Reviews about Night Clinic
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite 5 stars
If we’re sick, we have medicine and doctors to treat us. What about the otherworldly creatures? Where do they go for medical assistance, if they ever need it? David Gelber’s Night Clinic is a series of short stories set in an inner city clinic, where the compassionate Dr. Barnes and Nurse James care for a group of unusual patients. Written in a first person point of view, Dr. Barnes is like any doctor that everyone is familiar with; tired, slightly irritated but also kind and professional. Nurse James, or rather called Miss James by Dr. Barnes, is exceptional at her job, calm and somewhat cheeky.
As characters, I find them a wonderful combination. Their composed persistence in dealing with the supernatural beings as their patients is entertaining and even inspiring. There are some classic characters here that readers would recognize. For example Mr. Hyde, who has a thrombosed hemorrhoid and strangely turns into a werewolf. Then there’s Dr. Van Helsing, who is in Dr. Barnes’s contact list to handle psychiatric cases – there’s a suicidal vampire who tried to be a werewolf without success.
There are human patients who go to the Night Clinic too. One of my favorites is a story about a troubled mother who brought her son to the clinic and finds a way, by luck, to escape her terrible marriage. Each story is a standalone, yet they seamlessly connected to each other from start to finish. Gelber fleshes out each story well and makes this book an easy yet fascinating read. It’s never a dull night at Night Clinic, no matter how much Dr. Barnes complains.
Anne-Marie Reynolds Readers’ Favorite 4 stars
Night Clinic by David Gelber is a book of tales from a night clinic. This is not the most ordinary night clinic in the world as Dr Barnes and Miss James find out, especially at full moon. It isn’t unusual for them to treat a bunch of werewolves, a man who is a vampire but wants to be a werewolf, Sleeping Beauty, or Crystal Blue as she is known, the Wicked Queen and the 7 dwarves! Whenever Dr Barnes finds himself on the roster for the night clinic, he knows it will not be an ordinary night. He knows to expect the unexpected, he knows that nothing will be normal and he isn’t surprised when spirits start to visit his clinic. Dare you open the door to the Night Clinic?
In Night Clinic, David Gelber shows great imagination. I understand that he is a general surgeon by trade and that the story was born in the hospital he works in. It’s something different from your normal hospital stories. It was well written, the plot was well developed and the characters were likeable, even the odd ones! I think there may be more to this story and I believe that there are continuations, which I would like to read at some point. Great little book that you can pick up and put down and never lose track of what is happening. Good if you want something just a little bit different to read.
Lex Allen Readers’ Favorite 4 stars
David Gelber’s Night Clinic is a collection of short (some very short) stories that span the range of literary genres as well as characters. The story is a collection of Night Clinic episodes that maintain storyline coherence through the two primary protagonists; the intrepid Dr. Barnes and his able assistant, Nurse James. The cast of characters that visit the clinic for treatment is a fantastical assortment that includes regular humans from all walks of life and situations to the mystical and supernatural beings of past fiction features. Dr. Barnes and Miss James adroitly and compassionately handle the medical issues of vampires, werewolves, dwarves, mythical beasts and magical beings without blinking an eye…well, most of the time. This intermixing of “normal” human characters, in their everyday life, with the appearances of famous fictional actors, reminded me of the novel Big Fish by Daniel Wallace. I loved that novel and this one, too.
Each of the episodes at the Night Clinic is a well written and complete three-act scene. Some of these are sad, most are humorous, but all of them are interesting installments of the overall story. There’s a love story between Dr. Barnes and Miss James that is mostly “off-stage” for the first two-thirds of the book, but kicks into high gear towards the end. As with most great fiction, there is an underlying moral or uplifting message to be gleaned from the tale and, though well hidden until near the end, this book has more than one such message. Mr. Gelber’s medical expertise, writing acumen and imagination combine to make Night Clinic a great read that I highly recommend to all lovers of memorable stories.
Katelyn Hensel Readers’ Favorite 4 stars
Night Clinic by David Gelber is not your average collection of paranormal short stories. All creatures need medical care, even the ones that go bump in the night. That's the job of the night clinic - to tackle the werewolves, vampires, and various other supernatural beasties who get themselves in a pinch of trouble and need stitches, have breast cancer, or need a hemorrhoid removed. Dr. Barnes was a very dry and cynical character. I guess I could understand his nature if he was forced to deal with such craziness night after night, but I wish I could have gotten to know him just a little bit better. He seemed to be just a bunch of dry, witty remarks, and I didn't get a whole lot of substance from him. He was still a fun and interesting character, but not one with very many attributes that made him above average.
