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Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Humor (2019)
An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the hilarious, poignant and entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year. With twenty-five tales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents, the British public will finally appreciate the sacrifices made and the challenges faced by the unsung heroes of the NHS.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas will be fully illustrated (as tastefully as possible) and will delight all of Adam’s fans throughout the festive period of Christmas 2019 and for many years to come.

144 pages, Hardcover

First published October 17, 2019

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About the author

Adam Kay

52 books2,680 followers
Adam Kay is an award-winning comedian and writer. He previously worked for many years as a junior doctor. His first book "This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor" was a Sunday Times number one bestseller for over a year and has sold over two million copies. It has been translated into 37 languages and is winner of four National Book Awards, including Book of the Year, and will be a major new comedy drama for the BBC.

His second book "Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas" was an instant Sunday Times number one bestseller and sold over 500,000 copies in its first few weeks.

"Dear NHS", edited by Adam Kay, was an instant Sunday Times number one with all profits donated to charity. His first children's book "Kay's Anatomy" will be released in October 2020.

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5 stars
23,137 (39%)
4 stars
22,423 (38%)
3 stars
10,525 (18%)
2 stars
1,640 (2%)
1 star
577 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,743 reviews
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,145 reviews2,184 followers
April 29, 2023
Medical detachment is something some healthcare professionals acquire after many years of experience.

To deal with difficult situations in a funny way is only a trait seen in those who are experts in what they do and have a great sense of humor. Adam Kay proved that he belongs to this category through his earlier book, This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor.

My favorite three lines from this book.
"Would you believe there's a medical term specifically and exclusively for a mass of undigested Sharon fruit in an intestine? No wonder medical school takes so long, learning all this sh**."

"Full marks to the anesthetist wearing a badge that says; 'He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake."

"Who's that you can see in his suit of magenta? It's me - I've been soaked head to toe in placenta"

It will be challenging to see the funny side for some readers who are not familiar with the gory side involving many complications that Medical professionals have to face in their professional life. But still, Adam Kay manages to make many readers smile regarding the remarkable Christmas eve he had in his life.

You can also follow me on
Instagram ID - Dasfill | YouTube Channel ID - Dasfill | YouTube Health Channel ID - Dasfill - Health | YouTube Malayalam Channel ID - Dasfill - Malayalam | Twitter ID - Dasfill1 | Snapchat ID - Dasfill | Facebook ID - Dasfill | TikTok ID - Dasfill1
January 18, 2023
The book didn't live up to it's initial promise by never developing. It remained a selection of anecdotes taken from the Christmas shift every year from 2004 (afair) to the present. Occasionally it is laugh-out-loud funny or a broad smile, as in: "Full marks to the anaesthetist wearing a badge that says, "He sees you when you are sleeping, he knows when you are awake," but mostly it's just mildly amusing. Or not.

It doesn't compare to the clever, percipient This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, not a book in the same league. It feels like a cobbled together piece to capture a bit of the David Sedaris market: short, funny book told by a self-deprecating author and good for a Christmas present. The author is a nice guy, but still, this book is not his best.
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,012 reviews1,330 followers
December 27, 2019
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

“Would you believe there’s a medical term specifically and exclusively for a mass of undigested sharon fruit in an intestine? No wonder medical school takes so long, learning all this shit.”

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

★ I read the author’s debut while I was studying for my final tests in med school and now I read this while I am officially a doctor! I received the license test results on the same day I received this book so that was definitely a sign!

★ I started and finished this book in one sitting in under 2 hours! I like it and it gave me a couple of laughs! Some of the entries were funny and some just made my mind go (… and?) I think this is highly subjective so my opinion does not really reflect how funny it was.

★ The book was short and I wish it was a bit longer, but after all, it is the doctor’s entries from real life and it is restricted to the Christmas shifts so I understand the number of pages!

★ I like that the author still has a message to deliver despite all the humor! This was less serious than book 1 and it has less Gynecology ward entries but I liked the ending and I guess it is kind of true. As the author says, thanks to all the doctors and nurses and medical staff working day and night and sacrificing their social life to keep the rest of the people healthy! Who knows, maybe in few years, I will publish my own medical diaries!

