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Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt

If you don’t already know the premise of This is Going to Hurt then you’re living under an even bigger, darker, more impenetrable rock than I am (or you don’t live in the UK as I assume this has not crossed beyond the borders of our wonderful NHS). Simply it is one junior doctors account of their time post-graduation, not necessarily one for the extremely squeamish though I found reading with my eyes closed for a paragraph or two solved the problem.

Author: Adam KayImage result for this is going to hurt

Title: This is Going to Hurt

Press: Picador

Rating: 10


This was so much better than I thought it would be. I am quite new to the non-fiction for pleasure lifestyle, I have my history degree to thank for that, so I was slower to pick this up than I might have been. However, it was well worth it. Inhaled in two breathless sittings, on the way to and from Northern Wales this weekend. I found myself the most relaxed I’ve been in ages (which I agree is a little bizaare given the oftentimes revolting/harrowing/downright upsetting content) and I didn’t even break into snacks which I would normally have consumed in one fell, regret-filled, swoop before the train left the station.


So how to quantify my enjoyment, it’s difficult to put into words. Maybe it’s because I know junior doctors at various points in the journey described, maybe it’s because it affirmed everything I suspected about the NHS and the fibs that surround its staff perpetuated by a government I strongly disapprove of. Most likely it is a combination of those things and the fact that it’s just a really well written book. It’s humorous, it doesn’t get bogged down in too much jargon but nor is it patronising.
Whatever the reason a couple of things are clear. The voice was true and the curation was brilliant. Distilling six years of experience into a manageable book is one things but managing to strike the exact point where the narration is believable, humorous, heartbreaking and varied is something else entirely and This is Going to Hurt hit the nail on the head. There’s a lesson to be learned here about how to evoke empathy without being whiney, how to convey exhaustion while remaining engaging and alert. I can’t recommend it highly enough This is Going to Hurt, simply excellent.

Featured image: Photo by from Pexels

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