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Us by David Nicholls
  

Us

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

One of our Books of the Year 2014.

Winner of the UK Author of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards 2014.

Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014.

After the phenomenal success of One Day it must have been tough for the author to write this. Little will live up to that masterpiece but give the man some slack and sit back and enjoy this. It is not as irresistible as One Day but it’s still a lovely read. Darker than his previous novel it tells of a struggling marriage and an awkward relationship between father and son. To help solve both problems our protagonist, Douglas, takes them on a ‘grand tour’ of Europe. Reading a bit like a pacy travelogue with much human reflection on life, it’s a sad tale spotted with humour and clever descriptions of the period in which we live. I like his writing very much.

If you like David Nicholls you might also like to read books by Maria Semple, Tony Parsons and Jo Brand.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Married for more than twenty years and with middle age a comforting presence, gauche scientist Douglas is thinking only of continued contentment followed by retirement. His complacency is demolished when wife Connie, a much more dynamic personality, decides to leave him and end their marriage. But first, she says, they should undertake a tour of Europe’s culture spots with teenage son Albie. What follows is in turn comical and whimsical, and always touching. Part of the novel is told in flashback, showing how Douglas and Connie fell in love and how their relationship slowly imploded. Nicholls has a sure touch for character development and a satirical eye for life’s absurdities.
~ Carl Hughes

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Synopsis

Us by David Nicholls

'I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.' 'Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?' Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they'd be doing their rediscovering together. So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again. The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed. What could possibly go wrong? David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced One Day in this brilliant, bittersweet new book, which will delight his fans and bring him many new readers.

Reviews

'I loved this book. Funny, sad, tender: for anyone who wants to know what happens after the Happy Ever After.'

- Jojo Moyes

'Wonderful. A novel that manages to be both truly hilarious and deeply affecting. I loved it.'

- S J Watson

'A wrenching examination of a journey through Europe that goes terribly wrong and a consideration of what it means to be a parent today.'

- Philip Hensher , Guardian

'As many emotions as air miles'

- Damian Barr, Observer

'Nicholls writes with such tender precision about love, this time about a type of relationship often neglected as unsexy - the long-married couple. Yet greater longevity, female economic independence and the baby-boomer sense of entitlement to perpetual happiness has led to a spike in fiftysomething divorces. Long marriages are no longer seen as becalmed seas, albeit with chilly, hidden depths, but in as constant flux as younger partnerships. Nicholls has demographics on his side, along with his wry, plaintive but ever hopeful words.'

- Janice Turner, The Times

About the Author

David Nicholls

David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. His TV credits include the third series of Cold Feet, Rescue Me, and I Saw You, as well as a much-praised modern version of Much Ado About Nothing and an adaptation of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, both for BBC TV. David has continued to write for film and TV as well as writing novels, and he has twice been nominated for BAFTA awards.

David's bestselling first novel, STARTER FOR TEN, was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2004, and David has written the screenplays for film versions of both STARTER FOR TEN (released in 2006, starring James McAvoy) and THE UNDERSTUDY (not yet released). His third novel, ONE DAY, was published in hardback in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim, and stayed in the Sunday Times top ten bestseller list for ten weeks on publication.

Photograph © Joss Barratt/Stay Still Ltd

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Book Info

Publication date

30th September 2014

Author

David Nicholls

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Author's Website

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Publisher

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division

Format

Hardback
416 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780340896990

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