I have never seen such a mixture of medical and supernatural in one place, and I consider myself an extreme aficionado of the genre! I really loved seeing the medical staff take on both average and supernatural ailments in all kinds of creatures of the night. A very original concept and one that kept me entertained the entire time. The writing style was a bit choppy, and the dialogue presented itself as rather stilted, but the plot and stories themselves were so entertaining that they distracted me from the so-so dialogue enough to leave room for a happy reader all around. David Gelber should be one to watch. I would be interested to see if he writes longer books in the future in the same "world."
Michelle Stanley Readers’ Favorite 5 stars
You’ll probably need a cure for laughter after reading Night Clinic by David Gelber. Dr. Barnes and Nurse James aren’t fond of working night shift at the clinic whenever there’s a full moon. That’s when the freaks come out, and they mostly gravitate to the clinic with bizarre complaints. Apart from the usual ailments of colds and sprains, Dr. Barnes and Nurse James encounter: a costumed patient who thinks he’s “Roachman”, cops who turn into rambunctious werewolves, Mr. Spock, a couple guys with penile conditions, and seven dwarves who own a nightclub where Crystal Blue and her evil stepmother dance. Vampires and werewolves are referred to Dr. Van Helsing. The doctor wants to finish his medical training and transfer to more pleasant working surroundings, but is there another practitioner who’s as quick witted, patient and passionate to treat the oddballs of society?
Night Clinic is one of the funniest books I’ve read. I like the humorous writing style of David Gelber, who clearly succeeds in creating a selection of entertaining stories with colourful characters. Each story is completely different, but they’re still connected. I sympathise with Dr. Barnes and Nurse James having to deal with such an unusual set of patients. There is never a dull moment in Night Clinic because it’s filled with non-stop activity. The dialogues and descriptions of the clinic scenarios are quite imaginative and witty. I enjoyed reading this collection of stories and recommend it to anyone who wants to relax and have a good laugh.
Thank you once more for sending me your book "Night Clinic"
It is a good thing that I gave myself enough time to read it because I
was able to read it slowly and enjoyably.
After reading the first few pages I thought that you have espoused the
technique of "stream of consciousness" of James Joyce and Virginia
Wolf, but then I found out that you went mercifully beyond that and
offer your readers stories taken from Greek mythology and other myths
and unordinary sources kept alive by your characters.
But you also remembered that the twentieth century also had its
mythological Dr Spock whom you pulled out from his enterprise to enrich
your night clinic stories.
You were then able to address the story of Mr Dietrich whose painful
distress that accompanied his terminal cancer paled at the remembrance
of his guilt at the horror for which he was responsible in the Nazi
death camp. But his suppressed humanity in the Nazi era was painfully
reawakened in a very special way at the gate of judgment. In tears of
regret Dietrich begged for a bit of forgiveness from his victim Mr
Fiesel. The story of the generous apple and the discovery of the
initials of Fiesel's persecutor on Sept.13, 1943 is a moving detail.
This passage will be appreciated even more after reading the accounts
of Nazi horror such as the one offered by Elie Wiesel's book "NIGHT" .
This a book that must be read (including the foreword of Francois
Your book is filled with inventions of characters such as Roachmen and
super rats that will keep readers of all ages amused, creative and
I also appreciated the bit of humor that you introduced when you made
the enchanted Prince turned out to be the name of the German Shepherd
But then you brought up the episode of a child death because the doctor
failed to be warned in black and white that this patient was allergic
to Penicillin! What a nightmare to the mother, the physician and the
nurse! But then you remembered H.G. Wells and called on the time
machine programmed to go back to earlier time. ( How many times I would
have wished to have such a machine!).
There was one story that served as a link to all episodes; this was the
captivating characters of Dr Barnes and Miss James. You have rendered
them so attaching to the reader that I thought you should make them
marry to each other! and you did !
David I must let you know how impressed I am by your manifold gift of
a great surgeon and wonderful caring physician, author of non medical
books, which include futurism, antique and modern myths. How can I call
you? a genius? a renaissance man? or a man of wisdom? I thank to all
these for still another masterpiece that you kindly sent me.
Jailane joins me to send you , Laura and family our warmest regards