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Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  27,952 ratings  ·  1,810 reviews
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
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 17th 2019 by Picador (first published October 15th 2019)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  27,952 ratings  ·  1,810 reviews

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It 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 Ju
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“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 definitel
Ruby Granger
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quite simply hilarious.
Jodie (whatjodiereads)
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 everyo ...more
Johann (jobis89)
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
“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 h
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stories of six christmases spent in the ER or the labour ward
Totally season appropriate
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
For my full review, visit me at

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 f
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
I’m on the fence about this one. On one hand, it was fun to dive back into more real-life stories from the NHS frontline, however, it was short in length and some T/W for miscarriage and abortion. Some of the entries I enjoyed, some not so much. For now, I’ve rated this one 3.5 stars but may edit in the future!
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lo O'Neill
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 looki
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay, this was legit funny.
Pantelis Andreou
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Felt so different from what i have read so far! Such a nice way to end the year!
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
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jessica Rose
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, medical
With absolutely no surprise, this book is hilarious, heart-wrenching and thought provoking. And as I thought, the perfect Christmas read.

I highly recommend this to everyone (as long as you have a strong stomach), especially to those in the medical industry.

My mum doesn't laugh much (she's one of those stereotypical, incredibly stern Matrons), but after reciting some of Adams stories from the book, much to my delight, she was laughing so hard she was on the verge of tears! That alone was enough t
Sleepless Dreamer
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
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 th
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
my bookworm life
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I genuinely laughed out loud at his first book it was horrific, hilarious and very real. This one is significantly shorter and felt less involved. It was still hilarious and sad and hugely addictive. I read it in one sitting. However it isn't a scratch on his first set of diary entries, this is more like a 'movie short' .
Still, it certainly had a few shocks in there, I will never understand why any person on earth would want to use a Mars bar wrapper as a condom......
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
Hilarious, heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure.

I loved this little novella.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Exactly what I needed! Now I´m both excited and a bit stressed about my future working in a hospital. I loved it anyway, Adam Kays humor is my favorite and I enjoyed every single page.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I honestly would read anything that Adam Kay writes, a bus timetable, a menu for a 1* restaurant, a parking ticket... you name it, I'll read it.

Just like this is going to hurt, it was an absolutely Brilliant eye opening look at working in the NHS at Christmas.

From heartbreaking to painfully funny stories, this masterpiece is a perfect stocking filler for everyone and anyone this Christmas

Although, maybe not for the faint hearted given the strong language and graphic descriptions of birth and th
If you’ve read This Is Going to Hurt, the UK’s bestselling nonfiction title of 2018, you’ll know just what to expect from the comedian’s holiday-themed follow-up. It’s raunchy, morbid and laugh-out-loud funny. In the seven years that Kay was a medical doctor, he had to work on Christmas Day six times. He takes us through the holiday seasons of 2004 to 2009, from the sickeningly festive run-up to the letdown of Christmas day and its aftermath. With his Rudolph tie on and his Scrooge spirit intact ...more
Clair Sharpe
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.
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 s
Liz | The Crime Girl
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!
After reading This is Going To Hurt a couple of months back, I was eagerly anticipating Adam Kay's second book Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas and it didn't disappoint!

This was just as good as his first book in my opinion - it was insanely funny, eye-opening and heartbreaking at the same time! I absolutely love his writing style; he makes his books so easy to read and I love reading about his time working as a doctor. One thing I will say is I'll never look at a mars bar the same
Nina .c
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Just wished it had been longer.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I read This Is Going To Hurt In 2018, though I never wrote a review as I was on hiatus at the time. I enjoyed Adam Kay’s honesty in describing the challenges he faced as a junior doctor in the NHS (Britain’s National Health Service), and his irreverent sense of humour.

“Coming but once a year – and thank fuck for that – the Yuletide brings more than its rightful share of hospital drama.”

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is more properly a collection of anecdotes, focusing on events that took p
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Adam Kay is a British writer, comedian and former doctor. Kay studied and trained at Imperial College School of Medicine in London, during which time he also wrote for BBC Radio 4 and founded the musical comedy group Amateur Transplants. Kay worked as an obstetrician and gynaecologist for several years before embarking on a full-time career as a comedian and writer.

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“Full marks to the anaesthetist wearing a badge that says; 'He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake'.” 4 likes
“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.” 4 likes
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