You can get more books from Book Depository
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,605 reviews24.8k followers
January 22, 2022
I listened to this audio narrated by the author, Adam Kay, a relatively short listen at 2 hours and 20 minutes, painting a picture of the hardworking NHS staff over the crazy and manic festive season. Kay mines his experience of the numerous Christmas periods in his years as a doctor, the horrors and joys, with a particular focus on his specialism of obstetrics and gynaecology. So we have birth of babies, the lottery associated with IVF treatments, and the oh so human sorrows associated with the failures of IVF. There is so much unbelievable material with the insanity of people and what they get up to as they present themselves in hospitals at Christmas, and something I just could not believe, families 'dumping' their confused grannies at A&E for the festive season! I had to take several moments to take in just how low people can go when it comes to their family members. As usual, Kay relates all this with humour, making this a fun and entertaining listen, whilst highlighting just how incredible our much put upon NHS is.
Profile Image for Jodie (whatjodiereads).
448 reviews12 followers
October 17, 2019
The only complaint I have about this book is that it wasn’t long enough! I love Adam Kay’s writing and I love reading about his time as a doctor. I felt every emotion whilst reading this book - and I loved it! It was hilarious but also heartbreaking at times. It also makes me angry for the way NHS staff are treated, and it really shows what amazing people they are. I really wish that this book was longer as I was really enjoying reading it. It took me only 2 hours! I recommend this one to everyone - it’s a very interesting read. I’m hoping that there’s more to come from Adam Kay!
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
643 reviews4,266 followers
February 23, 2020
“Full marks to the anaesthetist wearing a badge that says, “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.””

Having listened to the audiobook for Kay’s amazing account of life as a junior doctor, This Is Going To Hurt, earlier in the year, I was very much excited to read this little festive book in the run-up to Christmas.

Kay is simply hilarious. He perfectly combines his sense of humour with his compassionate side as he recounts the different Christmasses he has spent working in hospitals. Some entries are heartbreaking and incredibly sad, whereas others lighten the tone and had me in stitches of laughter! Who knew people stuck so many strange things in their orifices?! And there’s cute little hospital-themed festive illustrations dotted throughout, which I loved.

My only complaint is that it’s SO short. I understand Kay would be quite limited in terms of how many Christmas-related stories he has to tell, but it’s so easy to race through in about 2 hours. And it just left me wanting more.

Overall, this really reinforces how much we should appreciate the NHS and the staff who work their asses off every single day, not just at Christmas (my mum included). I love how passionate Kay is on this topic!

This would be a great stocking filler for those who work within healthcare - or just anyone who likes to laugh really! Absolutely hilarious yet poignant.

Trigger warnings for miscarriage, abortion. 4 stars.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,165 reviews1,323 followers
December 29, 2019
Following up from the brilliant This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor with this festive treat, Kay helps explain the exact day to day life of the healthcare profession and the pitfalls of working over the Christmas period.

Just like the previous book, their were plenty of squeamish and odd antidotes explained in a brilliant humours way.

But more importantly it yet again highlights the amazing jobs those working in our NHS do and such never be taken for granted.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,105 reviews132 followers
December 9, 2019
For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/...

You know when a music artist has a really successful album and the producers decide it is a great idea to re-release it at Christmas time, except with a few extra tracks added in? And, being a massive fan, you feel obliged to purchase it because you like the artist’s music and you have that small doubt that maybe, just maybe, it won’t appear on the next full album? Well, this is the same thing, just in literary format. You feel like you should read it after the hilarity of This Has Got to Hurt yet, in reality, Kay should not have bothered at all.

For my full review, visit me at https://mrsbrownsbooks.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
November 27, 2022
Not much to say about this that’s not already been said, made me laugh in so many places and also hit home what the staff have to put up with at times!
Profile Image for Sara.
1,080 reviews360 followers
December 4, 2019
A festive diary style look into working in the NHS, this has all the wit, heart and humour of Adam’s previous book, This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor with added tinsel and fairy lights. As before, some of the entries are hard hitting and difficult to read about, mixed with some other, more light hearted entries, that had me laughing out loud. I can see a lot of myself and my colleagues in Adam’s writing style, with an almost stoic approach to life with certain patients and situations that stay with you forever. There were many, many anecdotes and scenarios I’ve seen firsthand myself, and I could relate a lot to Adam’s thoughts and feelings on the NHS and working over the Christmas period.

Moral of the book? People are weird. Especially at Christmas.
Profile Image for Sara.
369 reviews322 followers
December 6, 2020
Re-read Dec 2020 - Still love this!

I was super excited to pick this up as I absolutely loved its predecessor This is Going to Hurt
Thankfully this festive spin off was just as good/heart-warming/heart-breaking and kept me thoroughly entertained.
Profile Image for Ammar.
448 reviews217 followers
November 7, 2019
Stories of six christmases spent in the ER or the labour ward
Totally season appropriate
Profile Image for India M. Clamp.
215 reviews
December 15, 2022
Truly a brief and ribald rant by Adam Kay. Audible experience enticed laughter in many en route to an architectural paradise by the sea. Kayes’ style imparts a unique view and classification of the morose nature of holidays when experienced through the eyes of medical professionals. Learned what “G-y” dumping is and how “Turkeybone” in a trachea is a quotidian occurrence on Satan’s merry go round (aka “The ER”).

