Originally published: 17 October 2019
Author: Adam Kay
Published by: Picador
Genre: Medical Memoir
Length: 144 pages
Dates read: 20-21 December 2019
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is Adam Kay’s hilarious follow up to This is Going to Hurt. The book follows Adam’s career as a doctor working through the NHS during the Christmas period, through his diary entries where he mostly worked in obstetrics and gynaecology.
I was lucky enough to see Adam Kay live last weekend at The Brighton Dome where the ticket price included a copy of the book. He is a talented comic and read out sections of his book and had the whole audience in hysterics. He is also a very talented musician and singer and performed lots of parody songs mostly using Christmas tunes for the music.
One my friend’s who came with me is a nurse and despite having two children, will be working Christmas day. As Adam makes very clear in this book, the NHS gets no time off at all and for some reason it appears people make very stupid life choices, perhaps more so at Christmas. For the most part, it is very funny and a little bit cringy in places when you hear what people do to themselves. But there are several really heart-breaking parts and Kay handles them with real sensitivity. There is a section in which Kay describes a medical procedure that he has to perform which he is still traumatised by and after giggling to myself just minutes earlier, I was moved to tears.
1.4 million NHS staff are at work over the Christmas period – as well as being funny, this book is a reminder of those heroes and the often thankless task they perform day in, day out.
I loved this so much! A perfect last minute Christmas gift, even for the non readers in your life.
About the author:
Adam’s first book, This is Going to Hurt, revisiting his former career as a junior doctor, has spent over a year at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller list. It was the bestselling non-fiction title of 2018, it’s the best-selling e-book of all time, and has sold a total of 1.5 million copies.
Winner of a record four National Book Awards (Book of the Year, Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year, Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year), Blackwell’s Debut Book of the Year, Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year, iBooks Book of the Year, Esquire Book of the Year, Books Are My Bag Readers’ Award and Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction Prize.
TV & film
Adam is currently adapting This is Going to Hurt as a major 8 x 45 minute comedy-drama for BBC Two. Previous credits as a writer, script consultant and script editor include Mitchell & Webb, Very British Problems, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Crims (co-creator), Mongrels, Up The Women, Flat TV, Our Ex Wife, Bounty Hunters, Blind Date, Child Genius – alongside panel show and live writing for high-profile comedians. He is a Sunday Times columnist.