ·  76 reviews
A national treasure's journey to the brink and back.

'Will I wake up?'
'There's a 50:50 chance.'

Michael Rosen wasn't feeling well. Soon he was struggling to breathe, and then he was admitted to hospital, suffering from coronavirus as the nation teetered on the edge of a global pandemic.

What followed was months on the wards: six weeks in an induced coma, and many more weeks
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 18th 2021 by Ebury Press
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Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a remarkable, profoundly moving account of much loved treasure, poet and children's writer, Michael Rosen's traumatic experience of contracting Covid 19 at the beginning of the pandemic, one of the first books of the deadly disease from the perspectives of a patient, and the amazing medics and care volunteers in ICU who looked after him within our incredible NHS. Michael was so fortunate that his friend Dr Katie and her oxygen saturation test led to him being admitted at the Whittington ...more
Sid Nuncius
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I thought Many Different Kinds Of Love was excellent. It’s not just that we all love Michael Rosen and are delighted that he didn’t die of Covid – it really is a very fine, involving an often moving account of his time in hospital, his (continuing) recovery and the aftermath of his illness.

Much of the book is in the form of prose-poems about Michael’s experience. Many are reflective but they are also brilliantly descriptive and capture the essence of extraordinary moments and periods, like this
Lady Fancifull
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A sweet tender, moving, account of a close encounter of the covid kind

No wonder everyone loves Michael Rosen, especially the nations children, and their parents. There is a beautiful clarity and authenticity in his writing, something open to wonder, lacking in mask or cynicism. And that is a sense of the personality of the man, in his writing.

As is known, Rosen contracted Covid, very seriously, in March 2020. He very nearly died. Early advice ‘don’t visit your doctor, don’t go to A + E’ and all
Carly Findlay
Mar 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Many Different Kinds of Love - A story of life, death and the NHS by Michael Rosen is an important book documenting the history we are currently living - surviving Covid.

It’s a memoir by a man in his 70s who had Covid last year. The detail of how Covid affected him - and others - is horrendous - it’s a lot worse than a cold. It’s a gentle and loving documentation of current history, not shying away from asking tough questions about the UK Government’s management of the pandemic.

The book details
Morag Watkins
Mar 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley, courtesy of Penguin Random House.

It will be common knowledge that the much loved children’s author Micael Rosen caught Covid-19 in March last year and rapidly deteriorated to the point of needing hospitalisation. The advice at the time was Do not attend A & E , Do not go to your Dr’s surgery. Fortunately for everyone, a local GP and friend came to the door with a newly arrived gadget for measuring the oxygen level in his bloodstream, which was so lo
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A real joy, at last COVID 19 has an authentic voice to bring it to account.

Michael speaks up for all in this personal account of how this virus takes human victims rather than just culls the very old and sick. This is a heart-rending and uplifting account of hope. An affirmation that we need others to prevail.

Now we have Michael Rosen’s words of reflection as a survivor; words of clarity and focus.

I remember the shock I felt when pictures of a far from recovered Rosen were on the news. It was cl
Apr 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was all set not to find this book amazing. Michael Rosen's bar is high, the book comes from a place of needing to be made, and fast, for all kinds of reasons perhaps, and I am trying to resist rating the experience or the intensity of my sympathies when I read a memoir. But in the end, it is.

The 'many kinds of love' is not as laboured as I feared (though implicit throughout), not too much about angels. It's well known that it includes diary entries made whilst he was ventilated in the Intensi
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As one of Michael Rosen’s twitter followers, I watched with dread the news of his hospitalisation and induced coma. Each update was read with hope, but the news wasn’t great for such a prolonged time that I doubted he could make it. I am so glad my pessimism was misplaced and that he has produced this beautiful chronicle of his deterioration, the blank time (where letters from the intensive care staff who watched over him take over the narrative)and his painfully slow recovery from Covid 19.

Gisela Hafezparast
Apr 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Who does not like Michael Rosen. Who has not read his books to their children? To hear how close he got to dying of Covid-19 and how incredibly lucky he was to have made it into hospital at the very last moment to save his life is scary to read and of course you think of the over 120,000 people in the UK alone who didn't make it, none of whom should have died and so many who could have been saved if our Government had acted more responsibly and not had a buffoon reading them.

