Thank you to everyone who came along to the Purple Coat Club discussion of the book 'Safelight' by Shannon Burke last night. Our guest was Tom Reynolds of Random Acts of Reality, and he is every bit as nice in person as he is on his blog. Opinion was divided on the merits of the book. Tom reassured us that the level of corruption in the emergency services described in the novel (set in Harlem in the 90s) could never occur here. The protagonist in the novel, Frank, takes -- and sometimes sells -- photographs of injured, dying and dead people he is called out to attend. We had a lively discussion on the ethics of the use of photography. Tom pointed out that paramedics would get the sack very quickly if they took photos of 'the scene', yet he can't stop passers-by from taking photos. And, as we've tragically witnessed over the past few weeks, mobile phone images can suddenly go from being voyeuristic opportunism to being useful evidence. We're very grateful to Tom, who can rightfully claim cult status after this profile on the BBC website, for coming along.
The Purple Coat Club (so named after a poem by physician writer Danny Abse: copyright precludes my including it here but if you e-mail me I will explain) is open to anyone interested in books and film with a medical bent. We meet at Imperial College London on the last Tuesday of every month at 7.30. Please get in touch for details of venue if you would like to come along.
Tuesday, August 30: Watching the film 'Now, Voyager'. Siv Janssen, who lectures in literature and modern drama, will be our guest.
Tuesday, September 27: We're watching the cult film 'Britannia Hospital'.
In October we are having an art-related outing, watch this space for details.
On 29 November we're discussing Samuel Shem's book 'The House of God'.