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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
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.