Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Book # 4 One Day by David Nicholls

One Day

After a short break after The Finkler Question, I decided to pick up some recommendations from Anne Robinson's 'My Life In Books' on BBC2. On the first episode Richard Bacon recommended One Day by David Nicholls. His summary made it seem really interesting, two people, one day, twenty years  with the book checking in on One Day for each of those years.

The book also has rave reviews from everyone from Kate Mosse to Nick Hornby, and is covered with things such as 'Moving' and 'Heartbreaking'. Promising.

After I started the book, I briefly confused the author with David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, which I haven't read rather than the author of Starter for Ten which I had previously read some years back and mostly enjoyed, that cleared up I got on with the book!

The relationship between Dexter and Emma seems rather implausible to me, a twenty year friendship apparently blossoming from a one night stand at the end of their university careers where they had 'seen each other around' but never really been friends.

From there Emma works a series of dead end jobs before becoming a teacher and Dex somehow stumbles into a TV career presenting a number of trashy shows likely to be found late at night on cable channels, their relationship developing and changing over the years.

I have to be honest and say that given the reviews and the talk I expected far more from this book than it delivered me. I felt like I had read this kind of story repeatedly in many different forms and though the concept was original the content and execution was not. I do believe that some people would enjoy it and I wouldn't criticise them for it.

I'm someone who likes 'When Harry Met Sally' I like stories of people who don't realise that their 'One' is staring them in the face, but I've also read chick lit, and I've read better versions of this story by authors not so respected like the husband/wife writing duo Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees in their book 'The Boy Next Door' or practically any Marian Keyes, who although they aren't that respected or praised are sometimes great for a rainy Sunday or just when you feel like something 'light'.

Also, I found Dexter pretty obnoxious, and Emma, a character I still didn't feel like I 'knew' by the end of the book. Overall, I was disappointed by it, sorry Richard Bacon, 6/10

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