Books, life the universe

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Where Does it Hurt?

Where Does it Hurt? by Max Pemberton is not quite what might have been expected from his previous book - Trust Me I'm a Junior Doctor. This latest offering is about the time he spent working at an outreach project with the homeless, drug addicts and people generally outside 'normal' society. He meets some real characters - the chap who thinks he's God who takes up residence near the back door of a Tesco supermarket; Molly the 80 year old drug addict and former working girl; Barry the schizophrenic who saves the author's life in a sticky situation; Georgia who goes mad and traps everyone in the outreach project's building; Janice the middle class housewife addicted to over the counter painkillers. Not all homeless people are drug addicts and not all drug addicts are homeless though many of each group have mental health problems.

There are people who want to be helped and others who don't. He is warned at the start he will be lucky if 5% of his patients turn their lives around. He has to go out and find many of his patients rather than them coming to him and he gets to know some of the seedier parts of the city intimately. The main point of this book is that there is no one solution to the problems of society because everyone at the bottom of the heap got there for different reasons.

I found the book moving and uplifting though it is difficult to know what to read after it! I have started Anne Brooke's The Bones of Summer and it looks good - especially seeing Paul from someone else's point of view; Bluestockings by Jane Robinson - strange to think women were first awarded degrees only in 1882 and not until 1920 from Oxford; and Carmen Reid's How Not To Shop - chick lit, which I found just too light and fluffy after Where Does it Hurt?. A pretty diverse selection of reading here!


Anne Brooke said...

Gosh, no-one can ever accuse you of sticking to one genre, Jilly!!! Actually, I think though that maybe you can put the plots of all of those together and make one vast novel ...



Jilly said...

My reading is nothing if not eclectic!