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This Is Going to Hurt

234 replies

Wouldloveanother · 05/09/2022 10:27

I read this book a while ago but just re-skimmed it while bedridden with pregnancy sickness. I’d forgotten how funny it is, although the ending is tragic and poignant. I thought it gave a really good insight into the pressures on maternity staff and why it’s not always realistic for us to have the exact care we want in labour. I think it’s a shame he left medicine, but can see how he lost his nerve and didn’t feel able to go back. Anyone else read it?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

155 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
bozzabollix · 05/09/2022 10:28

Yes, it was brilliant, gave me an understanding into just what my husband went through during those years. Although he could’ve just told me!

Wouldloveanother · 05/09/2022 10:31

Is Adam Kay your hubby??

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kateclarke · 05/09/2022 10:35

I'm a hcp and hated it. He is an absolute misogynist, and spoke appallingly about both patients and midwives.

Topgub · 05/09/2022 10:36

Not read the book, watched the series which I enjoyed but not a fan of Adam Kay really.

The series skimmed over the worst of his traits

Wouldloveanother · 05/09/2022 10:37

Really?? He spoke scathingly/sarcastically about pretty much everyone in the book and didn’t appear to discriminate on the basis of sex!

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LizaSimpson · 05/09/2022 10:39

I didn't read the books for I binge watched the tv show and I really liked it - yes he was a misogynist, rude etc but wasn't that the point and the reason the complaint was raised about him? I didn't get the feeling we were meant to like him as a character and he was definitely flawed but by the end he realised how much he wanted to carry on with the job and improve etc - I don't know maybe I missed the whole point of it.

Echobelly · 05/09/2022 10:40

I thought the series was pretty unsparing in its portrait of Kay, to be fair.

edenhills · 05/09/2022 11:08

I watched the TV series. It made me hope that none of my children go into medicine.

LunchBoxPolice · 05/09/2022 11:10

Some funny bits but I found his attitude towards women who were at their most vulnerable very unpleasant

Leafy3 · 05/09/2022 11:11

It's very dark humour and the protagonist isn't likeable. I took it for what it was but know a surgeon who hates it.

Thatswhyimacat · 05/09/2022 11:31

I hated the way he spoke about people like everyone was an idiot except him.

If you look up some of his old comedy songs, there are some pretty horrific things in there. One that first springs to mind talks about not shagging northern girls as they all have stds.

AnnaMagnani · 05/09/2022 11:34

I thought he was pretty brave in writing the series, with him as a wholely dislikeable character.

TrashPandas · 05/09/2022 11:38

I don't think the value of a message is dependent on the person telling it being perfect (or even likeable). It was a very powerful insight into the politically-motivated destruction of the NHS, and I think everybody should read it.

pinok · 05/09/2022 11:40

No I thought it was really misogynistic and the attitudes towards women explain A LOT why so many women end up with trauma from their birth experiences.

it’s humour that punches down. I’ve laughed many times on forums reading threads where women recount funny and undignified stories about their own birth experiences. But that dynamic changes when the stories are told about the women from the point of view of the male doctor in the room, who is clothed and standing and not in pain or a vulnerable position. Suddenly it isn’t so funny.

The fact so many find it funny says a lot about ingrained misogyny in healthcare. Thankfully I have seen A LOT of people including midwives and drs who see it as misogynistic. It seems to have increased over the years. I believe it will seem VERY dated in years to come and a reflection of attitudes of the time.

Wouldloveanother · 05/09/2022 11:41

Why is he misogynistic? Cannot anyone give me an example from the book?

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balalake · 05/09/2022 11:42

He ran past me a couple of weeks ago, and I know it was him as I saw his comedy show at Edinburgh a while ago.

Agree it will become dated.

Crocwok · 05/09/2022 11:43

There are plenty of decent books about written by midwives, I'd rather read one of those personally. A lot of his stories are ones that have been retold many times for many years (ergo either hugely coincidental or he's telling porkies). I do think the series was better in that it portrayed life as a doctor better and didn't focus as much on his vile attitude towards the women in his care. He also wrote some abhorrent songs so don't see the appeal of him.

Chevyimpala67 · 05/09/2022 11:43

Wouldloveanother · 05/09/2022 11:41

Why is he misogynistic? Cannot anyone give me an example from the book?

Perhaps you should research the author?

Pay particular attention to the band he was in and the "songs" he wrote.

The misogyny in that book was awful to read.

nowaynotnownotever · 05/09/2022 11:43

kateclarke · 05/09/2022 10:35

I'm a hcp and hated it. He is an absolute misogynist, and spoke appallingly about both patients and midwives.

Yep this.

A good illustration of the complete contempt pregnant women are treated with by the NHS

EmmaH2022 · 05/09/2022 11:44

I found it misogynistic too
my doctor found it hilarious and she interpreted a lot of things differently than I did.

then I found put he was in a straight marriage before coming out, and wondered if he was just taking out his confusion on women.

either way, you wouldn't want him as a doctor, nor would you pop to the pub with him..well, I wouldn't.

NightmareSlashDelightful · 05/09/2022 11:45

I liked it, and I thought it did a decent job of showing how creaky and poorly supported that particular aspect of the NHS is (and this was a few years back, when the book was written anyway).

I didn't find it especially objectionable, personally.

The TV series was great. Ambika Mod, who played Shruti, was bloody amazing and stole pretty much every scene she was in. And Ben Wishaw gave the main character a depth and vulnerability that I think was absent from the book.

LadyCampanulaTottington · 05/09/2022 11:45

kateclarke · 05/09/2022 10:35

I'm a hcp and hated it. He is an absolute misogynist, and spoke appallingly about both patients and midwives.

This. He hates women and openly laughs at them.

Wouldloveanother · 05/09/2022 11:47

LadyCampanulaTottington · 05/09/2022 11:45

This. He hates women and openly laughs at them.

But he jokes about the men in equal measure. The degloved penis, the elderly man with the butt plug(!!), the useless/annoying dads in the delivery rooms, the arrogant consultants who ‘probably wished they were on the golf course’ etc.

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pinok · 05/09/2022 11:47

Yes I’ve read some great books by midwives. Have started reading hard pushed by Leah hazard and so far so good- reflects the gruelling intense working conditions of midwives but the women in the book are also human with names and lives and aren’t mocked

LaundryBin · 05/09/2022 11:47

I thought it was great. I think a lot of the criticisms missed the point- he wasn't presenting himself as some kind of exemplar but telling the story of why he wasn't up to the job and how screwed the health service is.

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