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Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right ...

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right ...

Post Number:#1 by Scerakor
» 26 Jun 2017, 07:42

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right in Front of You" by Kari Rhyan.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by Scerakor
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Ever since her tour in Afghanistan at Bastion Hospital as a nurse in the U.S. Navy, the "Phantom" has pervaded all elements of Kari's life. The "Phantom" is Commander Kari Rhyan's rage-induced alter-ego that derives itself partially from her tour(s) of duty and partially from her family history. As the "Phantom" consumes Kari's very being, fueled by alcohol and opiates, she is eventually given the opportunity for recovery by a six-month stint at "The Willows", a civilian psychiatric hospital in Florida specialised in mentally wounded veterans.

Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right in Front of You follows Commander Rhyan's fight with PTSD and recovery. The book begins just before she commences treatment at "The Willows." She resigns as the “Director for Mental Health” where she is serving and subsequently starts her six week stay at the hospital. During that period she is forced to take a sober look at the myriad of events that led to her illness. Beginning with her childhood traumas and gradually building up to her time overseas in Afghanistan, she fights her demons through journal writing, discussions in the war room, and with the other patients there. The narrative of this book bounces back and forth between present day (when Kari is at “The Willows”) and the times of her life that she is writing about (or describing to the others). The journal entries from her childhood spend significant time talking about the hardships and abuses she suffered growing up and gives an in-depth glimpse into how they likely are affecting her current condition. Her time in the war room (a location usually reserved for PTSD sufferers from combat) has her writing and sharing about her time in one of the bloodiest war hospitals ever.

This book takes a full blown, no-nonsense approach to many topics of an extremely serious nature. What makes it so powerful is that Kari doesn’t beat around the bush with these harsh (and usually exceptionally sensitive) subjects. If it is important that the reader know about her mother’s racism, the author will bluntly use the situationally relevant racial slurs; in order to describe her time at Bastion, she will straight forwardly describe injuries and amputations; in order to describe her experiences as a child, she will flat out talk about her abuses. Despite the serious nature of this book, the way that it is presented to the reader is surprisingly approachable. Once you get past the initial shock of the book and know what to expect, the author is able to balance the horrors and depression of abuse/war/PTSD on one hand with a chuckle inducing medium of dark humour eerily reminiscent of M.A.S.H., on the other. Not only does Kari write tremendously well, but she also hits on very interesting aspects of her treatment that a reader may not have previously considered. For example, as a nurse that worked in a mental health directorate, she is more than aware of the techniques, treatments, and strategies being used on her. This book deal with the horrors that American and coalition soldiers, sailors, and airmen face on a day to day basis, as well as some deeper rooted issues with life and the armed forces. Just to name a few she addresses homosexuality in the modern military, prejudices on what constitutes a combat stress injury (in the eyes of the government), and the stresses of balancing (an already rocky) family life with those of a military career.

I was absolutely consumed by this book. It was amazingly written and, as a serving member of the armed forces, touched some very sensitive topics. Unlike some of the other memoirs I have read recently, I would have a hard time saying that I “enjoyed” this book, because I don’t think that anyone should “enjoy” reading about these kinds of hardships. That being said, I was glued to the pages and was particularly interested in reading about all of the author’s experiences. This is a difficult subject to approach and what I liked the most about this book is that it doesn’t sugar coat it at all. It is a great step in educating the general public on the real-life horrors experienced by even non-combat military personnel. Beyond the military aspect, it also serves as a reminder that we really don’t know what has happened in the personal lives of those around us and that perhaps we would be wise to think twice before judging others. I couldn’t find anything to dislike about this book, but if one had to be mentioned for the general reader, is that it deals with many horrible, depressing, and sensitive subjects. This may not be a book for all audiences if you have difficulties reading about these types of topics. It isn’t about the blood and gore of war, but rather the horrors of life and those in it.

Due to the very powerful topics and the extremely good writing, (and without even needing to consider the bravery that it took this author to publish this personal work) I give Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right in Front of You 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys memoirs of a very personal nature, especially ones that are well written and have a strong message. If you can’t handle reading about abuse, drug/alcohol use, depression, war, or PTSD, this may not be for you.

******
Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right in Front of You
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#2 by bronson
» 18 Jul 2017, 23:40

it is nice
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#3 by 0725227450
» 19 Jul 2017, 01:03

Very good book.I like it.
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#4 by kangsta_willz
» 19 Jul 2017, 01:26

I was about to drop it in the first two chapters
But chapter three has shed more light and I think its something I will be clued to for a while*
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#5 by Frank jason
» 19 Jul 2017, 04:07

I think its a nice book
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#6 by Anne Flor
» 19 Jul 2017, 05:43

This is a must read. The book is powerful.
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#7 by kangsta_willz
» 19 Jul 2017, 05:54

frank jason how far have you gone so far?
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#8 by kandscreeley
» 19 Jul 2017, 07:40

I can only imagine what she has been through. Plus it would be interesting to be at the same hospital that you were a nurse at. Wow!
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#9 by klbradley
» 19 Jul 2017, 08:03

This sounds like such a powerful read! Thank you for sharing your review!
She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live. -Annie Dillard
klbradley's Latest Review: "The Robber Of Youth" by Keith Julius
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#10 by Valentine Mwangi
» 19 Jul 2017, 08:30

Great content. A must read for me as well.Thanks for sharing your review
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#11 by Dave254
» 19 Jul 2017, 09:04

I love the story line
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#12 by festusmaklago
» 19 Jul 2017, 09:08

PTSD is a real man. I like him
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#13 by LadyClaire
» 19 Jul 2017, 16:00

wow! To touch upon a subject so delicate and sensitive in a manner superb is commendable. Kari Rhyan is certainly worth her salt. Thanks for reading and reviewing, Scerakor.
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#14 by Quirinius
» 20 Jul 2017, 08:49

Congratulations you made the review of the book real to me. Can't wait to set my eyes on the book.
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Re: Official Review: Standby for Broadcast...I'm Dying Right

Post Number:#15 by Hafeez
» 22 Jul 2017, 18:17

This book is interesting.
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