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Cannonball Read 2 #49: Bringing Out the Dead by Joe Connolly

I saw the movie based on this book a few weeks ago and immediately purchased the book to see if it was equally interesting. To be honest, I was surprised how closely the movie resembled the book -- it's a good adaptation, and for the most part, the things that were left out or changed were an improvement.

The plot is the same as the film -- Frank Pierce, a NYC ambulance driver/EMT is in the middle of a breakdown. His past is haunting him constantly, and the madness that surrounds him is starting to be more than he can handle. The book spans about five days in Frank's life, starting with the night he and his partner save an elderly man named Mr. Burke from cardiac arrest. This brings the patient's daughter, Mary, into Frank's life. Mary is the one thing that seems to make sense to Frank, and they continue to run into each other for the next few days as Mr. Burke lingers in the hospital. Frank careens through the night with various partners, answering a variety of calls. However, the circles of his life keep getting smaller and smaller, until he can't help but run into his own past.

On the whole, this is an interesting, dark, and often funny book. I recommend it to anyone who likes edgy fiction narrated by an unreliable anti-hero.

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