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One Day [Hardcover]

David Nicholls
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,650 customer reviews)
Price: £18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 Jun 2009

'I can imagine you at forty,' she said, a hint of malice in her voice. 'I can picture it right now.'

He smiled without opening his eyes. 'Go on then.'

15th July 1988. Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways.

So where will they be on this one day next year?

And the year after that? And every year that follows?

Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. From the author of the massive bestseller STARTER FOR TEN.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (11 Jun 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340896965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340896969
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 13.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,650 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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.



For further information, visit the author's website www.davidnichollswriter.com.

Product Description

Review

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 2009)

Incredibly moving (Marian Keyes, writing in the Irish Independent)

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 TRAVELLER'S WIFE. Every reader will fall in love with it. And every writer will wish they had written it. (Tony Parsons)

Big, absorbing, smart, fantastically readable . . . brilliant on the details of the last couple of decades of British cultural and political life . . . the perfect beach read for people who are normally repelled by the very idea of beach reads (Nick Hornby)

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)

The ultimate zeitgeist love story for anyone who ever wanted someone they couldn't have (Adele Parks)

I really loved it . . . it's absolutely wonderful . . . just so moving and engaging (Kate Mosse)

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)

You'd be hard pressed to find a sharper, sweeter romantic comedy this year than the story of Dex and Em (Independent)

We may have found 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)

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)

Nicholls has a gimlet eye for period detail . . . A beguiling read (Observer)

[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)

Nicholls has written a warm, witty, smart and sad novel, and maybe one of the best books of the year (Sunday Tribune)

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 wonderful evocation of a modern love affair (Glamour)

Lightly done, but saved from schmaltz by rueful wit and lashings of cringe-inducing nostalgia (Guardian Review)

Clever, funny and poignant (Daily Express)

A total treat . . . by turns bittersweet, funny, touching and sad, but always Nicholls's wonderfully observant and wry touch shines through. A way-we-live-now parable about relationships, disappointments, friendship and expectations; a novel utterly comfortable in its own skin (Kate Mosse, writing in The Times)

Fabulous . . . I couldn't put it down . . . It's brilliant (Fay Ripley)

Book Description

ONE DAY is a funny, poignant novel that brilliantly captures the experiences of a generation, from the bestselling author of STARTER FOR TEN.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
873 of 954 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like life, you'll like this 18 Jun 2009
Format:Hardcover
From being a celebrity in the 90's to having a boss with a large beard, nothing is shied away from in this big pot of life. This book follows every 15th July from 1988 (end of their studentship) to near present day in the lives of two characters; Emma and Dexter, and their relationship with each other and others. Don't be put off by the length (430 odd pages) of this book - it is so ridiculously easy to read it makes the act of putting on a DVD seem like overexertion. That's not to say that the writing isn't thickly layered - it's stuffed with literary calories. Emma and Dexter jump out of the book and start living with you, eat your food and argue over the top of your head about the worthlessness of Scrabble. So much of the sharp-razor sharp dialogue sticks a grin on your face, people are unlikely to sit next to you on the train (read in extra comfort).

So there's Emma: warm, funny and cataclysmically directionless. Dexter: confident, arrogant, and transparent. The book then bends these attributes into the three dimensional. Their relationship treads its own path - there's no inevitability in what the next year will bring - their interactions with others the same. Every supporting character, whether they're on one page or a hundred is given their own space to be believable and interesting, and most likely make quite a bit of a mess of things.

The book finished - I'm missing them both. Time for them to come and bother you.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now, seriously, this book is great fun 5 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover
After I had been ploughing through two brick-like books that had 'Literature' (with capital L) writ large all over them, this variation on the evergreen topic of 'Harry and Sally' was a most welcome relief: genuinely funny, liberal doses of acid repartee and shrewd observations, great care given to telling details and lots of fine craftsmanship spent on the staging of embarrassing encounters, disastrous reunions and relationships derailing. (I particularly liked the parlour game gone horribly wrong at the home of one of the leading man's prospective girlfriends.)

And what is more, from the very beginning there is beneath the surface charm a strong undercurrent steering proceedings away from mere lightweight banter into the more troubled waters of a true ,human comedy`. In the last chapters the author even sets about sounding depths for which the reader arguably has not been sufficiently prepared; I still wonder if these late twists add an extra layer of complexity or simply strike a false note and ultimately are Nicholls' misguided bid for being shelved with the serious authors.

