Free pdf Black Flies – Bilb-weil.de

Novelist Shannon Burke earned stunning reviews for his debut book, Safelight, and now he returns with the same minimalist intensity in this arresting follow up Black Flies is the story of paramedic Ollie Cross and his first year on the job in mid s New York It is a ground s eye view of life on the streets the shoot outs, the bad cops, unhinged medics, the hopeless patients, the dark humor in bizarre circumstances, and one medic s struggle to balance his desire to help against his own growing callousness It is the story of lives that hang in the balance, and of a single job with a misdiagnosed newborn that sends Cross and his partner into a life changing struggle between good and evil


10 thoughts on “Black Flies

  1. Carol Carol says:

    The Hook The recommendation of a GR friend led me to this book It is Shannon Burke s second novel The subject of a rookie paramedic in Harlem piqued my interest The LineI worked in Harlem and the place had begun to annoy methis is the beginning of the opening line, the prologue, our prep so to speak If you want to see, to learn, to understand what annoys Ollie Cross you ll have to read the book The Sinker Now that s what I call different Not at all what I was expecting Black Fl The Hook The recommendation of a GR friend led me to this book It is Shannon Burke s second novel The subject of a rookie paramedic in Harlem piqued my interest The LineI worked in Harlem and the place had begun to annoy methis is the beginning of the opening line, the prologue, our prep so to speak If you want to see, to learn, to understand what annoys Ollie Cross you ll have to read the book The Sinker Now that s what I call different Not at all what I was expecting Black Flies is staccato story telling, a no holds barred ride along in the first year of this paramedic It read like narrative non fiction I m hoping not all rookies experience the job as Ollie Cross does Ollie should have been in med school but when he fails his MCATS he needs something to do while he prepares to try again From the moment Cross s partner callsShowtimeand tosses him the tube kit we know this is a story that illustrates the thin line between life and death What we may not realize is where death and the cruelty of life may come from I didn t like all that unfolded on these pages but I was mesmerized I kept telling myself it s fiction but I m not positive that s so Shannon Burke is extremely talented in his delivery Tense, tight, real, Black Flies is not for the weak stomached It is not for someone expecting an ambulance team who saves the victim and all is well It is darn good and it is different


  2. Debbie "DJ" Debbie "DJ" says:

    Very tough read A first year parametric in Harlem What goes on in the streets, and how these paramedics are affected is frightening.


  3. Darlene Darlene says:

    Black Flies by Shannon Burke is a disturbing but highly enlightening book about the life of paramedics in New York City during the 1990s Harlem in particular This story traces the daily routine of one particular medic, Ollie Cross, from his first day as a rookie to around his one year anniversary My emotions certainly ran the gamut while reading this book I had no problem understanding just how medics could become desensitized to the horrors that they often witnessed as part of their day Black Flies by Shannon Burke is a disturbing but highly enlightening book about the life of paramedics in New York City during the 1990s Harlem in particular This story traces the daily routine of one particular medic, Ollie Cross, from his first day as a rookie to around his one year anniversary My emotions certainly ran the gamut while reading this book I had no problem understanding just how medics could become desensitized to the horrors that they often witnessed as part of their day to day routine I felt immense compassion for the people and their deplorable living conditions and their obvious lack of and access to regular health care But I also became angry with the medics and horrified at times at the way they sometimes ridiculed and actually caused bodily injury to some of their patients Although I could sympathize with and understand the plight of these medics and the rage they felt over their helplessness over not being able to really make any changes in these people s lives, I did not find it acceptable for them to act out this anger At that point, perhaps they had become TOO desensitized to the plight of their patients and they really were not doing good at alland perhaps it was time to leave the job This was a very uncomfortable and heartbreaking book to read but like the proverbial car wreck, I found it impossible to pull my eyes away from this story


