Book Review: Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

“A lot of the reward for this job comes in the form of a warm glow. It doesn’t make you look any less tired, you can’t pay the rent with it, and it’s worth a lot less than the social life you’ve traded it for, but this comforting aura of goodness and purpose definitely throws light into some dark corners and helps you withstand a lot of the shit.”

From the author of This Is Going To Hurt, Adam Kay gives us another hilarious but emotional chapter from his days as a junior doctor. Only this time, it all takes place at Christmas – the most challenging time of the year. Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas tells twenty-five true-life ales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents that will finally make you appreciate the sacrifices that are made by the unsung heroes of the NHS at a time when we’re all stuffing our faces with turkey and spending the afternoon recovering from one too many Buck’s Fizzes.


I bought my husband this book for Christmas as we both loved This Is Going To Hurt, but I’ve only just got around to reading it myself.

A quick read that only took me a few hours, Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas may be short, but it’s an entertaining read that makes you feel all the emotions. While This Is Going To Hurt is ultimately the “best of” compilation, this is still both laugh-out-loud-funny and heart-achingly sad.

As Adam goes on to detail five consecutive years having to work for the NHS on Christmas Day, it’s another insightful look into the lives of NHS workers and the commitment they have to give. It’s something we all need to be aware of, especially around holiday periods.

It’s only a short read, but Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is undeniably a gift that needs giving. I’ve read it during the middle of the year and still thoroughly enjoyed it, but this is the perfect stocking filler if you’re already thinking about gifts for next year.

About Charlie Morris

Proofreader and film blogger living in Cornwall.

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