The concluding pages are heavily fragrant with bitter-sweetness, again something an author introduces at his own risk; but on the other hand there is no denying that the unexpected narrative device used in these pages conveys an adeqaute impression of things coming full circle and being brought to a close.

And yes, I was moved, so no more niggling and five stars out of five.
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208 of 231 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beguiling and magical tale 24 Aug 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've never been moved to write a review of any book before but this was simply wonderful. David Nicholls has managed to conjure characters so full of depth that in finishing the book I felt almost bereft at their parting. Unlike a paint-by-numbers romcom brimming with contrivances to keep the characters apart, the tale moves with grace and humour through subtle and unexpected turns. The characters aren't always "made for each other", they're not always perfectly perky with adorable quirks; occasionally, like us all, they can be unpleasant, foolish, embarrassing and cowardly.

It is perhaps because of, rather than in spite of, the characters' genuine flaws that this books pulls so strongly at your heart, ringing so true as we explore the effects of our action and inaction in life. With effortlessly beautiful dialogue, and the ability to pick out the tiny subtleties of life, the story will carry you through on a wave of emotion, nostalgia, regret and hope so strong as to feel like a personal memory.

The "same day each year" idea sounds like high concept but its effect in the book is almost transparent to the reader. In fact, closer inspection shows that it actually works wonderfully to drive the story through a clever mix of drama and the everyday - just like life. On the years when the day itself is unremarkable the discovery of what has happened in between provides the reader with rich rewards whilst, all the while, Nicholls draws warmth and humour from the minutiae of life.

As the book draws to a conclusion, the story has an elegant and wondrous subtlety that prompts the involuntarily butterflies-in-stomach feelings of hope, excitement, fear and optimism that one only gets from falling in love.
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124 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 13 July 2009
By El Grande VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
One of the best novels I`ve ever read. The characters are likeable and you can`t help yourself willing them to get together. The concept is fantastic; You never really know what happens immediately after the end of each chapter, as the next one takes place exactly one year later. I`m not entirely sure whether this should be classed as a romantic comedy; It`s a novel about relationships that should appeal to both men and women. Sure, Emma Mayhew comes out with a lot of amusing one-liners, but that`s not really what One Day is about. There`s no sloppy romanticism here either, no sex scenes described in elaborate euphemisms. This book is about realistic characters feeling the sort of emotions we have all felt. All human life is here in this novel and it`s utterly compelling.
I`m not usually one to get emotional over books and films, but I found myself close to tears at some points in One Day. One page in particular, I had to go back and re-read several times, it affected me so much.
One more thing: If you`re the type of person who likes to read the last page of a novel to see how it all turns out, don`t bother. The last couple of pages will tell you nothing at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wow great read
I loved this book it surprised me and kept me reading emotional love the story will try more like this
Published 2 days ago by bp
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Wonderful book, I was hooked from start to finish. You can't help but fall in love with the characters. Beautifully written, I laughed and cried in equal measures.
Published 9 days ago by Alex
4.0 out of 5 stars Much resonance
this seems like a fairly light read but as you get into it, it takes on it's own momentum. Lots to think about , it goes up and it goes down. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Chuck DeLacroix
3.0 out of 5 stars One Day by David Nicholls
It might be me, but I could not get into this novel. I found it drawn out. I read about 50 per cent and stopped. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Hannie
4.0 out of 5 stars One Day
This is a little bit different to other novels I've read. Without giving anything a way, a bit of a surprise at the end.
Published 25 days ago by Mrs. E. E. Toney
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
I recommend this book ... but not The Understudy or Starter for Ten.

This book is very readable, good characters, good idea, good story, good writing. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Annabel Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars The most puerile genre gets a smack in the face
I hate romance novels, and I hate romantic films. The way that the genre force feeds the audience with saccharine can create a bile of contempt, and the more cynical you are, the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by spaceodds
3.0 out of 5 stars Feeling indifferent
I had to read this book for class recently, and as much as I love a good rom com, I wasn't really taken aback by this book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amber
5.0 out of 5 stars One to read again and again
Whenever I ask people if they’ve read this book, they all reply, “OH! yes!” and seem to clasp their hands to their heart, as if you’ve just told them you’ve met they’re favourite... Read more
Published 1 month ago by TM
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
Like other reviewers I do not get why this has been so popular. It puts across a cynical perspective on life and people, and ultimately I found it quite depressing… I made myself... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nebula68
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