Reviews for Full Metal Cardigan: Adventures on the Frontline of Social Work, by David Emery

stephbookshine's review

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*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author, Fledgling Press, and Kelly Lacey of Love Books Group Tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Full Metal Cardigan is a collection of anecdotes forming a memoir of David Emery’s career in care and social work.

The stories are loosely connected by chronology, but mainly follow the author’s thoughts as he leads the reader through his reminiscences of life on the frontline of mental health care and the support of vulnerable adults.

Despite the often sensitive, and sometimes terribly sad, nature of the content, David Emery brings a self-deprecating wit and gallows humour to the narrative that makes this book genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, especially for those with similar work experiences (who will recognise themselves and their colleagues in every word!).

Emery does not shy away from his own mistakes and errors of judgments, creating an honest and intimate insight into the problems and issues faced by both workers and their service users (Or clients, patients, experts…).

Full Metal Cardigan does for social workers what James Herriot did for vets, Rob Buckman did for doctors and Gervase Phinn for school inspectors. If you enjoy these authors as much as I do; enjoy humourous and intimate professional memoirs; or just enjoy a witty easy read, then I cannot recommend this book enough. I’ll be buying a few copies for my friends!

Everyone else knew what they wanted to do. Adrian wanted to work with animals (he’s now a butcher), Penny wanted to write poetry (she’s on Jobseekers Allowance) and Kenneth wanted to be a vicar (prison). I had no such ambition and drifted through school without purpose, the only advice I received – don’t be a teacher – coming from my dad (a teacher). I had presumed a plan would emerge at college but it never did. The one thing I did know was that I wanted to go to university. My sister had gone and I had seen how it transformed her life. Before she had got her degree in psychology she had been a part-time counter assistant in a failing delicatessen; afterwards she was made full-time.

– David Emery, Full Metal Cardigan

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog