THIS IS THE INSIDE STORY OF THE NHS AS TOLD BY AN INVETERATE OUTSIDER
Written with razor-sharp wit and a keen eye for the absurd, Heavy Years is a beguiling work of autofiction and a stand-alone sequel to the widely celebrated Light Years. The barrier that divides fact and fiction is often crossed and double-crossed as Young cuts through the chaos of the late twentieth-century NHS, one of Britain’s most cherished and controversial institutions.
The unnamed narrator is a freelance researcher turned ‘Trojan Horse’ for the wily and eccentric senior consultant Mal Combes. Yet he has his own agenda; simply put, that public health and well-being should be the foundation on which politics is built, not a tool of political machinations. However, he soon realises good sense and a lifelong interest in philosophy are not enough to challenge the Kafkaesque inner workings of the NHS, and finds himself increasingly absorbed into the status quo. While priding himself on being the enemy within the established (dis)order, defending hard-pressed clinicians and suffering patients, is he in danger of becoming his own worst enemy?
Praise for Light Years…
‘A most unusual book, we couldn’t do without this one… a relishably odd fish’ – Spectator
‘A highly sophisticated writer and a very funny one. If there is any justice in the world, this book ought to become a classic.’ – Tablet
‘I have not laughed so much since my first reading of The Third Policeman… a beautiful oddity, which goes from high comedy to pathos in the flick of a semi-colon’ – Irish Times
Augustus Young was born in Cork, Ireland in 1943, and worked in the NHS as an epidemiologist for thirty years up until the turn of the millennium. His parallel literary career has seen him publish over twenty books and pamphlets.