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The Easy Way Out by [Amsterdam, Steven]
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The Easy Way Out Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 219 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE ALS GOLD MEDAL 2017
LONGLISTED FOR THE INDIE AWARD FOR FICTION 2017
LONGLISTED FOR THE MILES FRANKLIN LITERARY AWARD 2017

'Amsterdam is so damn good. He is up there with the best, Delillo and the like, original as Tsolkias, but most importantly he is a master storyteller in his own right, assured and compelling, he somehow articulates things you know deep down but never been able to put your finger on. I never want to stop reading him.' - Anna Krien, bestselling author of NIGHT GAMES, INTO THE WOODS and US and THEM



If you could help someone in pain, would you?


Evan is a nurse, a suicide assistant. His job is legal . . . just. He's the one at the hospital who hands out the last drink to those who ask for it.

Evan's friends don't know what he does during the day. His mother, Viv, doesn't know what he's up to at night. And his supervisor suspects there may be trouble ahead.

As he helps one patient after another die, Evan pushes against legality, his own morality and the best intentions of those closest to him, discovering that his own path will be neither quick nor painless.

He knows what he has to do.

In this powerful novel, award-winning author Steven Amsterdam challenges readers to face the most taboo and heartbreaking of dilemmas. Would you help someone end their life?

'The Easy Way Out is a perfect storm of a novel. Superbly written and instantly engaging, with great characters and a killer (excuse the pun) premise' - Sydney Morning Herald

'There's something fresh and engaging about Steven Amsterdam's writing ' - Australian Women's Weekly

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 914 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Australia (30 August 2016)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01EIEQ0Z2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
4.5★
Easy for some, maybe, but not so easy for others. Pulling the pin, opting out, offing oneself with Nembutal is dicey enough that you might want someone there to make sure you wake up dead. That’s all very well for you, but, who would you lumber with that?

Steven Amsterdam is not only a good writer, he’s a Melbourne palliative care nurse, which gives Evan’s voice an authenticity others might not manage.

This is not a pro-euthanasia treatise. It’s Evan’s story of growing up with a gypsy mother, Vivian, whose habit was funded by the life insurance payout after his father died when his car “accidentally” ran off the road. She’s the kind of casual mum who takes off for a weekend, unannounced, leaving only a note, so Evan will learn to fend for himself.

He’s a nurse and works here and there and has a few relationships here and there, but now Vivian has an odd form of Parkinson’s, which they’ve been managing until they aren’t. She doesn’t quite take off for Willow Wood (nursing home) leaving only a note, but almost. (And she makes a run for freedom again later, but that’s another whole colourful whole story.)

Right after “Measure 961” passes, legalising assisted dying, Vivian spots an ad for Mercy Hospital seeking a nurse for a ‘pilot program’.

“My mother said, ‘This is the real deal. You’ve spent enough time with the sickness end of the business. Death is where life gets really interesting.’ ”

He ticks the box for no known suicides in the family, and is accepted. Mercy screens potential 961 candidates at length , filming and documenting everything, I mean every thing, and Evan has a look at some of his first customer’s conversations.

“He was clear at the start.

‘I’m done. Totally done.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I suspect some may find the subject matter of The Easy Way Out by Steven Amsterdam slightly confronting. After all, we still don't talk a lot about euthanasia and assisted suicide. Although perhaps we should.

We meet Evan on the day of his first 'assist'. He's been working on the program since Measure 961 was introduced - though his previous role primarily involved the psychiatric assessment of potential clients and logistical arrangements. It seems a natural progression then that he move into a newly vacant position of an assistant... liaising with the patient and their loved ones, and... ultimately passing the patient a cup of Nembutal when the time comes.

The plot of this novel unfolds slowly. We meet a number of Evan's clients and follow his mother, Viv's progression as she undergoes treatment. But this book is very much about Evan's journey. He supports the notion of euthanasia and is consciously cautious of protocols around the new legislation, but he's got a kind and fragile heart and soon finds himself crossing some boundaries he didn't expect to be problems.

Assisted suicide or euthanasia is a sensitive topic and one Amsterdam handles with compassion, respect and with humour. I enjoyed this engaging outing from Amsterdam - my first with the palliative care nurse, who most certainly knows his stuff.

Read the full review on my website: [...]

3.5 stars
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Format: Kindle Edition
Last night I finished reading this. I took my time with it, because it is a book to linger upon. Every paragraph has an astute observation that is often oblique, and could be lost in your peripheral vision if you don’t watch where you’re going.

I’m not sure many other writers could have dealt with this subject matter – assisted suicide – as deftly as Amsterdam. It could so easily, in lesser hands, be mawkish or didactic or judging, but this novel is subtle and honest. The characterisation is masterful. The protagonist now feels like my best friend, and I am going to miss him.

Amsterdam is one of the finest authors writing in Australia today. His previous novels are wonderful, but this is in another realm. You really must read it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars 30 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and smart 10 February 2014
By Isabel L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stephen McCauley never disappoints. It's like good quality chick lit, but from the perspective of a gay man. He is extremely witty.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 June 2016
By NABFRESNO - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Delightful!
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 12 September 2014
By PDB - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
excellent
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read 4 November 2016
By carol810 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Evan is a nurse and finds himself faced with assisted death, he isn't absolutely sure what to make of it and although he isn't ashamed of his job he does find himself not quite telling the truth to his friends. He gets frustrated with the rules and regulations though and finds the job isn't for him but it seems that it keeps reappearing in his life. His home life isn't the best and I thought this added to his discomfort. Evan is gay and does have a relationship with two friends but he doesn't feel comfortable enough with them to talk about his career and his mother seems to be in some world of her own. I did love the way it took you from the dark side of death and yet still kept an amount of humor throughout. The couple of sex scenes were a little graphic but very much within the context. I must admit the book made me question my attitude to death.
I would like to say thank you to NetGalley for my copy of the book.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 4 November 2016
By Angie T.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Interesting and different book, I worked for over 20 years as a social worker, for a while I worked with terminally ill people,so I have some experience of how that affected me personally. I do think writing a book about some one who assists people to end their lives is a fascinating subject,and I wonder what anyone who does this feels like and the toll it must take on them.It was not an easy book to read and I don't think it was meant to be with the subject matter,I can't rave about the book but I do think it was well written and thought provoking.Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in return for an honest review.