B-Shifter: A Firefighter's Memoir Paperback – Dec 23 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In order to enjoy this book, you had better have a fireman's requisite appreciation for the absurd. If the bizarre and inexplicable don't make you bust out in belly laughs, stay home with another book. Maybe one of those dryer-than-dry histories of the FDNY, or the one about the BC that single-handedly lead every survivor out of the South Tower before it collapsed. If you've got self-aggrandizing on your mind, and you never made a mistake or would tell anyone about it if you had, you're barking up the wrong tree.
I'm a career FF and I've read tons of FF memoirs...good, bad, and right in the middle. This one isn't poignant like ENGINE 82 or outsider-ish like WORKING FIRE or FIGHTING FIRE, but it is hands down the FUNNIEST book ever written by a fireman. The stories, which on some level I HOPE are slightly embellished, are crazy enough to be true. I laughed out loud dozens of times. If this book has a fault, it's that it is too short. I wanted it to keep going.
Reading this book and thinking about Nick Brunacini I am reminded of a quote of Raymond Chandler's in talking about the hero of his private detective novels, Philip Marlowe. Chandler said, "If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in."