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He goes on to work another shift. The strain translates into mistakes. A woman with misdiagnosed diabetes winds up drooling in a wheelchair.


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  5. Jed Mercurio.

Another boy with a dislocated shoulder loses most of the use of his arm,and his doctor is frankly unapologetic about it. The narrator, out to make a difference and guilt-ridden over his own missteps, attempts to take action and winds up suspended. Mercurio is especially adept at showing how the medical community eats its own. The extreme demands on their expertise coupled with the horrors what they routinely witness gradually distance them from the 9 to five crowd, and eventually they seek solace amongsth themselves.

Mecurio suggests that an evening with a doctor will have you scratching your head at their incomprehensible vocabulary or throwing up in your mouth a little. So doctors can add isolation to their list of complaints. The narrator is left at the end with a tentative offer to come back to the hospital, and we get the sense that rage against the system may only be another rite of passage for those working in the overburdened world of medicine.

Mercurio balances his righteous concern for the state of health care with an admirable account of what it is to be an actual, fallible doctor. Readers who are considering entering the profession by forewarned. You might think twice about medical school. Jul 02, Alex Taylor rated it liked it.

Dark and cynical but I suspect, depressingly accurate portrayal of doctors and nurses in modern NHS. Aug 03, Emma rated it really liked it. Only worth a 3 star in some respects, but I enjoyed the depiction of hospital life. So the ending is a bit Only worth a 3 star in some respects, but I enjoyed the depiction of hospital life. So the ending is a bit pat, is what I'm saying. This book manages to achieve the same effect despite only having one ending. Also, there's a totally throw-away bit of character development that really was so poorly done it just undermined the overall effect.

The main character is supposed to be a young, upstanding christian at the start of the book who slowly loses his faith in the face of harsh reality.

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But really, his religion is never properly incorporated into his personality- he occasionally says a quick prayer and we're told there's a bible in his room which he later dramatically throws out, having not read a single damn page in the entire story.

This is supposed to be shorthand for the loss of innocence and faith in his profession, but we're only told, not shown, how important his religion is to him. So when he drops it, we're like, "Yes? Overall the whole thing was a bit predictable, to the point where something significant would happen, say his HO making a fatal mistake that he has to cover up, and I'd find myself looking at my watch and thinking, that took a few pages longer to happen than I thought.

So, no surprises here, but worth a read for the atmosphere and details of hospital life, and for the relevant things it has to say about the culture of blame in hospital medicine. Feb 25, Oscar To rated it it was ok. Flawed, confused and utterly lacking in new material. If you've seen Cardiac Arrest, this adds nothing. When I read the first few chapters of this book, I was impressed with the initial tension, and the setting. But then the book proved a false start. Character development is sloppy and forced, and the book is loaded with forced exposition to make comments on the practice of medicine.

The themes are tacked on, and also the exact same as the points Mercurio makes in Cardiac arrest. Dialogue is ram Flawed, confused and utterly lacking in new material. Dialogue is rambly rather than natural and the characters seem to go out of their way to make these speeches. The old sexist trope of sex with women solves the empty suffering of a character once again makes its appearance, laced with a good dose of lechery. Indeed, if Mercurio intended to write about a creep stalking women, he would have succeeded. Mercurio also falls for the old trope of using medical metaphors instantly making a book clever, which it most certainly does not.

Even worse is his choice to use disease processes to describe the sexual acts. The entire end of the book feels completely forced, with the whole whistle-blowing issue feeling forced. Again, Mercurio using the book to write his ideas rather than having the characters naturally flow into them. Overall the book feels amateurish and lacks polish.

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The writing is not particularly stylish, and the ideas recycled. Watch Cardiac Arrest instead. Apr 22, Kynan rated it really liked it. Bodies is a book with the medical profession at its core. It follows the life of a young and naive freshly graduated doctor, from his first experiences as a casualty doctor onwards. It's brutally open in its coverage of his everyday life if you're one of the whining killjoys who pipes up "Howcome they never go to the toilet in the movies" then you'll enjoy this book.

Every nuance of his life from pimple popping to murderous thoughts are illustrated which makes the book startlingly candid and i Bodies is a book with the medical profession at its core. Every nuance of his life from pimple popping to murderous thoughts are illustrated which makes the book startlingly candid and immersive. You live vicariously through the main character and it really is most difficult to put down - on the other hand I found the sordid and grimy details of his life oft bordering on revulsion.

There are some things I just don't want to know. I'm a nice clean neat kinda guy and there's a reason I'm not a doctor! One of the reasons I was interested in this book is that my sister recently became a paramedic no way I could do that and this alternate window into her world was interesting, but horribly worrying, to peer through.

You grow up as a child assuming the adults know what to do. As I get older and wiser for want of a better word I see that no-one really knows what to do. We're all just muddling through life doing the best we can - it's just worrying when you think that the guy up to his elbow in your guts with a very sharp knife is just doing his best Jul 02, Ian rated it liked it. Mercurio's Ascent is one of my favourite novels, and I though his American Adulterer, a novelisation of the presidency of JFK, very good. Bodies is his first novel and, like American Adulterer, is not one whose subject appeals to me.

It's about a young houseman in a NHS hospital. And it's grim stuff. It' about a work culture which cannot distinguish between a mistake, incompetence or negligence, and so protects the perpetrators of all three. The narrator witnesses a series of incidents, but can Mercurio's Ascent is one of my favourite novels, and I though his American Adulterer, a novelisation of the presidency of JFK, very good.

Jed Mercurio - IMDb

When he does eventually rebel, he is presented with a stark choice - push ahead and be vilified by the profession and the public, or become complicit. Bodies is a very good novel, but it's not one that gives you much faith in hospitals or the medical profession. Dec 26, Sam Still Reading rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

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  • I've been trying to track down a copy of this book since I saw the TV series starring the delicious Max Beesley. It took a long time, but boy, was it worth it. This book is frank and stark enough to cause a revolt with all the things that happen- doctors that are incompetent, interns thrown into the deep end, self doubt, drug use, suicide, random sex and I've been trying to track down a copy of this book since I saw the TV series starring the delicious Max Beesley. This book is frank and stark enough to cause a revolt with all the things that happen- doctors that are incompetent, interns thrown into the deep end, self doubt, drug use, suicide, random sex and that's just the doctors.

    The author leads us to think that doctors are like other mere mortals- they screw up big time as well.

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    Only the implications are more life and death based. But the effect that the mistakes have on the individual is huge. This book really blows open the hospital culture, which is sadly, only just starting to change. Please avoid this book if you can't handle blunt descriptions of sex, bodily fluids and injection procedures. For everyone else, it's a must read. Oct 19, Alex rated it liked it. Just given this book a second read, some 5 years after I first read it. An uncomfortable read, and more so because its written by an ex doc Also uncomfortable personally because of my own baggage about the medical world and the circumstances of my mother's death.

    In the book the hospital closes ranks in the face of mistakes which result in death and injury. One such mistake is made by the storyteller, who absolves himself in the end by searching out the family and fessi Just given this book a second read, some 5 years after I first read it. One such mistake is made by the storyteller, who absolves himself in the end by searching out the family and fessing up to having killed their relative.

    Which no doubt makes him feel better, and makes them feel a whole load worse. Up until that point they had been in blissful ignorance, and presumably would have preferred to carry on believing that everything possible had been done for their loved one. Ah well, maybe we are all complicit in perpetrating the myth that the medical profession is infallible. May 23, Rachel McQuoid rated it really liked it Shelves: Jul 26, Claire rated it it was amazing. Perhaps because their job involves imagining other lives and deaths, actors are often notorious hypochondriacs.

    So is Dr Mercurio asked, on set or in the catering truck, to look at a strange rash? But, yes, in both drama and medicine, isolated facts can accumulate to create the narrative. Line of Duty , which deals with the investigation of detectives accused of misconduct, is less personally informed than his medical shows, as Mercurio has had only one direct experience of law enforcement.

    I was borderline drunk and disorderly after a night out with the cast, standing on the kerb outside a kebab shop, and these two coppers started talking to me. They were really going at me. They wanted me to give them some resistance so that they could take it to the next level. But I stayed polite and focused, and tried to answer the questions.

    I was in the wrong, but they treated me fairly. So I only have a quite positive experience of the police. A rare flop was Critical, about emergency medicine, which was dropped by Sky One after a single series in By one measure, though, Mercurio regards his career as a series of failures.

    Bodies: From the creator of Line of Duty

    In the latest, Thandie Newton, as a senior detective, and Jason Watkins, playing a forensics expert, extend a line of duty that has previously included Lennie James, Daniel Mays, and Keeley Hawes. Mays, as an officer accused of an illegal shooting, was gone by the end of his opening episode. What that does is to create a high-stakes story in which you can take that character further than if you need them around for another episode or another season.

    Generally, what we say to the actor coming in is that they will go through the wringer and, by the end, their story will be told. So that does give us freedom to push the character further than you could if they were in an endlessly returning series. The creation of morally complex characters who prove to be shockingly disposable has become a Line of Duty signature.