Project Description


Buy the book
26 May 2020
RRP: $29.99
ISBN: 9781925972634
Paperback, 288 pages
234 x 153 mm

For media enquiries please contact:
Grace Breen
Publicity and Marketing Manager
T: (03) 8695 9619

The Application of Pressure

by Rachael Mead

For paramedics Tash and Joel, a regular workday is like a supercut of the worst days of other people’s lives. They maintain their sanity through a friendship built on black humour, but as the constant exposure to trauma takes its toll, both, in different ways, must fight to preserve their mental health and relationships – even with one another. How much pressure can they handle, and what will happen when they finally crack?

With each chapter revolving around an emergency – some frightening, some moving, some simply funny –Rachael Mead digs beneath the surface of gore and grit to lay bare the humanity of emergency services personnel and their patients. This breathtaking novel reveals not only the trauma of a life lived on the front line of medicine, but also the essential, binding friendships that make such a life possible.


‘Intelligent, warm-hearted, well-written … Mead also does a superb job of writing about Adelaide and telling tales that could happen in any city in the world.’ The Age

‘Mead brings precision, empathy and an engaging sense of place … within these accounts is a full spectrum of emotional tone and effect.’ The Advertiser

‘Fast-paced and fascinating … a perceptive examination of frontline emergency services and a sensitive reflection on the restorative powers of friendship. 4.5 stars.’ Good Reading

‘A blackly funny, surprisingly moving novel.’ InDaily

‘A delicate story with blood and guts.’ STEVEN AMSTERDAM

‘Authentic and original.’ PETER GOLDSWORTHY

‘A book for our times.’ MOLLY MURN

‘A brilliant-cut gem.’ MARGARET MORGAN

‘Tender, riveting and funny.’ REBEKAH CLARKSON

‘Mead tells us how it is to be a paramedic – there is no euphemism, no sugar coating – but she does it with such compassion and humour that there is never a need to turn away. In fact, I couldn’t put it down.’ PIP WILLIAMS

About the Author

Rachael Mead is a poet, writer, and arts reviewer living in South Australia. She has an Honours degree in Classical Archaeology, a Masters in Environmental Studies, and a PhD in Creative Writing. She is the author of four collections of poetry: The Flaw in the Pattern (UWA Publishing 2018), The Sixth Creek (Picaro Press 2013) and the chapbooks Sliding Down the Belly of the World (Wakefield Press 2012) and The Quiet Blue World (Garron Publishing 2015). Rachael has published widely with her work appearing in Best Australian Poems, Meanjin, Westerly, Cordite, Island, Southerly and many other publications. In 2019 she was awarded a residency in northern Italy, as part of an AP/NAHR Eco-Poetry Fellowship.