What is even more sc
Michelle B
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Michael’s experience of Covid is told in the most wonderful way in Many Different Kinds of Love. The anthology includes an incredibly moving letter from a friend and neighbour which is a GP (who undoubtedly saved Michael’s life), messages from his wife, personal notes from some of those who were caring for him whilst he was in intensive care and then the main body of the book is completed with Michael’s superb prose poems.
Michael has survived such a horrendous experience and every thought and em
Mar 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Many Different Kinds of Love: A story of life, death and the NHS by Michael Rosen.
Rating ***** 4.8/5
The true story of the huge struggle to survive and come to terms with the effects of Covid 19 brilliantly told by the patient, Michael Rosen.
Everyone played a part: from his wife and family, the GP friend, the medics, all the NHS. The messages left in a notebook by some of those who cared for Mr Rosen were both a joy and heart wrenching to read. What was totally surprising was they were all from s
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know where to start with this book.

Poetry brings up all sorts of emotions, and this book certainly did. Michael Rosen knows death - his mother “ I watched my mother die. She sat up in bed, coughed, a nurse jumped forward, caught something that came out of her mouth and she fell back against the pillows”, his son, “ I went into my son’s room early one morning to tell him that I was off out but he was still and cold and didn’t hear me ... They asked me to feel for his pulse. There wasn’t a
Fern Adams
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This books is a word scrapbook of Michael Rosen’s experience with Coronavirus. It’s incredibly powerful, authentic and without a doubt the best account of Covid I have read.

Rosen has pieced together tweets, a diary by ICU staff of his time in a coma, letters, updates from his life and poetry to provide a kaleidoscope picture of what has happened to him, and to so many others. It starts from the time the decision was made for him to go into hospital, through to him being able to return home and
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I read most of this book through tears, some were tears of sadness while the horrid events of Rosen’s hospital stay unfolded and others were tears of joy as he took us through his early stages of his ongoing recovery. The diary entries from the staff that looked after Rosen were the perfect way to highlight how hard the NHS has worked to give their patients the treatment, care & dignity that they not only urgently need but deserve. The variety of staff that were involved in his care was incredib ...more
Michael Rosen has produced an informative, entertaining and at times very upsetting autobiographical memoir of his experiences during the pandemic of the last year.

This is a short book, which provides an insight into what, for most of us, has been life on the 'inside': His experiences as an NHS Covid-19 patient are told through a mixture of diary entries by the plethora of medical professionals who treated him; alongside his own entertaining writing.

I can only imagine how terrible his experienc
Fiona Campbell
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
As a huge fan of Michael Rosen's poems and of course the 'bear hunt', I was sad to hear that he was in hospital with coronavirus. This book is an engaging, emotional account of his journey back to health.

Many things struck me as I read. Firstly, how our NHS is full of heroes. In the hospital diary, it recounts how many nurses usually worked in entirely different areas like speech therapy. It is clear that each one of those people genuinely cared for Michael and willed him to get better.

The love
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book that reminds you sharply how many people have suffered through this pandemic and how lucky Michael was to get through it (although a huge part of that luck is of course the medical care he was given).

You see the pandemic through Michael's eyes: from the start when it was just presumed he had flu or a similar dibilitating virus to the diagnosis of covid (Michael had the virus early on in the pandemic), and the sudden downhill trend that his health took.

After several setbacks, Michael recov
Zoe M
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
You may know this author because he wrote 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt'. When he became ill with covid he was taken to hospital and the staff left him notes, telling him what was happening during his time there. It was quite emotional reading the letters from the NHS staff who were looking after him and the letters from his wife. Some of the staff had transferred from other hospital departments. Some had done a shift of their regular job then had gone on nights to help out.

As he recovered he was
Katie Young
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
'But let's not talk about death.
Let's talk about life.
Hundreds of people helped me have that'

'Many Different Kinds of Love' is an incredibly moving book charting Michael Rosen's first symptoms of Covid 19 through to his ongoing recovery. The true reality of what Covid 19 can do to the body is laid out here on the pages.

Whilst in a coma, the NHS hospital staff kept a diary which is printed in this book. Their words show the tenderness and care towards their patient as they willed him to get bett
Namrata Mistry
Mar 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Bare, broken and all the more beautiful! In many ways, this book reminds us that in a single person’s life ‘many different kinds of love’ can surface. It’s only a matter of noticing, believing, and acknowledging that we’re surrounded by it at all.

At first, I thought this book’s about Michael and Michael alone. But, no. At the heart of it, the book is about people: the family, friends, and most importantly, the frontline workers who stay by our side day in and day out.

