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Bringing Out the Dead Paperback – March 30, 1999
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For nearly a decade author Joe Connelly rushed from emergency to emergency as a paramedic in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City. This is the novel he wrote to purge, perhaps redeem, the torment of his experiences in the trenches with the dying and the barely living. Connelly seems to be a born writer, for this first novel makes brilliant use of unflinching realism, dark and brittle humor, a faint whiff of the supernatural, and, above all, the poignancy of a human soul that chooses slow self-destruction rather than shutting itself off to the suffering of others. As Patrick McGrath--another writer of dark literary fiction--writes, "The author's vision is both bleak and compassionate; his control of his explosive material is masterly. This is strong stuff, full of heart, engaging, harrowing, and real." You won't be able to let this one out of your sight until you've finished reading it, and it will linger long after you've put it down. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
As depicted in this strong and literate debut, burnt-out paramedic Frank Pierce spends dark, death-filled nights behind the wheel of an ambulance in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, where he grew up, fighting chaos in his soul as perverse as the mayhem surrounding him. Scarred by a failed marriage and worn down by the hopelessness of his daily rounds of heart attacks, overdoses and crazies seeking attention, Frank has brought his drinking habit onto the job. But he is unable to blot out the memory of Rose, a young asthmatic who died in his care and now appears to him on various street corners. The ghosts of his own past?his unhappy parents and ex-wife, his childhood playmates, now drunks and druggies?and the death of his aspirations appear to him at every turn in the neighborhood.. When Patrick Burke, a cardiac-arrest victim unwillingly on life support, begins to haunt him, too, Frank struggles to find some sanity in a harmful job he seems unable to quit. Connelly brings an air of authenticity to his rendering of this marginal world, and his compassion for its miserable and impoverished denizens is almost palpable. He deftly renders the frantic but deadpan tension and the black humor of a paramedic's job and of the ER personnel in Our Lady of Mercy hospital, called Misery by everyone. If Frank's voice, plangent with exhaustion, despair and grief, and the circumstances of his disintegrating life are unremittingly depressing, one does not doubt the accuracy of the world that Connelly, who himself was a paramedic, creates with such bleak intensity. 50,000 first printing; Random House audio. (Feb.) FYI: Bringing Out the Dead has been optioned by Martin Scorsese.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.