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The Life and Soul of the Party [Paperback]

Mike Gayle
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2009

Meet Melissa and Paul: Five years after they split up he's still looking for love in all the wrong places while she wants the one thing she can't have: Paul.

Meet Chris and Vicky: They're so in tune they even brush their teeth in time with each other. So what is Chris doing risking it all for a meaningless affair?

Meet Cooper and Laura: He wants to settle down, she wants to take a grown-up gap year but can their relationship really survive a year apart?

Set across a year of leaving dos, birthday parties and anniversary celebrations, Life and Soul of the Party is a warm, funny and moving tale celebrating love, life and those special moments we've all spent in the kitchen at parties.

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The Life and Soul of the Party + The Stag and Hen Weekend + The Importance of Being a Bachelor
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (30 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340825448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340825440
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Previously an Agony Uncle, Mike Gayle is a freelance journalist who has contributed to a variety of magazines including FHM, Sunday Times Style and Cosmopolitan. He is the author of eight previous bestselling novels.

Product Description


Mike Gayle creates real, ordinary people with real ordinary lives who are so real and so believable that you mourn for them from the moment you finish reading. (Lisa Jewell)

Packed with drama, friendship, love and tragedy, this is a brilliant touching tale of what happens when real life catches up with us (Heat)

Moving and powerful (Daily Mirror)

What I love about Mike Gayle is the way he seamlessly blends humour and sensitivity - his books are always rip-roaringly funny, yet so humane too. (Freya North)

Gayle (rather bravely) often writes in the first person as a female character, but he hits the right notes, and the result is a warm and unforced comedy... Gayle's humour is human and he has a fine eye for the quiet pain of unrequited love. (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

A brilliant romantic comedy about a year in the lives of three couples from number one bestselling author Mike Gayle, author of MY LEGENDARY GIRLFRIEND, MR COMMITMENT, TURNING THIRTY and DINNER FOR TWO

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic Gayle 6 Feb 2009
By S. Shaw
After reading the first few chapters of this book, I felt that Gayle was churning out another book, lazily knowing it would sell based on previous success.

However as the book progressed I realised that it was better than I first thought. I didn't particularly like the six person narrative. I found it confusing and had to keep turning back to see who was narrating. That aside though the book is thoughtful and at times very sad. As a mid thirty something it felt in tune with feelings and emotions that many people in this age group feel.

It's not in the same league as Turning 30 or Legendary Girlfriend, but still worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like An Old Friend 20 Sep 2008
By Derrick Johnson VINE VOICE
To me, a Mike Gayle novel is like a good friend that you see from time to time. When you meet up you automatically pick up where you left off, and it's with some sadness when the evitable time approaches for you to say your goodbyes. This novel is no exception, although there are new additions to this novel not seen in his others. Death makes an appearance, which along with love, is an essential ingredient of life. Adultery, trust, settling down, and feeling restricted within a relationship are all explored among a group of six friends, within the settings of house parties, leaving do's, and house warmings. To me, Mr. Gayle's novels are why I love reading. Unlike some novels, which are hard to get into (but to be fair, some do get better, and reward a patience person) I immediately feel at home in his work, with this being no exception. That's not to say that I didn't find fault with one or two things here. Like a fellow reviewer has expressed, I couldn't understand what it was about Paul, which enamored Melissa so such. Maybe his character could have been better explored/explained.
In conclusion I'd say that this was an enjoyable read that will sit well with fans of this genre, and of Mr. Gayle
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gayle's is fanstastic 11 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gayle should seriously consider the idea of writing a screenplay. The Life and Soul of the Party perfectly fits the bill. The novel is compelling, emotional and really witty. A screenplay like this will make perfect TV material and attract large audience. We could really could do with quality dramas on mainstream TV.

