A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back
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A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back


A former paramedic’s visceral, poignant, and mordantly funny account of a decade spent on Atlanta’s mean streets saving lives and connecting with the drama and occasional beauty that lies inside catastrophe.

In the aftermath of 9/11 Kevin Hazzard felt that something was missing from his life—his days were too safe, too routine. A failed salesman turned local reporter, he wanted to test himself, see how he might respond to pressure and danger. He signed up for emergency medical training and became, at age twenty-six, a newly minted EMT running calls in the worst sections of Atlanta. His life entered a different realm—one of blood, violence, and amazing grace.

Thoroughly intimidated at first and frequently terrified, he experienced on a nightly basis the adrenaline rush of walking into chaos. But in his downtime, Kevin reflected on how people’s facades drop away when catastrophe strikes. As his hours on the job piled up, he realized he was beginning to see into the truth of things. There is no pretense five beats into a chest compression, or in an alley next to a crack den, or on a dimly lit highway where cars have collided. Eventually, what had at first seemed impossible happened: Kevin acquired mastery. And in the process he was able to discern the professional differences between his freewheeling peers, what marked each—as he termed them—as “a tourist,” “true believer,” or “killer.”

Combining indelible scenes that remind us of life’s fragile beauty with laugh-out-loud moments that keep us smiling through the worst, A Thousand Naked Strangers is an absorbing read about one man’s journey of self-discovery—a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.

Title:A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:288 pages

    A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back Reviews

  • Petra X smoke fish no cigar
    Aug 23, 2016

    (Talking about dealing with crazies) "Over time, their normal becomes your normal."Review of this iconoclastic, interesting and well-written book to follow. Possibly....

  • Sheryl
    Jan 12, 2016

    What a change for Mr. Hazzard. He was a journalist who after 9/11 decided to go to EMT school. It seemed the intensive training he received was almost impossible to grasp. It was like you learn while ...

  • Dorie
    Jan 07, 2016

    I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I am always drawn to anything medical and this memoir proved to be an eye opening and emotional roller coaster of a ride ...

  • Alicen
    Sep 29, 2016

    I really enjoyed this book. It is a well written account of life as a paramedic and, since I love leaning about other people's jobs (as those of you who know me can attest to), for me this was a great...

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    Jan 10, 2016

    A Thousand Naked Strangers is an interesting and fast paced account of Kevin Hazzard's decade long tenure as a paramedic in Atlanta, Georgia.At age twenty six, after just eight months of a part time c...

  • Alicia
    Feb 04, 2016

    Having worked in EMS myself I absolutely loved this book! I can relate to everything that was said about questioning if you can do it and the madness of your first call. Knowing deep down that eventua...

  • Heidi The Hippie Librarian
    May 20, 2016

    This book is exhausting- another one that I wouldn't have picked up without the encouragement of my book club. As I read it, I felt myself becoming jaded, just like Kevin was, to the gore, the horrors...

  • Donna Davis
    Feb 04, 2016

    Take a former journalist; make him a paramedic in a high-poverty, high-danger area for a decade; then turn him loose again to write about it, and he will play his readers like violins and make us like...

  • Martha
    Feb 05, 2016

    I ended up returning it to the library, reading only about 1/3 of the book. Maybe it was that it was written from a paramedic perspective that conflicted with my nurse brain (doubt it, as I really do ...

  • Janet
    Oct 02, 2016

    I've been wanting to read this since I listened to Kevin Hazzard speak at the Tucson Festival of Books back in March. He was funny and engaging so I immediately put the book on my "want to read" list ...

About Kevin Hazzard

Kevin Hazzard worked as a paramedic from 2004 to 2013, primarily at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. His freelance journalism has appeared in Atlanta Magazine, Marietta Daily Journal, Creative Loafing, and Paste. He is the author of a novel, Sleeping Dogs, and A Thousand Naked Strangers. He and his family live in Hermosa Beach, California.~http://authors.simonandschuster.com/K...Librarian’s note: There