This is a morbidly fascinating book if you are into gross and disturbing and strange true accounts of real life horror (yeah, that’s me). It takes a lot to gross me out but this book managed to do it. I do not recommend reading it while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks.
Mike Scardino worked as what he calls an “Ambulance Attendant” to help fund his college tuition in the late ‘60’s. I think he wishes he hadn’t because by time the book ends, he seemed truly scarred for life after seeing and smelling some truly revolting and heartbreaking sights. The writing is unpolished but that is not a criticism. It felt natural, raw and almost like a personal journal. I love that it wasn’t scrubbed clean. My only complaint was the lack of question marks throughout the text. The lack of them kept tripping me up.
It’s not uplifting in any way and there’s only a wee bit of humor sprinkled throughout. The overall feel of the book once you’ve finished is pretty bleak, truth be told. People are stupid and have lousy self-preservation skills, yeah, but terrible things happen to everyone and there’s no stopping them usually. Babies fall out of windows, diabetes will come for your limbs, you will die and maybe no one will notice until the flies start to breed. Bad Call (and they’re mostly all bad calls here) is absorbing and once you start it’s oh-so-hard to look away but once you’re done you’ll want to find something to make yourself happy. If you like this kind of thing you’ll know it and you’ll want to get yourself a copy of this book.
Here are a few quotes to ruin your day (you’re welcome):
“What often bothers me more than seeing how people die is seeing how they live.”
And this one, it’s my favorite.
“Something is a little unsettling. It’s his blood. The way it feels.
It feels good. Warm as it is. Running down my hand and arm on this in seasonably cold night. Nice and warm. It feels really good.
God help me. What the hell is happening to me.”
Just pretend there’s a question mark there at the end, ok?!