Adam Kay's NHS memoir named book of the year | In a public vote run through bookstores © Idil Sukan

Adam Kay's NHS memoir named book of the year

In a public vote run through bookstores

Comedian Adam Kay’s account of his time working in the NHS has been named ‘book of the year’ by a public vote.

This Is Going to Hurt came top in a readers’ poll to scoop the Books Are My Bag award.

Around 40,000 people cast the vote in local bookshops, with Kay beating Man Booker prize winner George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo and Philip Pullman’s  La Belle Sauvage.

The book – which started life as an Edinburgh Fringe show – comprises diary entries written between 2005 and 2010 when Kay was a junior doctor in obstetrics and gynaecology.

It reads as a dark comedy about the harsh realities of working in a hospital,  with a sad sting in its tail, but also a timely plea to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to boost health service funding and not to demonise junior doctors.

Kay also scooped the non-fiction category of the same awards last night.

He said: 'I’m beyond thrilled to win the Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction award and beyond beyond thrilled to win the Readers’ Choice award. Thanks so much to the wonderful bookshops and booksellers who chose me for the shortlist, and to the book buyers who voted for me.  Lovely and humbling as it has been to read nice words about the book in the newspapers, I wrote it for readers not newspapers, and that’s what makes this such an honour.

'When the junior doctors were coming under fire from the government for "being greedy" it was so heart-breaking that the medics were struggling to get their story across. (Presumably because they were working 97-hour weeks.) Hopefully I’ve done my little bit to help people understand what it means to be a junior doctor and how ridiculous the government’s position is.'

Read our review of the book here.

Published: 21 Nov 2017

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