Shaking Hands With Elvis

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Pub Date 1 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 12 Apr 2024

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Check Out Any Time You Like at the Grand Euthanasia Hotel


When assisted dying is legalised following the government’s sell-off of the NHS, where does the killing stop?

The sick and the old no longer have to feel they’re a burden on society and a nuisance to their families, the nation’s healthcare budget is slashed at a stroke, and there is money to be made in offering ever more inventive ways to lawfully shuffle off your mortal coil.

When Geraldine, Dawn, Jeffrey and Woody, each having a different reason for giving up the ghost, book appointments for their final journeys, they discover not everything at Go Gently’s state-of-the-art Charon House clinic lives up to the brochure.

As the clock ticks down to their appointed hour, is it really the end of the line for the gang of four, or is there life in the old dogs yet?

Check Out Any Time You Like at the Grand Euthanasia Hotel


When assisted dying is legalised following the government’s sell-off of the NHS, where does the killing stop?

The sick...

Advance Praise

'Scandalously funny. Black Mirror eat your heart out.'

Caroline McCudden

'Scandalously funny. Black Mirror eat your heart out.'

Caroline McCudden

Available Editions

ISBN 9781915212177
PRICE £4.49 (GBP)

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Average rating from 13 members

Featured Reviews

Oh my goodness! I am almost speechless. This book is so believable it's frightening. In today's UK where continuous government cuts are one of life's certainties. The NHS and social care system are crumbling and money seems to be the only thing that matters. The ideas put forward in this book seem only too feasible. Despite the potentially very serious topic of the book, I love the way the author has balanced this with just the right amount of humour and occasional touches of the ridiculous. My mind jumped from horror to laughter multiple times whilst reading the book and the twists at the end are just brilliant! Shaking Hands With Elvis is my first Paul Carroll book but certainly won't be my last!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

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Set in a near-future world where the NHS has all but gone. The storyline follows the notion that assisted dying is made legal in the UK.

'The sick and the old no longer have to feel they’re a burden on society and a nuisance to their families, the nation’s healthcare budget is slashed at a stroke, and there is money to be made in offering ever more inventive ways to lawfully shuffle off your mortal coil.'

At first, the company seemed nice, with a range of packages, but as the storyline progresses, it gets very dark indeed, quite sickening. There are some lighter moments and a few feel-good moments dotted in between the dark.

Very thought provoking and I hope this version never becomes the reality.

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Absolutely brilliant subversive satire-that's-almost-not on our current national assisted dying policy.

The government have done it, sold off the NHS and privatised healthcare. Assisted dying has been legalised and it's already a Business in all but name. Now you can fill in some paperwork and receive some bonuses for your family and literally 'check out', when you feel your time is up. It might be because you're sick, but this isn't necessary anymore.

But what if you change your mind? And what if the national strategy is ripe for widening scope and scoring a few political points? I mean, using chemicals to end lives is expensive - are there more cost-effective methods?

My goodness, this was dark! But also very funny. And also rather terrifying as it seemed much too close to the bone of today's political messages, personalities and directions.

For politics, it's celebrated as being able to "widen choice for the individual..." For the business leader it's "a consumer market and our primary job was to offer choice and value for money," (packages are available for various budgets). Assisted dying is no longer the word of choice, it's now discussing a client's "final journey".

It's broadened out to readers through four individuals who all find themselves at Go Gently' establishment (hilariously named in itself - the poem begs you to 'rage rage against the dying of the light', does it not? when not shortened...): Charon House (oh boy, another reference, transporting souls of the dead in Greek myths). Dawn, Geraldine, Jeffrey and Woody each have a reason for being there, some more under their own steam than others. But each represents a different arc as to why a person may end up in this no-way-back position.

And that's not because they might not want to turn the clock back. Because surely we can all take back that decision and change our minds.... can't we?

With political higher ups, immigrant workers and Resistance-type organisations all having their opinions on assisted dying and what is both 'right' and 'best', the story takes the foursome on a bit of an adventure as they strive to make their own choices in their own time.

Oh boy does this get dark, with black humour throughout which I won't spoil here by quoting.

The four characters at the heart of the plot are wonderful, each very vivid and likeable, with those pushing the political agenda equally DISlikeable. This could be quite upsetting to read but taken in the right light it's a powerful discussion piece, cleverly constructed to make the author's presumed points in a very entertaining way.

I can see this making it onto the screen quite quickly. I'll be watching.

With thanks to Netgalley for providing a sample reading copy.

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There were definitely moments when this book felt real to me, which shows the world we are living in, both frightening and fascinating.

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Absolutely loved it! Highly recommend this unique quirky story. You’ll fall in love with the characters guaranteed

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As a nurse having worked in various NHS and private sectors this book really was so scarily on point! I loved the dark humour but also the undertone was one that be all too real in the future.

Following the lives of 4 main characters who 'check in' to the 'Go Gently..' house where human 'euthanasia' can now be the way forward.. And of course if you have a change of heart you can still change your mind, can't you?!

This book was brilliantly written and discusses so more political views around the NHS and private care sector. Hilarious and horrifying I would definitely recommend to all to read!

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I received this book from Netgalley and Cameron Publicity & Marketing Ltd in exchange for a free and honest review.

This book is set in a world where the NHS has been abolished and the UK has an insurance based system. Due to this people who are unable to afford medical care can opt to use services that allows them to choose voluntary death due to a new law passed called the 'Assisted Death' law; which is thought to be 'humane'. This story has a cast of characters/ POVs Geraldine - a retired teacher, Dawn - a widowed mum, Jeffrey - a man suffering from a medical condition, Woody - A prisoner, Dr. Callan - the proprietor of an assisted death clinic called Go Gently, Adil- an immigrant that works at the clinic and Pestel - an ambitious politician.

This story tackles many important topics such as: what happens when social services needed to look after the wellbeing of a population are left at the mercy of opportunistic politicians and businessmen, the need to address loneliness in elderly people, the burden that people with illness feel and a clash of religious/ personal beliefs and the need to make a living.

Overall an engrossing and quick read. I would recommend.

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In Black Mirror style, Paul Carroll explores a world where assisted dying is not only legalized on a larger scale but has become a lucrative business. The book is a powerful commentary on the current trajectory of healthcare policies in ultra liberal countries while being a thoroughly entertaining read. Through a mix of chilling foresights and occasional feel-good moments, the story provokes thought and stirs deep emotions about our societal values. The characters, from the scheming politicians to the vulnerable elderly, are vividly portrayed, each adding depth to the unfolding drama. The novel is not just a story but a reflection on morality, choice, and the commodification of life’s end, making it a significant read for those intrigued by ethical dilemmas in modern governance.

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I read this book as a Bookbuzz advance reader, to get the discussion going on the Bookbuzz app.

This book masterfully combines dark and dystopian fiction to explore the complex topic of assisted death, set against the backdrop of a deteriorating healthcare system. The narrative intricately weaves together the lives of a small group of characters, including an immigrant worker, a mother, the owner of a facility and a government minister, each brought to life with compelling reasons for their presence and perspectives on the controversial subject.

The story not only presents various arguments surrounding euthanasia but also delves into the emotional and ethical complexities associated with choosing to die. With its thought-provoking content and a touch of dark humor, the book progresses at a steady pace, offering a unique reading experience that is ideal for book club discussions and recommended for those looking for something out of the ordinary in literature.

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