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Publisher's Summary

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 26, 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 listen about one man's journey of self-discovery - a trip that also teaches us about ourselves.

©2016 Kevin Hazzard (P)2016 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 05-23-17

A Wild Ride You Won't Forget!

I simply loved this book, and if life hadn't impinged upon me, I would have listened straight through. Really, it was too darn short to even consider an uninterrupted listen as it would have been over much too soon!

What was it I particularly enjoyed about this book? I so appreciated the author's total honesty about all aspects of his story--how he came to be an EMT/Paramedic, the difference between EMS and Paramedics, the training, the terrifying first weeks (months?) on the job, the "partner" problems, the evolution of Marty, the incompetence that was rampant, the burnout, and of course, the patients. I believe another reviewer described the book as "raw and unfiltered", and for me, that says it all.

George Newbern is becoming one of my very favorite narrators. He totally nailed it here!

In summary, I was engrossed during every moment of Kevin Hazzard's tale of his EMS/paramedic experience. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in knowing more about this field or are just looking for a very entertaining listen.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Mom/RN
  • San Antonio, TX
  • 01-11-16

fun and honest

not a lot of medical details or explanations... but a ton of hilarious, disgusting and disturbing stories of what medics encounter. not appropriate for all ages btw, I was hoping to share with my preteen son but profanity and violence nixed that idea. . the author did great giving us all the juicy bits with only relevant details of his life in addition to his work experiences. I recommend for anyone considering a career in patient care to listen as a reality check of the highs and lows to expect. enjoyed!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Hell of a book!

Working EMS in Georgia like the Author he hits it spot on. What an incredible display of what we do everyday and how we think! People don't understand that us EMS people are human and normal too! Thanks for such a good read!!! I think everyone needs to read this book..

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Raw and unfiltered look into the life of a paramedic

I don't even know what to say. Listen to or read the book. You'll see what I mean.

This is an emotional roller coaster, a raw and unfiltered look into the reality of EMS in a large city.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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loved it .. what I needed to hear during my shifts

paramedic approved. 😀


thank you for making this into an audio book. I play it in between calls.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but short

3.5 stars.

Fast-paced and interesting memoir. An insider's vantage point into the life of a paramedic in a large city. Hazzard does an excellent job depicting the chaos of the job and the range of situations a paramedic might find him or herself in. His prose is engaging and vivid, and his personality comes through. The memoir feels a bit spare, though, when it comes to discussing his training or the larger issues facing the communities he serviced. I would have loved to see a longer memoir that delved a bit deeper, but obviously Hazzard was under no obligation to mix social commentary with his memoir. Still it seems like a richer narrative could have been realized with a bit more perspective.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Riveting

Once I started this book, it was almost impossible for me to stop listening. It got my attention the way a good novel does.

I was fascinated by the story of why the author became a paramedic, what it was like to do that job, why he continued to do it and why he stopped. This is insight that isn't explained in the many television shows about first responders.

Be aware that descriptions and language are graphic. If you have low or zero tolerance for such things then you'd be well advised to skip this book. That said, the descriptions and language are matter of fact, and in my opinion, not included for shock value.

Narrator George Newbern was excellent. His performance added to the story.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Eve B
  • Denver, Colorado United States
  • 02-28-16

Enjoyable and insightful

Interesting look into a world unfamiliar to most of us. Honest and frank. Enjoyed the anecdotes. Narrator easy to listen to as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting glimpse into a unique world

Fascinating glimpse into a job I knew absolutely nothing about. I loved this description of the work and thoughts of an EMT. I am very easily grossed out and always wondered how anyone could do this job and found this compelling.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Accurate detail of a paramedic's career.

Listening to this story as a paramedic I was expecting a cheesy, inaccurate assumption of what a life as a medic entails. Turns out, he did a damn good job wrapping it all up, including the humor we encounter and the adrenaline rush. Very impressed.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful