Most helpful positive review
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
In my FD, the equivalent of "B-shifter" is "Downtown Clown"
on July 8, 2009
As I am reviewing this, there are 11 other reviews of B-SHIFTER to read. I saw that all but one were 4 and 5 star reviews. The remaining one was a 1 star review admonishing people to "save their money". I wanted to read this one first as I thought this gentleman must work for the Farmington Hills Fire Department if he is so humorless. His name doesn't sound familiar so I don't think he does, but surely there must be others in the whole of the fire service like them. I just didn't think they would dignify this book with comment, being the consummate pros that they are.
In order to enjoy this book, you had better have a fireman's requisite appreciation for the absurd. If the bizarre and inexplicable don't make you bust out in belly laughs, stay home with another book. Maybe one of those dryer-than-dry histories of the FDNY, or the one about the BC that single-handedly lead every survivor out of the South Tower before it collapsed. If you've got self-aggrandizing on your mind, and you never made a mistake or would tell anyone about it if you had, you're barking up the wrong tree.
I'm a career FF and I've read tons of FF memoirs...good, bad, and right in the middle. This one isn't poignant like ENGINE 82 or outsider-ish like WORKING FIRE or FIGHTING FIRE, but it is hands down the FUNNIEST book ever written by a fireman. The stories, which on some level I HOPE are slightly embellished, are crazy enough to be true. I laughed out loud dozens of times. If this book has a fault, it's that it is too short. I wanted it to keep going.
Reading this book and thinking about Nick Brunacini I am reminded of a quote of Raymond Chandler's in talking about the hero of his private detective novels, Philip Marlowe. Chandler said, "If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in."