The novel is beautifully written with the prinicpal focus on three couples. The couples experience the lows and high times of the year. Parties, social gatherings, nightouts and arguments dominate their lives. A few of the couples's life are on the verge of changing forever. Although Gayle novels are purely male dominated, he has provided a typical accounts of the opposite sex on life. The accounts are really impressive and an accurate reflection. Gayle's latest novel shows the depth of knowledge he has in the field of relationships and the 30 age group. The novel has taken the issue of relationship to a new and interesting level.

Gayle's conversational writing adds real credibility as the reader is drawn closely to the story and shows emphaty to the characters. The fact that six characters are featured shows how adaptable and original the author can be like. Gayle latest novel "The Life and Soul of the Party" shows he is a fanstastic writer as the book is enjoyable to read. It provides a fine combination of drama and humour.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic like the rest 16 Aug 2009
By Gail
I am no avid reader but fortunately I have read all of Mike Gayle's books and i can say ive loved every single one of them. They are not just a girlie read but equally a man's read too. His writing lets you in to a mans world and way of thinking (If only i could meet one of his characters from his books,they seem my perfect match!!!).
This book however did something that none of the others have, it made me cry,(Not an attractive look on your flight home from holiday). Excellent read, excellent characters and an author that can relate to a touching thirty singleton!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtley tugs the heartstrings... 21 Aug 2008
This is Mike Gayle at his best... a writing style that is humorous without trying too hard, always touching (I can't count how many times I got goosebumps or had tears in my eyes) and very easy to relate to, especially if you have a mixed group of friends.

It is written in first person but from the point of view of every character, which works well, and will therefore appeal to both sexes even more than is usually the case with Mike's novels.

Overall, a more serious mood throughout the book - and a more mature version of his previous work.

Wanted to savour this book, but I really couldn't put it down. You are gripped from the very first page. Definitely a new competitor for my favourite Mike Gayle book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and enjoyable 21 April 2014
By Sarah H
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't read any Mike Gayle books for a while (I forget why!) but something attracted me back to his writing and I ordered his last few books from Amazon. I started reading this novel at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon and had to read it all in one sitting as i just could not put it down. I did feel that having the 6 narrators was confusing at first, but soon got used to it. I felt that I knew the characters, and the themes in the novel strongly resonated with me and my group of friends, who are of a similar age to those in the novel. I don't agree with other reviewers that the female characters were not well drawn, I think that all of the characters were brilliantly written, even the minor characters. I will definitely read more of Mike Gayle's novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Great book again! Another excellent read which I couldn't put down with believable characters with believable flaws. Looking forward to the next one.
Published 6 months ago by j
2.0 out of 5 stars A party I would avoid
I, like many others have read Mike Gayle's books since his early days of publishing and likewise I am not alone in feeling strangely ambivalent about continuing to do so. Read more
Published 10 months ago by oliver B. Staunton
5.0 out of 5 stars Life and soul of the party!!!!
As always,Mike Gayle delivers a fab book. He is able to make you feel as if he could have been writing about you and your friends.
Published 11 months ago by deborah picton
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I love Mike Gayle books, but found this one a bit strange in places, but still enjoyed the read. A good holiday read.
Published 12 months ago by Jean Adams
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK read
I have always found Mike Gayle's books hard to put down, this was the exception. Put simply, I did not deeply connect with the characters. This probably reveals more about me! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mr T Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story
Engaging read about a group of young people & the lives they lead over a number of life changing years.
Published 15 months ago by mrst
4.0 out of 5 stars The Women are More Annoying than the Men
This book is a bit of a muddle, with too many voices, and very little plot.
It does remain quite likable and readable though. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Troy Beal
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Mike Gayle's work is SO much like my own thoughts on friends and other people, it's uncanny!

I have bought every one of his books - it's obvious that he was an, "Agony... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Nik Watt
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I loved this book. This was the first Mike Gayle book I read and I went on to read 4 or 5 more. Characters are so real and the author has a very personable writing style. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mr_Books
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as previous novels
I got the impression that this book seems to have been put together quickly, and very little effort has been employed in editing the book. Read more
Published on 20 Jun 2011 by J Murray
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