“Would you believe there’s a medical term specifically and exclusively for a mass of undigested sharon fruit in an intestine? No wonder medical school takes so long, learning all this s...”
---Adam Kay

There is a rationale why many healthcare workers choose to be purposely absent from the ER during the holidays. And their are those who live for the “rush” of the incoming patients whose conditions are further stressed by environmental factors, food and unresolved familial conflicts creating the ideal recipe for another “hell” round in the ER. Adam Kay heals naturally with humor and helps us to understand the meritorious and somber realities of holidays.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sonja Arlow.
1,080 reviews7 followers
July 16, 2020
I absolutely LOVED This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor but if you have not read it then THIS collection of stories won’t really make sense. It also feels a little like the stories in this one were the rejects that did not make the cut for the first book.

As the author himself states:

”In my first book, This is Going to Hurt, the most common reasons for entries being omitted included ‘too disgusting’ or ‘too Christmassy’. Here I make amends for both.

And because this was just a hodgepodge of stories with no real narrative arc it didn't feel as complete as the first book.

But I still enjoyed this author’s unique brand of humor and turn of phrase. And if you have spent anytime in a hospital over the Christmas season (whether as a patient or visitor) you will probably be able to relate in some way.

What struck me in this and the first book, is although the author deals with his daily struggles as a doctor with humor, there is a highly sensitive man behind the funny. There was one particular story in this book that got to me as much as it did Adam.

Recommended for fans of This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
182 reviews10 followers
December 6, 2019
This was a really good book. I’ve read the first Adam Kay book which was great and this one was just as good. It was absolutely hilarious in a lot of parts and a few sad pages but the hilarious pages more than made up for it. I really hope Adam Kay writes another book. This was short but very sweet and I definitely recommend both books to everyone.
Profile Image for Bea.
196 reviews106 followers
January 21, 2023
I'm so glad this was my first read of the year - funny but melancholy at times, it was a wild ride and I'm all for it. Just as good as his first book This Is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor this very much lives up to the hype. I was excited to be learning more about working in a hospital and dealing with serious (and some not so much!) issues. How do some of these things happen???

Adam Kay narrating makes this hilariously entertaining and think it's worth listening to it on audio instead of reading it as you can really feel the happy emotions and the miserable from being a junior doctor working in a obstetrician and gynaecology ward. While wishing for a third book, I can definitely see myself listening to this again next Christmas season.

4.5/5 stars - would have loved for it to be longer!
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,735 reviews289 followers
April 30, 2020
a short enjoyable read about working in hospitals being a junior doctor at Christmas time it was funny in parts as most people forget NHS is 24/7 365/366 days a year thing
Profile Image for Lo.
201 reviews54 followers
March 17, 2020
I was lucky enough to go to a performance by Adam Kay at the Birmingham Literature Festival (if he is ever performing near you I strongly urge you to go and see him, he was hilarious, honest and insightful) and whilst I adored his first book This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, how nice he was at the book signing really sealed him as one of my favourite authors.

So when I found out that he was releasing another book this year, I immediately pre-ordered it and have been looking forward to reading it ever since.

And I can officially say that I was not disappointed! The stories are eye-opening, sometimes hilarious and provide an insight into the humanity of the NHS. I loved that Government Health Secretary’s were compared to Defence Against the Dark Arts Teachers in Harry Potter, you know they will be evil but you have to wait out the year to see how they are going to be evil!

4 stars
Profile Image for May.
296 reviews9 followers
October 13, 2020
3.5 stars

A quick, enjoyable read, and even more relatable now that I've started working as a doctor myself. Adam Kay is definitely a talented writer and I'm looking forward to reading more of his books, whether about medicine or anything else. Also, could someone please stop slashing the health care budget??
Profile Image for my bookworm life.
502 reviews23 followers
October 21, 2019
Like many people i really loved 'This is going to hurt', it was hilarious, gross and had plenty of heart to it, and was certainly eye opening!. So when i saw that he was bringing out a second book, again , like many i was really looking forward to more!.

When this came through the door, firstly i was so let down by how small it was!, it's more of a 'gift book' and something you would just buy for someones stocking or something like that, it is nowhere near the size of the first book, i read this in about 90 mins, and all it left me was disapointed that i didn't have more to read. I was really expecting something twice the size, or even if it had been the same size and length as book one that would have been great! but this was just too short i couldn't really feel that into it to be honest.

Also with the general content of the book i felt let down also, with the first book it was full of stories that made me cringe , made me laugh, made me feel sad and every single one really highlighted the stress and demand working at a hospital brought. It was such an interesting read and obviously was very popular with many as it did so very well!. To me, this second book just feels like a quick little money grab, to get those sales and to get back on the charts again, which is such a shame really. Fans of the first book will no doubt buy this one too, and expect more of the same, not just in size but in content, for me it just didn't deliver on either. This book covers his experiences with working Christmas periods, each year has it's own short section divided up into a few different days. The stories included just aren't anywhere as good as the first book, there were a few that made me giggle a little bit, one that is sad but after such a warning for it i didn't feel it was very graphic at all, and a few festive themed mishaps of objects being where they shouldn't etc.