It wasn’t until the very en
Isla Scott
This is a good read. I liked the flow of it, with lots of poems painting a picture of what life was perhaps like in those tough times for Michael, while also shining a light on the perspectives of his family (wife and children), waiting to find out what would become of him and also the thoughts and hopes of the numerous NHS staff, many of which played an important (if individually brief) part in his care and recovery. It is an insightful and thought provoking read. I also liked the drawings. It ...more
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Michael Rosen may have gone through so much with his covid illness, but it hasn’t taken his talents. This book is so moving, I cried a tear at the lost months and the struggles he faced rebuilding himself. However, as always with Michael’s work I smiled and had a little giggle too- especially at his daily mail dig! The love he has for his family, wife and the NHS workers shines through. This book tells a story that needs to be heard- covid-19 is evil and the people in charge should have done mor ...more
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021, favourites
This is such a beautifully written book. I haven't cried so much over a book in years. It really brings home the realities of Covid-19 and the amazing job that the people working in the NHS do. The wonderful devotion of Michael Rosen's wife should be an inspiration to us all.
This book should be compulsory reading for anyone who underestimates the effect of corona virus and who fails to observe the Covid rules, acting recklessly without a thought for others. In fact. everyone should read it anyw
Mar 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
This is an exceptional book. Michael Rosen shares his experience of COVID, his reaction to finding a record of the devoted care he received when he reads his Patient's Diary, and his anger at the way in which the management of the pandemic crisis was handled. Michael is a much loved man because of his ability to connect with his readers at whatever age and stage. I first met Michael in 1976 when he came to talk to the role of language in education course at ULIE (IUniversity of London Institute ...more
Ade Couper
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Ok, cards on the table: to me, Michael Rosen is a bit of a hero, not just for his writing, but also for his campaigning. (If you don't follow him on Facebook & Twitter, you really should!)

This work is the story of Michael contracting COVID-19, his time in intensive care, & his recovery. As well as some truly wonderful poems, it features contributions from his wife Emma, and also from the staff who cared for him in the 47 days he spent in Intensive Care.

I got this yesterday. I read it straight th
Apr 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Incredible touching, intense, thought provoking and funny. This is a book to help you understand the real frontline of the pandemic, if like me you've been lucky enough to remain well throughout this last year and the main effects on your life have been complying with lockdown restrictions and trying not to be the vector that gets other people ill.

Beautiful poems, combined with the emails, ldtters and texts of those who cared for Michael while he was ill.

This book absorbed me totally, and in a
Apr 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Rosen shares his harrowing experience with Covid-19 through this beautifully lyrical memoir.

Mixing dialogue, epistolary, diary entries and poetry to convey the rollercoaster of events and emotions that took place. Rosen lays bare not only his emotions but also the emotions of his family and the NHS staff that cared for him during his time in intensive care and induced coma. Your heart bleeds for them, it rages (and Rosen rages, rightfully so) for the lack of government organisation during a tim
Mar 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was an emotional, beautifully written book about Michael Rosen’s battle with Covid-19. The poems were beautiful and highlighted what he was going through. The letters and notes written by the NHS staff who cared for him, especially when he was placed on a ventilator, showed how the NHS often go above and beyond and that they care not just for the person’s health but also for them as a person. Thank you to Netgalley, publisher and the author for a chance to read and review this wonderful boo ...more
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have always been a fan of Michael Rosen. He is an amazing author and poet, and my class of 3 year olds adore Bear Hunt so when I was that he had a new book about his time suffering from covid, I just had to request it on Netgalley.
The poetry and letters in this book are just amazing. It sounds like Michael's time with covid was terrifying and he managed to pull through, but only just. It really does show just how amazing the NHS is. This book is a real tear jerker. A brilliant and important re
Kaye Fraser
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Moving, funny, grateful, hopeful, strong, loving.......... Michael Rosen manages to fit all this and more into this paean of praise for the NHS and his family after his battle with COVID, which very nearly ended his life. This is a very special little book, balm for the soul of those who have escaped this dreadful disease, and food for thought for those who are uncertain about accepting a vaccine. As with everything he writes, the style is fluid and beautiful, without an extraneous word - there ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add alt cover for new book 2 14 Mar 20, 2021 05:52PM  

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Michael Rosen, a recent British Children’s Laureate, has written many acclaimed books for children, including WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, and I’M NUMBER ONE and THIS IS OUR HOUSE, both illustrated by Bob Graham. Michael Rosen lives in London.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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