Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’


This book has dual time frames told in alternating chapters:

In 1985 in Chicago – and across the United States – AIDS has devastated the gay community. The story starts with a group of friends mourning the AIDS related death of their friend Nico. These chapters are largely told from the point of view of Yale Tishman and through Yale, we witness the ongoing crisis, and it’s effects.

In 2015, Nico’s sister Fiona, now in her early 50s, has gone to Paris to track down her estranged daughter Claire. Through these chapters we learn about the fates of various characters in the earlier timeline, and understand what Fiona went through, watching not only her brother, but so many of their friends die at the hands of a virus which the government at the time seemed largely unbothered about.

This is without question my favourite book that I have read so far this year – and I’d put it into at least my top 10 of all-time favourites. I absolutely adored Yale, and appreciated that Makkai drew so many believable and distinct characters which made up his friendship group and other acquaintances. She does not portray heroes and villains, just incredibly ‘real’ characters, who I felt like I genuinely knew and cared for. I do feel that the early timeline on its own would have made for an interesting and wonderful novel, but the 2015 story added to it, in that we could see what an effect Fiona’s experiences had had on her as an adult.

I could write about this book all day, and good luck to anyone who asks me about it – you’re going to need to set aside a few hours while I wax lyrical! However, I don’t think I could do it justice. It is a beautifully written, heartbreaking, uplifting, thought provoking novel, and I recommend it to literally everyone.


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Sicko (2007)

With ‘Sicko’, as always, Moore takes a heavy subject but his way of getting his message across means that watching it is never hard going.

The film lambasts America’s healthcare system, giving examples of how the terrorists involved in 9/11 receive better healthcare than the volunteer workers on that date, and how people are allowed to die as long as it saves the system money.  Being from the UK, it is a totally alien concept to me that someone should be refused healthcare because they cannot afford it.  People may knock our NHS system, but the truth of the matter is that if someone collapses from a heart attack in the street, it doesn’t matter if they have any money, it doesn’t matter if they have a job or a home, it doesn’t even matter whether they are from the UK or not – they will receive the treatment they need.  Moore also suggests that Americans are taught to dislike France and Cuba (for example), because the powers-that-be don’t want people finding out that healthcare is so much better in those countries.  He says that Americans are taught that the Canadian healthcare system is bad for it’s citizens, to cover up the fact that actually, it hugely benefits it’s citizens.

The thing with Michael Moore is, I always feel that I am being emotionally manipulated by him when watching one of his movies, as he is SO one-sided, and doesn’t even attempt to give a balanced view.  He’s pretty honest about this though, so as long as you bear that in mind, his movies are always worth a watch.  He makes them interesting and entertaining, and more enjoyable than you might expect for such a heavy subject.

I am quite surprised that he got an Oscar nomination for this although I do think the nomination was just Hollywood’s way of saying that they are not threatened by him, but it’s just a token gesture.

Year of release: 2007

Director: Michael Moore

Writer: Michael Moore

Main cast: Michael Moore

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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