Confessions of a Male Nurse is not what I thought it would be. For some reason, I expected this book to be funny, light and occasionally hilarious. That was my pre-conceived notion of a male nurse rearing its ugly head and I’m happy to say I got it all wrong. Michael Alexander as nurse, may have been a novelty a decade or so ago, but that didn’t mean he capitalized on it. Breaking into the formerly women-dominated vocation was frightening and bewildering at times, and the author does a good job showing us why. By now, most of us understand how hard it was for women to break into the male-dominated work force and it’s refreshing to see the tables turned.
Then, there is the down and dirty side of hospitals. People’s toes falling off and morphine addicted heart-transplant patients are just two of the medical stories Alexander delivers. Not having a stone stomach about bodies and their flaws in general, I had to skip a few of these stories. If I was hesitant of hospitals before, I’m now petrified. Happily, however, after reading Alexander’s book I’m a bit more respectful of nurses. It behooves anyone who is about to have a syringe shoved into their butt to show a bit of respect, does it not?
Covers are tricky and subjective in general. But I wish this one had better reflected the book. The cartoonish picture just doesn’t accurately express the contents. On the other hand, it may be smart marketing. After all, it was that pre-concieved notion of hilariousness that got me, a major non-fan of medical pain, to read a book about male nurses in the first place.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this — I am always interested in learning more about what people feel about books as a whole package, the writing, the cover art, how the work interacts with reader expectations, etc.
You ought to check out this book by Herta B. Feely, an anthology of different author’s works written in response to the James Frey controversy — all about reader expectations and challenging reader assumptions. It’s called: “Confessions: Fact or Fiction?” — http://confessionsanthology.com/