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All booksNonfictionA Thousand Naked Strangers
A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard

A Thousand Naked Strangers

by Kevin Hazzard

Quick take

A rubbernecker's delight... Feel that secret voyeuristic pull we all have within the pages of this book.

Why I love it

Book of the Month

"So what's the worst thing you've ever seen?" After a decade spent with Atlanta's most notorious ambulance service, Kevin Hazzard often gets the question every paramedic loves to hate.

After reading A Thousand Naked Strangers, it's hard to see how he begins to answer that question. Filled with too-bizarre-to-be-fake stories – from discovering week-old bodies that stick to the floor to performing CPR on a grandmother while her family watches TV in the next room to a topless woman, stabbed in the breast, taking off down an alley – Hazzard's memoir is a rubbernecker's delight. It's difficult not to feel that secret voyeuristic pull we all have within the pages of this book; this is a big part of what makes it so damn enjoyable.

But even in his most macabre moments, Hazzard never forgets that he is often seeing people on the worst day of their lives. "EMS is the greatest show I've ever seen, except it's not a show, it's all real," writes Hazzard. And that underlying humanity is the true appeal of his stories. Bookended by the reasons he got into the business in the first place and then the reasons he got out, his time driving Atlanta's worst neighborhoods is filled with equal parts kindness and malice, as much benevolence as cruelty.

Prepare yourself for no-holds-barred adrenaline rush in the back of Hazzard's ambulance, stories filled with sardonic swagger, truth and tragedy that will leave you stunned. But you'll keep reading because it's one hell of a ride: "Someday it'll be my turn. A call will be placed, an alarm will sound, an ambulance will shudder to life. And this crew, the one who shows up for my death, will be there for the same reason I hoped to show up for yours. Because it’s fun."

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Member thoughts

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371 ratings
  • 50% Love
  • 44% Like
  • 3% Dislike
  • Marietta, GA

    This book was incredible! I live in Atlanta, and really enjoyed these stories. I was laughing out loud and bawling my eyes out at different points. It definitely makes you realize how fragile life is.

  • Arab, AL

    As an AEMT and now an ER nurse, Kevin Hazzard's words ring true to me. Every patient has a story, but, more importantly, every patient has a lesson to teach the medical professionals caring for them.

  • Riverdale, MD

    Revealing, informative, funny. I have recommended it to anyone who has ever asked for a short read that you can't put down. You have to be open to really appreciate this; enter with no expectations.

  • Alpena, MI

    My husband is a paramedic and all I could wonder while reading it was if he actually wrote it under a pseudonym? Seriously, this is a hilarious and realistic perspective on the profession. Read it!

  • Ball Ground, GA

    As I'm living in the Atlanta area and a grandson is an EMT, this really put his job in perspective for me. This should be read if you have any doubt about the respect first responders deserve.

  • New York, NY

    I appreciated his honesty. He started with a job and I believe he really learned to care and take his responsibilty seriously. I passed this on to my son, who is a paramedic, in New York City

  • Bakersville, NC

    Absolutely loved this book. I have recommended it to everyone I know! It is written in a way that you can easily place yourself in the story and feel what the author felt at that moment.

  • Wichita, KS

    One man's hilarious retelling of his experiences as a paramedic. I couldn't put it down. My inner voyeur was enthralled with every interaction described in this book.

  • Arlington, WA

    Such a good range of stories and an interesting read. It did leave me feeling like it needed perhaps a little bit more, or maybe i just wasn't ready for it to end yet.

  • South Easton, MA

    One of my favorites, taught me a lot about a profession I didn't know much about. Laugh out loud funny, sad and thought provoking about medical care in our country.

  • Princeton, NJ

    Very interesting read - it filled in a lot of blanks for me when I see ambulances racing by - the what who where how why possibilities. Bonus - very well written!

  • Scotia, NY

    The adventures, and mis-adventures of someone in the profession of who you hope you will never need and the world they live and work in. I found I wanted more.

  • DeForest, WI

    With a paramedic husband and my own background in EMS, this was a great one to read together and share some laughs and nod in agreement with many of the stories!

  • Olive Branch, MS

    I loved how easy it was to fly through this book. Reading this book was like listening to an old friend. I am letting my parents borrow it now that I'm finished.

  • Holland, MI

    I love hearing about crazy things that can happen in the world. But at the same time makes you really think about the bravery it takes to be a first responder.

  • Athol, ID

    Amusing and poignant. For a little while, it made me want to be a paramedic, but by the ending had me reconsidering. Very well-written, quite the wild ride

  • Pleasant Prairie, WI

    The perspective coming from an EMT was significant. I knew they encountered dangerous situations, but I did not realize they could be life threatening.

  • Clovis, CA

    This was the perfect book to take a break from all my mystery twist books I had lined up to read over summer. Very entertaining and eye opening!

  • Bulls Gap, TN

    Loved this book! I work in the medical field as well and enjoyed seeing it from another professionals perspective. Full of laughs and surprises!

  • Ogden, UT

    This was one of the first books I read from BOM. And I couldn't put it down. It was funny, crazy and I just wanted more and more stories.

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