Overall all i felt was i wanted more, this wasn't the satisfying second book i hoped for, and i think for it's price it's not worth it. I would recommend getting it on a Kindle deal when it's 99p to be honest. This is a shame, as his first book is one of my favourites from the year that i've read, and i do really love his writing! but for me this just let me down.

Profile Image for Sleepless Dreamer.
853 reviews226 followers
February 10, 2020
Well, you can tell how productive my studying has been based on the fact that this is the fourth book I've finished this week and it's only Monday.

Review to come, once I finish this horrible essay. Seriously, no one tells you that once you get a good grade, you have to work twice as hard to make sure your work will be up to the standard you've set. Also Ethics, I have to find the energy to study for Ethics.

Although, let's be real, failing Ethics would be hilarious and would hurt my ego just the right amount.
Profile Image for Tony.
486 reviews37 followers
December 14, 2019
Fucking fantastic. I’d give this ten stars were it possible. Here’s a lovely message from the end: actually, no. Read it, you’ll thank me for it!

Just wonderful.
Profile Image for Siv30.
2,340 reviews121 followers
April 12, 2020
הספר כולל רשומות שהוחלט להסיר אותן מהספר הראשון מאחר והן עוסקות בתורנויות של הסופר בבית החולים בערב חג הכריסטמס.

מבחינות רבות הוא פחות מצחיק, הוא יותר רציני ומטריד יותר במיוחד בתקופה הזו של נגיף הקורונה והתמוטטות מערכות הבריאות. בערבי חג, המצבה המצומצמת בין כה של הצוות הרפואי, מצטמצמת יותר למרות שערבי חג נוטים לפורענות.

זהו סיפורה העצוב והטראגי של מערכת הבריאות והאנשים שעובדים בה. סיפור שלא רק יחודי לארץ, אלא כנראה גם לבריטניה ואני מניחה שגם לעוד ארצות מפותחות, שלא בחורו לשים יהבן על מערכת הבריאות וצימצמו משאבים לרמה שהמערכת גוועת עד כדי פגיעה בציבור וגם בצוות הרפואי.

הפרק האחרון עוסק בגעגוע לטיפול בחולים אחרי שעזב את מערכת הבריאות. פרק שמבטא את הכאב על מה שלא ניתן להציל והכורח לעזוב או לכלות.
Profile Image for Obožavatelj Knjiga.
151 reviews50 followers
October 21, 2019
Bivši ginekolog i komičar Adam Kay se nakon hita “This Is Going to Hurt” vraća svojim doktorskim danima. Ovaj put prisjeća se šest božićnih blagdana koje je proveo radeći na odjelu.

Knjiga je izuzetno kratka, toliko da je možete pročitati u jedan dan. Neovisno o tome Kay je opet briljantan, britak, komičan sa svojim pustolovinama. Priče su stvarno nevjerojatne jer često graniče sa zdravom pameću.

“Was Daddy there when I was born, Momy?
No, he wasn’t, baby-who-Adam-has-just-delivered. You see, Mummy went into labour while Daddy was out at a Christmas party.
So he didn’t make to hospital in time?
Well, darling, he made it to hospital in time, but he was so drunk that he wipped out his cock when doctor was putting the forceps on your head, and they had to call security to boot him out.”

U ovoj knjizi ipak ima i teških dijelova, posebice jedna priča koju nije uvrstio u svojoj debitanskoj knjizi. Razlog tome je bio što je događaj bio izuzetno težak (toliko da je dodao i napomenu da se slobodno može preskočiti taj dio knjige zbog uznemirujućeg sadržaja), te mu se nije lagano bilo prisjećati, ali je svijestan da je važan trenutak. U tom dijelu ponovno prikazuje one svoje emocije koje mi zaboravljamo da doktori imaju. Iako se nad njime nije radila operacija jedva je podnio raditi. To nam samo govori da nikad ne smijemo zaboraviti da su i doktori ljudi.

Upravo to je i cilj ove knjige, da mi pacijenti budemo senzibilni prema zdrastvenim radnicima. U kojoj god se situaciji našli, nesmijemo zaboraviti da smo svi isti.

Ova kratka knjiga prožeta tradicionalnim britanskim humorom s dozom tuge će vam pokazati drugu stranu zdrastva koju nemamo prilike svaki dan vidjeti. Zato pročitajte ovu knjigu, a ja jedva čekam novu knjigu jednog od meni najdražih komičara i bivših ginekologa Adama Kaya.
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