Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Published August 21, 2020

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Book info

  • Title Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas
  • Author Adam Kay
  • Year 2019
  • Genres Memoir, Science, Christmas

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.


Whipped through this in super quick time after loving the first book. It was odd reading this directly after the other one, as we went back to the start of Dr Kay’s career when he was a lowly SHO and then rose through the ranks again. Just as always, the writing is humorous but hearty and I thought it really interesting how it only takes a couple of years to become institutionalised to working every Christmas Day.

I also thought there were a couple of important stories in here that were left out of the first, for reasons that are explained, but really add to the story of his departure from the NHS. Not that the one that was originally shared wasn’t enough but these really add to the weight of horrors seen. I’m not sure this would be an ideal Christmas gift or not, but I like the idea behind it and it really adds to the original. Good going.

Rating: 4 / 5

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