From Publishers Weekly
The Hollywood-ready latest from Nicholls (The Understudy
) makes a brief pit stop in book form before its inevitable film adaptation. (It's already in development.) The episodic story takes place during a single day each year for two decades in the lives of Dex and Em. Dexter, the louche public school boy, and Emma, the brainy Yorkshire lass, meet the day they graduate from university in 1988 and run circles around one another for the next 20 years. Dex becomes a TV presenter whose life of sex, booze, and drugs spins out of control, while Em dully slogs her way through awful jobs before becoming the author of young adult books. They each take other lovers and spouses, but they cannot really live without each other. Nicholls is a glib, clever writer, and while the formulaic feel and maudlin ending aren't ideal for a book, they'll play in the multiplex. (June)
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It's rare to find a novel which ranges over the recent past with such authority, and even rarer to find one in which the two leading characters are drawn with such solidity, such painful fidelity, to real life that you really do put the book down with the hallucinatory feeling that they've become as well known to you as your closest friends. Hard to imagine anyone encountering characters as well drawn as this and not recognizing the extraordinary talent of the writer who has created them. Jonathan Coe Guardian Books of the Year I finished it last night and I'm still quite wobbly and affected by it. It was BRILLIANT... the jealously nearly made me puke. I wish I'd written this book Marian Keyes The ultimate zeitgeist love story for anyone who ever wanted someone they couldn't have Adele Parks Big, absorbing, smart, fantastically readable ... brilliant on the details of the last couple of decades of British cultural and political life Nick Hornby The novel of the year - a brilliantly funny and moving will-they, won't-they romance tracing a relationship on the same day each day for two decades Heat It is a cleverly and astutely constructed book - but that is worthy of a mere footnote compared with its emotional impact. I am not ashamed to say that upon finishing it I pressed it to my chest as a big fat tear splashed onto its upturned spine The Times Book Club You'd be hard pressed to find a sharper, sweeter romantic comedy this year than the story of Dex and Em Independent Nicholls' book is the sort of thing you can't put down, and I read it over a weekend, creeping upstairs to gulp down another chapter when I should have been downstairs preparing dinner of helping with homework Dylan Jones I felt that I had been emotionally taken apart by the very best. This perfectly executed novel is a reminder that reading can be the finest entertainment there is Guardian If you measure your love for a book by the number of times you buy it for people, then my favourite is ONE DAY by David Nicholls. I read it about a year ago and must have bought it for at least 20 people since The Times Book Club We could fill a page with descriptive proclamations of its brilliance, but we'll stick with intoxicating, engrossing and verging on genius. If this has never graced your bedside table, then go directly to the nearest bookshop, purchase one copy and start 2010 with a read that has taken the literary world by storm Daily Record It made me laugh and sob, and the characters just walk off the page into your head, where they remain. How I wish I'd written it, as does every novelist I know Polly Williams A totally brilliant book about the heartbreaking gap between the way we were and the way we are...the best weird love story since THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. Every reader will fall in love with it. And every writer will wish they had written it. Tony Parsons A wonderful, wonderful book: wise, funny, perceptive, compassionate and often unbearably sad ... the best British social novel since Jonathan Coe's WHAT A CARVE UP! ... Nicholls's witty prose has a transparency that brings Nick Hornby to mind: it melts as you read it so that you don't notice all the hard work that it's doing The Times The funniest, loveliest book I've read in ages. Most of all it is horribly, cringingly, absolutely 100% honest and true to life: I lived every page. Jenny Colgan I really loved it ... it's absolutely wonderful ... just so moving and engaging Kate Mosse With its beautifully rounded, real characters and deeply poignant storytelling, this is one of the year's best novels. Heat With a nod to WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, this funny, emotionally engaging third novel from David Nicholls traces the unlikely relationship between Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew ... Told with toe-curlingly accurate insight and touching observation ... If you left college sometime in the Eighties with no clear idea of what was going to happen next, or who your lifelong friends might turn out to be, this one's a definite for your holiday suitcase. If you didn't, it still is ... The feelgood film must surely be just around the corner. I can't wait. Daily Mail Page by page, the funniest book of the year Uncut [Nicholls] has both a very deft prose style and a great understanding of human emotion. His characterisation is utterly convincing ... ONE DAY is destined to be a modern classic. Daily Mirror A moving and feel-good read. Nicholls is an expert at capturing that essence of young adulthood, first love, heartbreak, and the tangled, complicated course of romance ... Deserves to be the must-read hit of the summer. News of the World I couldn't think of anyone who wouldn't love this book Simon Mayo Books Panel, BBC Radio Five Live Nicholls captures superbly the ennui of post graduation ... The writing is almost faultless, there's a great feeling for the period and it's eminently readable. Herald David Nicholls' third novel captivates love in a way that's real and unassuming ... Relaying the essence of friendship and unrequited love with fall-off-your-seat humour, this is an unputdownable romance for the 21st century SHE You're gripped from the opening pages ... Nicholls, author of STARTER FOR TEN, writes faultless, engaging dialogue and keeps up a cracking pace. You will find this hard to put down Psychologies As a study of what we once were and what we can become, it's masterfully realised Esquire Perfect for the beach or summer in the city In Style An off-kilter romantic comedy with charm to spare Harpers Bazaar A delicious love story Sunday Herald funny and moving Scotsman David STARTER FOR TEN Nicholls is back with this smart comedy, packed with the mistakes, mismatches and meandering conversations that make up real life Marie Claire, Book of the Month A modern fairy tale, slickly put together. A gifted story-teller with lots of technical savvy. Scottish Review of Books An edgy romantic tale Woman & Home I loved this book ... moved me profoundly Amanda Ross Snort-out-loud stuff ... it deserves to be a huge hit thelondonpaper A romantic comedy that the gents needn't be ashamed to read. Chronicling a friendship spanning two decades, Nicholls perfects the will-they-won't-they trick, starting with his leads at university in the 1980s and poking gentle fun at the decades following. A genuine tear-jerker as well as laugh-out-loud funny. Independent on Sunday Books of the Year 2009 Intoxicating, engrossing and verging on genius Daily Record, Scotland A compulsive read you'll want to devour in one sitting Woman This is a real cancel-all-calls, leave-me-alone book The Times Book Club I can't recommend it more highly The Word A cross between Jonathan Coe and Nick Hornby, this is romantic, sharp and very English Scotsman Laugh out loud funny with razor dialogue Nadia Sawalha One Day should come with a health warning attached: This Book is Seriously Addictive Belfast Telegraph It's Love Actually meets High Fidelity meets This Life - i.e. perfect. Sydney Sunday Herald It's a book that speaks to my generation, and I found it totally gripping. The characters are complex and their relationship uncertain. I don't want to give away the ending, but everyone who has read it agrees how powerful it is. Ed Miliband I know this is The Book That Everyone Has Read, but it's especially a book for my life ... There is something devastatingly sad about it. The writing reminds you how, when you were young, despite everything you thought you knew, you never fully grasped the transience and precious power of youth itself. Jeremy Vine in We Love This Book