Like many of the experiences in Mike Gayle's novels, I personally feel that it's difficult to criticise his work if you've lived through the events that his characters do.
I, like the other reviewers, have read all of Gayle's novels and have found them highly enjoyable. I have laughed and cried at all of them. I have empathised with the characters, felt their joy and pain. Having recently split up with my fiance I can relate to Jim and Alison. I too have had those conversations, the packing of belongings, the questions 'where did it go wrong and why?' That is why I like this book, and why I have liked his other novels. He speaks like a real person about real events that people go through - not some Hollywood fluff. I love his style of talking in a blokey way, but not so much so that girls can't understand it. Given that Alison also has a dialogue in this book I felt that a female character was given a lot more room to grow here than in previous novels.
Gayle's excellent style of writing, in a diary format including events and dialogue, is a winning formula that will keep people coming back for more. It really depends on whether or not you're looking for something that's a complete departure from his other books - if so you may be disappointed (London, Birmingham, Manchester and Archway(!) all feature once again).
A winner for me!