Posted by: bluelion | January 19, 2016

Let’s read… more from the funny GP

#25 Benjamin Daniels: Further Confessions of a GP (The Friday Project, 2013)

Actually, I think they shouldn’t have made a second book. It is not really humorous anymore. The first book was mostly funny, and at times grave and offered some impressive insights. This book, however, is mostly musing about the NHS, the system, fears, mistakes. With regular patients like Danni the prostitute or Crackhead Kenny, there isn’t much of a chance to be entertaining, is there? Then again, I don’t think anyone was forcing Dr Daniels to write a sequel. It’s a shame he did. It was quite informative but I was looking for a laugh, not a sigh.

[Warning: SPOILERS ahead!]

Was it because of the years that passed? Was it the pressure to be hilarious again? He failed so miserably, I’m sorry to say. The only bits resembling funny are those that include a healthy dose of self-irony: introduction, medical notes (which he reluctantly included, in his own words a bit offended, because they were not his creative product), and the very end where he admits he was struggling to find material. He didn’t really manage.

The dedication seems like it was meant to be a joke but it is a bad one. Then it is all about responsibility, liability, death, cancer, drugs, old age and depression. I was starting to think it was me who was getting too depressed to laugh, so I counted the stories. Of the 69 pieces the book contains, 8 are about failure, humiliation or embarrassment, 7 deal with drug addiction, 5 with cancer and death, 1 cancer survivor having a baby, 7 deaths (without cancer), 2 with a person with HIV, 2 show effects of old age (dementia and delusions), 2 about war/army, 2 patients are imprisoned, one is a former inmate (a paedophile). There is a story about molestation, the other ones consist of child abuse, hunger, bitterly divorced parents, brain damaged baby, an overweight patient who eats a lot, a disgusting story, feeling guilty, one dedicating his body to science (but not his organs, that one is almost funny), the medical notes (I had to look up ‘halitosis’ though to get the joke), two with a twist, of which one he read on the Internet… Really?! Not even his own story. It could be entertaining at least, then. Five are about time wasters, and 10 are musings about health problems and health care (NHS). The humour is meant to be found in too big breasts, in poo/bottom (twice), or in foreign objects in the patient (twice, plus a list of 1+10 cases of objects in the bottom – even he says the medical staff is not amused by it at all. Neither are the readers.), and a pet in the rectum South Park style (not his story either). Well, I can Google “things in rectum funny medical stories”, too. I’m not interested, though.

There is one great story in it. No, it is not funny either but if you read anything from this book, read the one titled ‘John’. There are the ever-important parts about recognizing meningitis (as in the first book), and antibiotic resistance. Read these, too. An interesting piece about the human race’s arrogance with the rulers of this planet: bacteria. He is not the first doctor or thinker I hear this view from (the other ones are a doctor at an intensive care unit and H.G.Wells in The War of the Worlds). It was interesting but not in the least entertaining.

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Responses

  1. Thanks for your review! I hadn’t heard of these stories before, and I definitely want to check out the first one now! It’s a great premise. Very cool blog :)

    Like

    • Thank you! :) So happy to hear you are inspired to read something I recommended! :)

      Like


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