Book review: This is Going to Hurt
Online Lifestyle editor Sophie Porteous reviews Adam Kay’s bestselling book, This is Going to Hurt.
This is Going to Hurt was on my “to be read” list for a while, and when I got it for Christmas in 2020 it was the first book I picked off the pile to read – and was done by the end of Boxing Day. Ever since I have been raving about this book to anyone and everyone who will listen.
As I read it mid-Covid-19 pandemic, the book gave a brilliant insight into the NHS, revealing the hardships they face. While I have always been aware of the struggles of the NHS, Adam Kay’s insight truly opened my eyes to what goes on for the people working to save our lives. The particular focus on the maternal wards was really interesting, as – having never been pregnant myself – I have no knowledge of this area of health. Within the book, Kay recounts his experiences training as an obstetrician-gynaecologist. Retelling stories of people getting things stuck where they shouldn’t, as well as serious complications in childbirth, Kay manages to explore problems within the NHS, while still emphasising its importance.
Kay manages to explore problems within the NHS, while still emphasising its importance
Kay’s style of balancing laugh-out-loud humour with serious anecdotes and facts made this an easy and very enjoyable read. From the very beginning I was chuckling away, and he deftly mixes the humour into developing a narrative that concludes on a sober note. The final addition of relating the issues he faced to the cuts that had continued to be made to the NHS really drove home his argument that being a doctor is hard; being a doctor in the NHS now, sadly, is even harder. Often undervalued and underpaid, This is Going to Hurt serves as a reminder that we should respect those who we now call “key workers” – a message that has become increasingly important as the pandemic has lingered.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone. As someone who doesn’t often gravitate towards non-fiction, Kay’s fantastic writing style picked me up out of a reading slump and entertained me whilst also keeping me informed. I haven’t watched the TV adaptation yet, as I am devoted to the book and am afraid that the show may ruin that. It is hard to find a book that can make you laugh as much as it can make you cry, particularly a non-fiction book, but Kay manages to do just that.