Monday, August 21, 2006

Review: Confessions of a Male Nurse

Richard S. Ferri. Confessions of a Male Nurse.
Published by Haworth Press
Reviewed by Michael Gellings

Richard S. Ferri has filled a gap in the gay book market with his sometimes funny, sometimes angry hospital novel, Confessions of a Male Nurse. It is a vivid mix of sex, work, death, and romance. Ferri is an HIV/AIDS nurse, and while his insights into the conveyor-belt mentality of modern medicine can be quite devastating, he also tells a story of friendship, compassion, and the quest for love.

The central character is Richard Steele, who likes what he sees in the mirror, but hasn't really got a clue what to do in life. In four parts the book charts Steels's career from nursing school in the American provinces to being a cruising nurse in New York's Gay Village in the 1970s. His best girlfriend is called Carmella, his favourite bar Glory Hole, and his first boy-friend dumped him for Jesus.

A great read for anybody who takes a secret pleasure in other people's tribulations.

Michael Gellings is a freelance translator and historian. He's currently working on the history of a local hospital in Germany.



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