Monday, 23 January 2017

The Midnight Gang

I'm always pleased to see a new Walliams' title hit the bookstores. The Midnight Gang came out in late 2016, and I've just got to it now. I'd just spent three weeks reading Ballet Shoes (see my review) and as a consequence I was already one book behind on my Goodreads Challenge for the year, so that I knew I needed a lightning fast read. The Midnight Gang it was. Although it's getting harder to blitz through Walliams books- they are indeed getting longer each year. The Midnight Gang is a chunky 478 pages. 

The Midnight Gang is set in the Children's Ward of Lord Funt Hospital in London. Naturally it is no cozy, mural painted kids ward. The Children's Ward of Lord Funt Hospital is on the 44th floor of the building, right at the very top, and it is presided over by a mean, callous, child-hating Matron. Naturally it is peopled with great characters, like Raj the Newsagent, and Nurse Meese.

A large older lady in a blur-and-white uniform with a hat leaned over and examined the boy's head. Dark circles framed her bloodshot eyes. Grey wiry hair squatted on her head. Her face was red raw, as if she had scrubbed it with a cheese grater.

Tom Charper has just been admitted to the Children's Ward of Lord Funt Hospital after a tragic cricket accident. He has been hit on the head by the ball, concussed, and left with rather a large bump.  Tom is a lonely boy at his boarding school. His parents never contact him, and he is on the outer with the kids. Not in the rugby team, not in the cool gang of kids, but he finds firm friends in the other children in the ward.

Each night at midnight the children leave their beds for a series of adventures in the nooks and crannies of the hospital. Naturally Tom wants to join them in their exploits. Like all of David Walliams books there is a beautiful heart at the centre of The Midnight Gang. Readers learn that they shouldn't judge someone by their looks and that 

"life is precious. Every moment is precious. We should be kind to each other. While there is still time."

I just love that David Walliams did publicity for the book in his pyjamas!

Fascinating to see that David Walliams based Porter on one of his favourite childhood characters, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It's obvious when you know. 


Marg said...

478 is a bit of a chunkster!!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I wish more of his work were available over here.

Louise said...

It is indeed Marg.

It's surprising it's not widely available Deb- it's everywhere here. Every bookstore, every Big W or Kmart has a whole row of his books. It's impossible to miss them here.