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One Day Hardcover – 11 Jun 2009

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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: 14.1 x 22.1 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,937 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,001 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).

David Nicholls' 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. It has since gone on to sell over 2 million copies and has been translated into thirty-seven languages. ONE DAY won the 2010 Galaxy Book of the Year Award. David wrote the screenplay for Lone Scherfig's film adaptation starring Jim Sturgess and Anne Hathaway, which was released in 2010.

David's fourth novel, US, has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014.

Product Description


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

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By RPM veteran on 14 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
If you were born between 1965 and 1975 and ever had a 'we're just good friends, honest' relationship with a fellow student - you will enjoy this. You will cringe.
I laughed out loud at many of the observations - the angst of twenty-somethings' relationships, the ritual of thirty-somethings' weddings, the horror of other people's baby-bliss. The disbelief that any of us would ever turn 40.
Loved it, loved it.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By baroquemaniac on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. G. Andrew on 19 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
On long-haul flights, some strange cocktail of altitude, silence, darkness and solitude (despite 500 fellow passengers) causes me to well-up uncontrollably at the sappiest of movies or a feel-good news item that under normal circumstances would leave me stone cold. It was in this context that I read 'One Day'. The flight time from London to Denver is 9 hours and I invested almost the whole flight in this book. As we cruised over the Atlantic, I was utterly absorbed: the timelapse structure of the narrative is effective; the characters of Em and Dex are so well drawn I felt I really got to know them; the various relationships are brilliantly observed and the dialogue witty (laugh out loud in many places much to the irritation of my immediate neighbours).

SPOILERS START HERE....Somewhere over Nova Scotia I almost cheered when they finally got it together. Then.... just as we entered US airspace, Mr Nicholls the author produced a long sharp blade and stabbed me straight through the heart. Seriously, after 7 hours in solitary with only Em and Dex to talk to, my reaction to the 'big moment' was visceral. What?????? No, you can't do that to my friend!! (I was wearing headphones so I'm not sure if I said these words out loud or not). Now an author is free to treat his characters as he or she wishes, but I have to be honest, this plot twist didn't work for me. I carried on reading, but overcome with misery I didn't really comprehend much of what was going on in the last chapters, and frankly didn't care. Other reviewers have said they felt manipulated, I just felt devastated. Would I recommend One Day? Up to a point. That point being Chapter 17. And don't - under any circumstances - read it in one hit on a long haul flight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scholastica on 21 May 2011
Format: Paperback
This was given to me as a Christmas present - I wouldn't have chosen it myself as, at first glance, I thought it would be nauseatingly self-congratulatory, in the way of many 'modern' novels that try to capture the essence of the times. However, this was a trap that David Nicholls managed to skirt very expertly, because I didn't find a hint of any of that painful introspection that I was so dreading. And I enjoyed reading it.

Having now read it, this story of the first twenty years of 'adulthood' of two people, Emma and Dexter, who happened to graduate the year after I did, I can understand the huge popularity of this book. Firstly, although grand in scope, it's extremely readable. Secondly, it's perceptive - we can all recognise ourselves. And finally, it's very forgiving. We are, after all, only human. It's also fun - in a very therapeutically painful way. If you're the same age as me, you'll probably understand that comment better than most.

Now, what I would like to do is to gather together some of my schoolfriends, university friends and others of that era, and maybe discuss what we remember of 1988, 1989, 1990. Was it really like that? Yes it was. How on earth did Nicholls, remember, let alone capture, the sense of emptiness of the late 1980s, of a generation who had been given 'the best' opportunities with no real idea of either how to use them or of their usefulness? It would be something of a trip down memory lane and a reflection on the choices that we made - were they any better of any worse than Emma or Dexter's, did we experience the same lack of information about what we were supposed to do with our lives?
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