This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
17.10.19 / Non-Fiction / Picador / Hardback / 160pp / 978-1529018585
Target Audience: Readers looking for a short, insightful and hilarious perspective on a different kinds of Christmas that exist only in our healthcare systems.
About Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas
A surgical-stocking-filler from the author of record-breaking million copy bestseller This Is Going To Hurt
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat . . . but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious, horrifying and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.
Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas Review
‘So here it is, Merry Christmas, everybody’s having fun. Somewhere else. I’m ringing in my first 25th December on the wards by doing an impression of a smiley doctor off the telly, but it grates any time a patient or colleague wishes me a happy Christmas. I’m trying to forget what I’m missing and treat it like a normal day, but every few minutes there’s a fresh reminder. Decorations hang limply around each corner, looking like they’ve come out of the same box every year since word came from Bethlehem about this exciting new festival. My phone pulsates with jolly seasonal text messages, like I’ve got a malfunctioning dildo in my pocket.’ Adam Kay
Adam Kay returns! The former NHS doctor and hilariously insightful author of the sensational This Is Going To Hurt is back with a brief personal look into the many unconventional Christmas traditions of medical staff working the holidays all around the world. Traditions that include fancy dress fails, food and decorations stuck in orifices, discarded family members, bad news given amid raucous celebrations and loud festive apparel.
In Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas Adam Kay opens up about the six consecutive Christmas days that he spent as a doctor/gynaecologist on the wards. Detailing the memorable events that occurred during each festive period and the hilarious, reflective and crushing moments that accompanied them. All delivered in that vivid and unapologetically honest perspective that made This Is Going To Hurt such a hit. Adam continues to share his experiences in medicine at a time of year where people tend to go into overdrive with excess, emotion and entertainment in the forefront of their minds.
The people who are responsible for taking care of us at Christmas do so without celebrating themselves. Giving up family time, relationships or relaxation and instead dedicating their time to protecting us from ourselves and from each other when the joy gets out of hand. AK brings back his diary to detail the many anecdotes, observations, interactions and reflections he experienced at the time, even including a career defining moment he chose to omit from TIGTH, putting the meaningful shoulder to shoulder with the challenging, the amusing and the heartbreaking trials that he and many others faced at Christmas time.
It was amazing to be back on the ward with Adam and when I wasn’t nursing an aching belly from all the laughter, I was either gagging in disgust or empathising with the moments that make time stand still for both doctors and patients. And that is what Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is all about. It’s a reminder to recognise everyone involved in looking after the vulnerable and the ill (or at least ill informed). Doctors, nurses and every other single person who makes a hospital tick put aside their lives for those who look to them for help. Adam’s communicates his experiences well and it’s the perfect opportunity for understanding what front lines services face going into Christmas 2019, wrapped up in a small book with great illustrations and cool little jingles as the perfect stocking filler for anyone and everyone.
Adam Kay will make you laugh, cry and contemplate in many different ways whilst both clarifying his view on his time in the NHS and dishing on certain situations where common sense goes entirely out of the window, such as using a candy cane to pleasure oneself. Adam Kay cares about the connection between patient and doctor, he talks honestly about the pains, strains and complaints on both sides of this particular relationship to show that everyone involved is a human being who ultimately is, most of time, doing their best with what they’ve got. Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas spreads a different kind of festive cheer, one Adam Kay recalls with humour, disbelief and grief.
I once again was walking the wards with Adam, lost in the chaos and the determination, and I feel better off for spending time with his words and work. As the book comes to a close, Adam asks us to remember those that helped us at our time of need and recognise that they will still be there when we need them again. A simple Christmas donation or card will go far to showing appreciation for the work that medical staff provide 24/7, 365 days a year. I thought it important to include that here. So go and pick up copies of Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas and This Is Going To Hurt if you haven’t read it already and have a great Christmas.
About Adam Kay
Adam Kay is an award-winning comedian and author of the million-copy bestseller This is Going to Hurt. He previously worked as a junior doctor, which is hopefully clear by now. He lives in London.