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Book Paramedic to the Prince: An American Paramedic's Account of Life Inside the Mysterious World of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Patrick (Tom) Notestine (2009-12-07)

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Paramedic to the Prince: An American Paramedic's Account of Life Inside the Mysterious World of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Patrick (Tom) Notestine (2009-12-07)

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Review Text

  • By Guest on April 4, 2017

    As an RN I was looking initially for the medical references and how healthcare compared to the US system. What interested me was the culture and day to day lives of the Saudis' as described by the author. As a Westerner working for the Prince, this young man was able to visit places off limits to non-Muslims and over time, see a different vantage point of the terrorism which impacted the US through 2004. Very interesting read.

  • By Eduardo Neecha on December 17, 2013

    If you are planning to go work in Saudi Arabia (or for that matter, any of the oil-rich Gulf Arab states like UAE, Qatar, Oman, etc) then this book is an absolute must-read. If you are merely curious about the people and culture, it's an absolute must-read.For Saudi Arabia is truly a separate reality, a whole other planet---its neighboring petro-states do have many similar egregious and surreal characteristics in cultural, economic, and political organization, but none of them can rival the comic extremities of the Saudis which this book details so brilliantly.Keep in mind that this is not meant as some rigorous scholarly or journalistic work, but simply a journal-like collection of personal anecdotes by an ordinary American who comes and spends a few years living and working in Saudi. It's light reading, no doubt...but yields a very accurate feel for the place and is quite balanced in its overall tone and attitude towards the Magic Kingdom (an ironic but not unaffectionate nickname for Saudi Arabia given by expats). Notestine does not romanticize the Saudis, nor does he condemn them...this relative lack of soap-box judgement is one of the strengths of his book.

  • By Eva Sheppard on January 29, 2010

    I decided to buy this book after reading the review by Jean Sasson (author of the Princess series). I have read many books about Saudi Arabia, mostly written by western expatriates who spend a year or two there, and then write a book professing to understand a country as unique as it is complex.This book stands out from the rest. The author is a Californian Paramedic who spent over ten years working at all levels of Saudi Society. Including being on the medical staff of King Abdullah. His passion and commitment to his work comes across, from the blood and carnage of treating Bedouin children in the emergency room, to treating the royal family of the House of Saud.The book grabs you by the throat from the very first page and never lets you go. It is about so much more than paramedicine. It delves into contrasting social issues and the rise in terrorism, in one of the most fundamentalist Islamic countries in the world.Amid the serious nature of the book, there are many lighter moments such as the pet Baboon that Notestine bought from the local animal market, which escaped and ended up riding the employee bus to the hospital.This book is truly a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East or just true life adventure. As a journalist and observer of the human condition I find the author highly perceptive.A book that should not be missed.

  • By Hey Jude on July 5, 2012

    I'm about 3/4 of the way done with this book and first of allI think $2.99 for a kindle copy is beyond reasonable. I paid $10 for 50 Shades of (crap) Gray - which by the way I couldn't get through and was nowhere near worth the price! They should've paid me to read that piece of garbage.I an interested in Muslim culture (and other extremist cultures and religions) and having read books like Three Cups of Tea, Stones Into Schools, Under the Banner of Heaven, Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, Favorite Wife: Escape from Polygamy, The Kite Runner, and One Thousand Splendid Suns, I am finding this book to be incredibly interesting. The author is down to earth and it's reflected in his writing.The author strikes me as a complete professional. His experiences working in Saudi Arabia had me shaking my head at times. Especially the instances with the children with mutations due to so much in-breeding.......Yikes! He truly cares about saving lives, whereas a lot of times it seems that his fellow Doctors (especially the Saudis) did not give a crap if it was going to interfere with their sleep.The inside look at the privileged lives of the super-wealthy Saudis is fantastic. I love reading about how other cultures work (or in this case, don't work especially for women!) Being a woman in a muslim culture seems to me that it would be beyond AWFUL! The hypocrisy of the way some of these people live their lives is beyond comprehension (at least to me).And last of all, this book again reminds me why I am so happy to live in the good 'ol U S of A! Thanks for writing it down!


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