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A Firefighter Christmas Carol and Other Stories

By

Loved it! 😍

Six short stories that enable us to glimpse the work and perils of firefighters (PTSD and related mental disorders being foremost).

Trauma, frenzied activity, excited souls in mentally disturbed states, dark impulses, ghosts, psychopaths, tension, and suspense ring in my head when I recall the worlds I visited while reading Douglas R. Brown's A Firefighter Christmas Carol and Other Stories. It's a collection of six topsy-turvy short stories themed on the lives of first responders (like firefighters and the police, whose working conditions are among the most stressful in the world), a considerable number of whom fall to stress disorders (PTS and PTSD) in the line of duty. That's the price to pay for long years of keeping vigil over us, the people they serve, and bravely taking hardships like perennial overwork and insufficient sleep in their stride.


Do we understand the lives of these selfless men and women who silently serve as our first responders? This book seeks to honor those who give the best years of their lives to keep us safe from dangers, yet often fall to fatal, stress-induced disorders like PTSD early in life. It enables us to appreciate, empathize, and be grateful for their sacrificial lives.


This author acknowledges that he's inspired by Charles Dickens and the first story in the book, A Firefighter Christmas Carol closely parallels the original by Dickens. Two more are firefighter stories, while the remaining three relate to people suffering/vulnerable to mental disorders.


The author is a former firefighter himself, and he writes from his heart. I'm personally convinced that he's a gifted storyteller. You'll find the stories in this book sinister and gripping. One minor shortcoming I noticed is the book doesn't have a Table of Contents. Another is the picture of a skull that precedes the title on each story's title page. It's fine when you see it the first few times, but towards the end, it turns a bit stale.


This book is for all story lovers: first for native English and second, other English readers. However, since it has sinister and scary content, it isn't recommended for you if you aren't brave at heart! The stories are all original, so makers of movies and TV programs may also want to check it out to see if it affords any new inspiration that might spark off the creation of a great, new movie or a hit TV serial.


I'd like to conclude by paying a small tribute to the noble profession of first responders, whose brave, sacrificial lives deserve our highest respect: "The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men." (Quote by Minot Judson Savage.)

Reviewed by

An engineer and part-time IT Consultant based in Bangalore, India. Part-time copy editor/reviewer. An IEEE Senior Member. Deep thinker and innovator. Highly analytical, clear, accurate, and thorough. Over 70 book reviews published to date-49 on Reedsy and 22 on Online BookClub.

The Guide

About the author

As a career firefighter, I rediscovered my love of writing as a cathartic way of dealing with the daily horrors of seeing people die. view profile

Published on October 19, 2021

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Short Story

Reviewed by