  4. Michelle Michelle says:

    Shannon Burke puts the grit, gore, neglect, and decay right under the reader s nose in this harrowing novel I had to close the book abruptly and mentally walk away twice, and physically walk away once, in response to the author s vividly detailed scenes from a day in the shift of paramedics working in Harlem during the mid 1990s And although I read it nearly five years ago, even today I feel a creep of revulsion when I recollect two of these scenes, neither of which features blood, and one of Shannon Burke puts the grit, gore, neglect, and decay right under the reader s nose in this harrowing novel I had to close the book abruptly and mentally walk away twice, and physically walk away once, in response to the author s vividly detailed scenes from a day in the shift of paramedics working in Harlem during the mid 1990s And although I read it nearly five years ago, even today I feel a creep of revulsion when I recollect two of these scenes, neither of which features blood, and one of which features one rotten vegetable and arguably zero bodily harm.I recollect these scenes on occasion not because I have a taste for shock, or for art that markets and sells it, but because Black Flies is a morally affecting novel that has stayed with me Besides, Burke does not sensationalize He does not present these confrontational close encounters with the mortally and mentally wounded for shock value He isn t pandering to the fashionably macabre Rather, Black Flies is, or should be, the antidote to all that It really ought to knock the pretense off anyone s sleeve.The novel explores the antagonism and comaraderie that can occur in any close quarters, high stress work environment that requires repetitive action only doubly so when the work involves making choices that may determine whether a patient lives or dies We see trust built, maintained, and lost We see tension between some of the station s paramedics, some of whom don t play nice together, as well as between the station and the greater troubled Harlem that envelops it Burke is a little less skilled at developing some of the peripheral relationships, such as that between the protagonist and his girlfriend this relationship its evolution and dissolution was the least gratifying and least emotionally believable.Burke can also write tenderness, even in his fantastically terse style, and I felt plenty compassion for one particularly tormented paramedic on a rapidly escalating and horrifying downhill slide.The book reads fast and lean, like an ambulance racing to the next person in dire need And at the end of the book, I felt a bit of burnout, not unlike that which the narrator begins to feel a process that begins to change him I was ready to climb out the loss and despair in this novel, but felt tremendously uplifted for having read it, as I do after reading any deeply human novel


  5. Gea Gea says:

    Black Flies is a dark bleak ride so different than the lyricism of Burke s debut, Safelight A Novel The medics of this Harlem clan are burnt to a critical level Fortunately, there are a few very few bright souls shining amidst the darkness I became weary of the never ending stream of carnage and gore, cruelty and callousness, all the while waiting for a plot to emerge Although, I m a medic in Miami Dade, Burke s relentless parade of rotting bodies began to wear at me I m glad I carried Black Flies is a dark bleak ride so different than the lyricism of Burke s debut, Safelight A Novel The medics of this Harlem clan are burnt to a critical level Fortunately, there are a few very few bright souls shining amidst the darkness I became weary of the never ending stream of carnage and gore, cruelty and callousness, all the while waiting for a plot to emerge Although, I m a medic in Miami Dade, Burke s relentless parade of rotting bodies began to wear at me I m glad I carried on because the end had an emotional payoff worth working toward One thing Burke excels at is the character arc His characters have a subtle yet utterly believable transformation that is emotionally satisfying Throughout his stories you hold your breath to see if his characters will utterly destroy their souls, view spoiler and somehow at the very last minute they seem to pull back from the brink of self destruction hide spoiler Black Flies shows, as did Safelight, that it is not the patients and the carnage who are the real danger, it is the people we work with and how their beliefs and attitudes permeate us that we must watch out for Usually it is the ones who act the hardest and talk the toughest that are the most vulnerable and weak of all


  6. Angie McCrae Angie McCrae says:

    For such a short read this book packs a powerful punch In Black Flies author Shannon Burke, a former paramedic who worked in Harlem, gives an honest and grim portrait of what Harlem paramedics encounter on a daily basis It is a dark novel filled with disturbing events of death, gunshot victims, drug addicts and other gruesome things paramedics face while working in a crime filled, poverty ridden neighborhood The book follows Ollie Cross during his first year as a medic and chronicles his dail For such a short read this book packs a powerful punch In Black Flies author Shannon Burke, a former paramedic who worked in Harlem, gives an honest and grim portrait of what Harlem paramedics encounter on a daily basis It is a dark novel filled with disturbing events of death, gunshot victims, drug addicts and other gruesome things paramedics face while working in a crime filled, poverty ridden neighborhood The book follows Ollie Cross during his first year as a medic and chronicles his daily struggle with the things he sees while treating patients, how he copes, and how he finds that difficult balance between work and his personal life Black Flies is a commanding, seemingly true to life look into a world that not many people witness The vivid accounts of roach invested tenements and people left destitute in the worst and most hopeless of conditions serve as a reminder to appreciate the things you have in your life The author is formidable and graphic in his descriptions, even grisly at times, but if you can handle the severity I highly recommend reading this book Just because you can t see it doesn t mean it doesn t exist People who work in the medical field or who have an interest in medicine may find this particularly interesting and or informative, if not disturbing


  7. Kevin and Martha Curtin Kevin and Martha Curtin says:

    An excellent story Burke s account is based on his years as a paramedic in harlem Not for weak stomachs, in fact, do not read until an hour has passed after your last meal If you ate a hot dog, make it three hours.


  8. Mikey B. Mikey B. says:

    This is a very gritty and grisly book describing the paramedics who work on the ambulances in Harlem in New York City The job isthan draining it corrodes the lives of most of these workers They are faced with rescuing many patients who are at the dead end of society drug addicts, homeless people, gang members Most of the public loathe them It s a thankless job.The book is narrated from the first person The job and the people doing it are vividly described Like most jobs there are This is a very gritty and grisly book describing the paramedics who work on the ambulances in Harlem in New York City The job isthan draining it corrodes the lives of most of these workers They are faced with rescuing many patients who are at the dead end of society drug addicts, homeless people, gang members Most of the public loathe them It s a thankless job.The book is narrated from the first person The job and the people doing it are vividly described Like most jobs there are good and bad individuals, but due to the nature of the work the bad individuals are empowered and become abusive.The power of this book is that we feel the narrator being swept in by all aspects of what he encounters on the job Like most jobs in takes you within its confines and you become submerged within it like a member of a cult You become accepted by your co workers and it is only your co workers who relate to the unique circumstances of the work environment As the story progresses the narrator becomes alienated from friends and family they become outsiders to his working realm, not part of his world The work becomes so dominate that burn out symptoms become unrecognizable.The extreme nature of the paramedics work makes this well worth reading Unlike many other works of fiction we are not burdened with an over excess of words and pages


  9. Annet Annet says:

    Found this book in a bookstore in San Francisco, not the usual book I would read, but somehow I was drawn to it This is a grim, realistic, minimalistic, direct and very well written book, gives an upclose and confronting view of young paramedic Ollie Cross Having missed out on medical school, he signs up as paramedic patrolling the streets in New York Harlem with a number of colorful characteristic partners, to get experience and try to get into medical school this way He gets sucked into t Found this book in a bookstore in San Francisco, not the usual book I would read, but somehow I was drawn to it This is a grim, realistic, minimalistic, direct and very well written book, gives an upclose and confronting view of young paramedic Ollie Cross Having missed out on medical school, he signs up as paramedic patrolling the streets in New York Harlem with a number of colorful characteristic partners, to get experience and try to get into medical school this way He gets sucked into the tragic events and patients a paramedic encounters on the streets of Harlem, shoot outs, suicides,bad accidents, bad cops, unhinged medics, hopeless situations Ollie starts out optimistic and spirals down a depressive route, barely surviving Realistic pictures of the team, the partnership, the wrong colleagues and the tragedy of some paramedics who can t cope in the end, the camaraderie between the partners it was a book I got into from the first page and could not put it down A realistic struggle between good and evil within the paramedics is basically what you witness, a struggle where the borders between good and evil seem vague in the end Reads easy and quickly and I found the last 50 pages an emotional read Highly recommended, great great book


  10. Kimberly Kimberly says:

    I took this book to the laundry mat, which is where I do most of my reading on Sundays I finished it later that evening.I loved this book for its honesty and realistic accounts of what a paramedic goes through in Harlem Their job is so very very important, yet in this book he is never thanked or appreciated by the community Its hard job to see death and horror on a daily basis, and eventually he sees himself changing I dont want to add spoilers to this I do recommend it as its a good read