Monday, April 21, 2008

Book Review: Blood, Sweat & Tea by Tom Reynolds

With the popularity of Blogs on the rise, and the critical success of recent books and movies adapted from online journals, the number of Blogs reprinted into book form is increasing steadily. The rush to fill any growing market usually dictates quantity over quality, and this can often make it difficult to find the exceptional materials mixed in among the shelf-fillers. Blood, Sweat & Tea is one of those few excellent translations from the Internet to the book shelf, and is well worth the search.

The book launches straight into the daily diary entries from Tom Reynolds’ blog ( without any real setup or introduction, and it is a credit to the clarity and honesty of his writing that this is not a setback to enjoying the book. No real explanation is needed beyond the blurb on the back cover.

Blood, Sweat & Tea is a collection of daily online diary entries by Reynolds concerning his experiences as an emergency medical technician working for the London Ambulance Service in East London. Reynolds’ recaps of his time on the job clearly illustrate the ups and downs that go with such a demanding yet unappreciated vocation. He shares it all: humorous stories of false alarms and bizarre incidents, nerve-wracking brushes with the potential hazards of the job (such as the risk of exposure to HIV infected patients), frustrations concerning the politics and red tape behind the scenes of the medical services, and the emotional toll of dealing with life and death on a daily basis.

Never overly preachy, snarky, or flippant, Blood, Sweat & Tea is a tour through the trenches of on-site medical response units in the UK that will entertain and inform any and all interested in the topic.

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