Joe Connelly (writer)
Connelly grew up in a working-class family in Warwick, New York. He dropped out of Colgate University and, before publishing his first novel, worked as a paramedic at St. Clare's Hospital in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, for nine years. He wrote in his spare time over that period, in a small flat in the Upper West Side and while living in Ireland and travelling in Eastern Europe for a considerable period. During this period Connelly was encouraged by a creative writing professor at Columbia University.
Bringing Out the Dead (1998) is autobiographical in nature and follows the story of a paranoid, hollow-eyed paramedic who works the graveyard shift in Hell's Kitchen, the barrio bounding the phantasmagoria of Times Square. Having seen so much human suffering on the job, the main character of the book, Frank, has turned emotionally into himself, despondent to the point of becoming a drunk, his life a living hell.
Bringing Out the Dead was an immediate bestseller on publication. It was soon optioned for $100,000 and eventually made its way to production as a major motion picture of the same name in 1999. Bringing Out the Dead was directed by Martin Scorsese and the screenplay was adapted by Paul Schrader. Though the film was a critical success, it fell short of box office expectations.
His second novel, Crumbtown (2003), didn't sell as well as the first. Although the book's characters were the trademark down-and-out personalities of Connelly's debut novel, he was criticized for relying on well-trodden clichés.
- Washburn, Lindy (February 27, 2000). "To Hell And Back In An Ambulance — Author Chronicles A Medic's Wild Ride Between Death And Saving Lives". The Record (Bergen County, New Jersey). Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- McClurg, Jocelyn (March 1, 1998). "'Bringing Out The Dead' Vivid, Out Of Control". Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.). p. G.2. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- O'Grady, Megan (March 16, 2003). "Time Off for Bad Behavior". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2010.