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The Midnight Gang

Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,587 ratings)

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Summary

David Walliams narrates his utterly delightful children's story set in a hospital ward after dark. Funny and heart-warming, this adventurous tale about friendship introduces some truly imaginative characters that both children and adults will love.

Welcome to the Midnight Gang!

Midnight is the time when all children are fast asleep, except of course for...the Midnight Gang. That is when their adventures are just beginning....

When Tom gets hit on the head by a cricket ball, he finds himself at Lord Funt Hospital and is greeted by a terrifying-looking porter. Things go from bad to worse when he meets the wicked matron in charge of the children's ward.... But Tom is about to embark on the most thrilling journey of a lifetime!

The Midnight Gang tells an extraordinarily heartwarming and, of course, funny story of five children on a hospital ward and on a quest for adventure! It is a story of friendship and magic - and of making dreams come true.

Listeners are set to be utterly spellbound by this heartfelt story that will bring magic to everyone's Christmas.

©2016 David Walliams (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

Praise for David Walliams:
"A pleasure to read. A beguilingly funny, original and thought-provoking tale...hilarious." (Amanda Craig, The Times)
"I absolutely love David Walliams's books. In a few more years they will become classics." (Sue Townsend, author of Adrian Mole, Guardian)
"The new Roald Dahl." ( Evening Standard)
"A triumphant mix of wit and warmth." ( Telegraph Books of the Year)
"Ridiculously over-the-top and utterly delightful." ( Spectator)
"Another triumph for David Walliams. His books are a breath of wonderful fresh air." ( Sun)
"David Walliams' children's books are now guaranteed best sellers...watch this fly off the shelves." ( Daily Mail)
"Delightfully funny." ( Metro)

What listeners say about The Midnight Gang

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Marvellous hospital-set story of friendship & fun

Any additional comments?

Walliams is not just Dahl's shadow, he has his own style and voice...

I've read each one of David Walliams' novels for children, and this is now probably in my top three (after 'Boy in the Dress' and 'Billionaire Boy').

I've read them all on paper, but also now with my son in the car as audiobooks, and each time, Walliams himself acts as able and amusing narrator, with friends assisting with a few roles, bringing the story to life very well, his experience as actor and comedian keeping him very easy to listen to and laugh with.

Walliams sets his tale (almost) entirely within the confines of a hospital, one with shortages and cut-backs, and the children's equivalent of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

It feels a little like Matilda, which I'm sure the author would be happy to hear, and is just full of heart. He concentrates more on story in this and his last book, and lets his natural humour take the reigns, ditching the over-the-top jokes that made Ratburger and Awful Auntie more forced.

Tom is our protagonist, brought disoriented into Lord Funt Hospital after a nasty bang to the head by a cricket ball at his boarding school. After meeting a naive doctor and s a scary-looking porter, he ends up on the children's ward with a collection of long-term residents, some in plaster, some very ill.

But he soon notices there is something strange going on. The children sneak out from the ward at night, past the controlling and Trunchbull-like Matron. Just where are they going? What are they doing? And what is the... Midnight Gang??

One of the simplest stories Walliams has come up with, it's also one of the more effective. A simple us-vs-them story, much like Matilda, it encompasses some powerful themes.

Tom is the best-characterised of the children, the others in the ward are fairly sketchily drawn, apart from Sally (whose poor health means she is stuck in bed when the others sneak out). Tom hates his school and misses the parents he feels don't love him or want him around. None of the children in fact seem to have family to visit, hence their bonding together as a unit.

They do find a father-figure of sorts though, one who incites prejudice of his own and has his own sad backstory, and gives the reader something to think about on judging by appearances.

The Midnight Gang itself is lovely, an inspired if not altogether unique idea, but it is what it means that is really wonderful - at the heart of the book is the idea of doing things for others, being there for your friends, a message embedded nicely by Walliams throughout the story.

In case anyone is wondering about my old favourite Raj, yes, even Raj has got himself into the story as usual, as a patient who is decidedly not happy with the hospital food! Though the dinner lady Tootsie, could be straight out of a Walliams TV sketch, most amusing scenes.

And the author also manages to get a little dig aimed at Britain's Got Talent in there, mentioning TV talent shows. And a very funny sequence ending up with a Twit-like balloon scene (can't wait to see THAT one aired on Christmas Day, David?!).

It is one of Walliams' longer books, but I think readers will find the short chapter, plentiful Ross illustrations and lots of font changes and text-sparse pages mean it races by. It would also make a good class read in KS2 and KS3 schools, especially with its themes and messages. There's a truly ghastly Headteacher to hate as well as the Matron, and Tom is a very appealing hero.

I was quite moved in the concluding chapters as it all comes together for Tom and his new friends, and really enjoyed the constant gentle humour and simple story.

Bravo, David - I hope this does well. It will be a lovely Christmas Day adaptation as well. Will you be playing Tootsie this time?

Suitable for over 7s (and I might read it aloud to my 5 year old!).

8 people found this helpful

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Awesome

I liked Robin and the funny voices . I will tell my cousin because I think she would like it and I rated it 5 star because it's funny

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Midnight gang!

I loved this book its sad funny and very interesting. I really liked it . the ending was sad though

10 people found this helpful

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Absoloutely Brilliant!

Would you listen to The Midnight Gang again? Why?

Yes! I am sure that I will be listening to this again because it was simply fantastic. It was everything you could hope for in a story. It made me laugh and made me cry, I also adore the characters.

What did you like best about this story?

I love that this was a story about ordinary sickly children doing extraordinary brilliant things in the interests of helping other children.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

This book was brilliantly narrated throughout by Walliams himself and a number of other people.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I could not stop listening!

Any additional comments?

This is a fantastic book, I am an adult and loved every bit of it. Not to be missed!

9 people found this helpful

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Super!!!!!!!!!

I absolutely loved this story, it was brilliant!!!!😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍💙💜💚❤️💙💜💚❤️! It was totally awesome and super brilliant!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

My first audio book from David walliams and what a corker. Great storyline, likeable characters, humour and sadness all expertly handled, this is a real winner. Would recommend for all ages

10 people found this helpful

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David Walliams is brilliant

I loved it all I went to Scotland and I was bored but my dad put it on and then it was such a good time

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

I love it

It is an amazing book read beautifully and I will read the book next i recommend this very much

2 people found this helpful

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Best Book Ever!❤️🧡💛💚💙

Really good book

The midnight gang is very very good
Really recommend it 💕💕 Best Book EVER!!!

1 person found this helpful

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excellently funny

extremely funny and is the best audio-book so far!
love this book so much and David Williams is so much fun to listen to and its easy to put it into your imagination!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jorge Dario Carreno Figueredo
  • 17-06-20

I love the book so so good thx David Williams

I love it at first it sounded boring a now I love it so good

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  • Lisa
  • 08-06-18

Fantastic

We loved listening to this book. Mr Porter has some very wise words to say about life. We are looking forward to listening to more now

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  • KZ
  • 20-05-18

wonderful

full of touching wisdom and a wonderful bit of Puccini! thank your Sir Walliams Sir

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  • happymonster
  • 28-09-17

Excellent

I loved the sound effects in this book like when some one goes aaaaaaah you do here a person shouting