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Turning Thirty [Paperback]

Mike Gayle
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Feb 2001

Unlike most people Matt Beckford is actually looking forward to turning thirty. After struggling through most of his twenties he thinks his career, finances and love life are finally sorted. But when he splits up with his girlfriend, he realises that life has different plans for him. Unable to cope with his future falling apart Matt temporarily moves back to his parents.

During his enforced exodus only his old school mates can keep him sane. Friends he hasn't seen since he was nineteen. Back together after a decade apart. But things will never be the same for any of them because when you're turning thirty nothing's as simple as it used to be.

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (1 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340767944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340767948
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,376 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

Amazon Review

Mike Gayle's previous novels My Legendary Girlfriend and Mr Commitment have already wittily chronicled living and loving amongst the twentysomethings at the end of the 20th century. As time marches on, Gayle's latest novel Turning Thirty deals with what happens when his characters reach that most dreaded of moments-- the big three-o. Matt Beckford is reaching that time of life. At the age of 29 he thinks he has answered those two crucial questions you ask yourself as a teenager: "What am I going to do with my life?" and "Will I ever get a girlfriend?" Living as a computer expert in New York with the lovely Elaine, Matt thinks he's cracked life. But then both he and Elaine suddenly realise that their relationship isn't working. They split up amicably, realising that "biology is telling us there's no point in crying over spilt milk", and Matt heads back to his friends and parents in Birmingham. As his thirtieth birthday looms, Matt meets Ginny Pascoe, an old flame, or more accurately "a girl who was also a friend who I sometimes snogged", and things get more complicated as he realises that he's falling for Ginny--again. The transatlantic love triangle that develops between Matt, Ginny and Elaine is funny and refreshing, and lacks the usual angst you would expect from such a situation. As Matt enjoys the nostalgia of going out with old friends and loves, he also realises he needs to sort out his life, as 30 beckons. Turning Thirty is another sharp, funny and astute offering from Gayle, that won't disappoint his growing army of fans. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Not just readable, fresh and witty but sophisticated in execution ... funny but also poignant (Independent on Sunday)

A warm, funny romantic comedy (Daily Mail)

Mike Gayle has carved a whole new literary niche out of the male confessional novel. He's a publishing phenomenon (Evening Standard)

Delightfully observant nostalgia ... will strike a chord with both sexes (She)

'Mike Gayle manages to weave everything together with such a warm-the-cockles-of-your-heart manner that once you've finished reading Turning Thirty you want to turn right back to the beginning and start all over again. It's real life - but better than we know it'

B Magazine

(B Magazine)

Funny and endearing ... chuckle-on-the-bus readable (Heat)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear-jerkingly funny 6 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Mike Gayle's third book didn't turn out to be the 'flop' that I thought it might have been. As usual, his style of writing kept me glued to the book chapter after chapter and I really could not put it down. It is written with his usual wit which makes the reader definitely feel like the events are taking place in their life. I thought the e-mailing throughout would have annoyed me but each time they came around I was more glued to them than the story line itself. It truly was an amazing read. I can't wait till Gayle writes another one, I do hope that the next one though doesn't make me cry at the end!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitter-sweet 13 Jan 2006
Being a little over two years away from the big three oh myself this book struck a chord with me. Many of Gayle's observations about how one feels as they approach thirty were not only hilarious but also right on the money.
Matt Beckford is turning thirty in about 89 days and his life is falling apart! He thought by the age of thirty he would have it all together, the fancy high paying job, the woman who was "the one" to spend his life with and the trendy house complete with the requisite "thirty-people's" wine rack. However, Matt finds himself three months away from his birthday moving out of his live in girlfriend's apartment and back to Birmingham to live with, dare I say it...his PARENTS! Now Matt has to figure out what turning thirty really means and he enlist the help of some of his oldest friends to figure it out.
This is the third novel by Gayle that I have had the pleasure of reading and he is definitely a very talented and witty author whose voice has never gotten lost in his stories. As popular as Gayle is in the UK it is surprising that he isn't better known it the US however now with the wide re-release of `TURNING THIRTY' he may just find himself at the top of the US's best sellers list soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice amusing book, but weak ending 6 April 2001
Nice amusing book. I haven't read any of Mike's other works, so didn't have any preconceived ideas. I found this book highly amusing and very perceptive, even though I'm only 29 at time of writing! Shame that the ending was a little bit weak in my opinion. But generally well worth a read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Left me feeling empty. 30 Mar 2001
By A Customer
From the moment I read the first page I was hooked on this story. The easy almost conversational writing style made it effortless reading towards a conclusion that I did not see coming and did not want to happen. Having transplanted myself into the lead charachter I was left feeling incredibly low for a couple of days after I finished the story.
I cannot give the book greater praise than to say it left its mark on me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, Brilliant and Captivating 19 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Turning Thirty is a big event in most people's lives, Matt is no different. Turning Thirty is a book about having everything you could ever want, and then losing it in a blink of an eye. After, Matt's life takes a turn for the worse leaving him no choice but to move back in with his parents. With no girlfriend or house, he doesn't know where his life went wrong.

So, Matt decides to look towards the past instead of the future, finding his old school friends seems like a great idea being able to reflect on the good old times and not think about his looming 30th birthday. Over the remaining day left before he turns thirty, Matt comes to realise what is really means to turn thirty and how sometime you need the help of your oldest friends to make you see.

With its entertaining theme it is a great book for any person to read but if you are close to or just turned Thirty then this book will make you see witty side of hitting the big 3-0. Turning Thirty shows that life doesn't end at thirty, it shows that life really starts at thirty, just like in Matt's case. He had lost everything, but he gain much more, his friends came back into his life and he realised that it is never to late to change your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 30 is a State of Mind 28 Jan 2008
Matt believes he has it all with a great job in New York and a live-in girlfriend who he thinks will be the one. Not the one for life perhaps, but certainly the one that will be with him when he turns 30 in a few short months. Matt's life plan has always been to be settled down by 30, but this plan slips when his girlfriend leaves him and he decides to return to Blighty. With 3 months until his new job starts in Australia, Matt finds himself 29 years old and living with his parents. To keep himself amused he decides to rekindle old friendships with his school pals. Will Matt be able to find someone to spend his 30th with and will he ever manage to get his life together?

`Turning Thirty' is another quintessential lad lit book from Mike Gayle. The entire book is incredibly laid back and has an effortless feel to it. This means that it is an easy and pleasant read, but it never does anything to inspire the reader or make it stand out from the pack. Matt is a likable enough character, although like in many of this type of book he thinks far too much rather than getting on with life. I do enjoy this type of novel on occasion as something different, however, even though the plot of `Turning Thirty' is meant to resonate with me I found it rarely did. A nice enough read for a couple of nights, but nothing to write home about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone can relate to Matt Beckford
I'm a big fan of chick lit and this book is basically chick lit from a male perspective. The characters were real and relatable to. Read more
Published 2 months ago by L. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Gayle’s conversational writing style...
I admit it – I will be turning 30 soon myself (oh crikey) so Mike Gayle’s hilarious and poignant novel about a man who evaluates his life before the big day to find that maybe not... Read more
Published 2 months ago by BestChickLit.com
4.0 out of 5 stars A great enjoyable read xXx
I have had Turning Thirty on my To Be Read pile for a while now, I had been putting off reading it because the reviewers I follow had said that they didn’t enjoy it and because I... Read more
Published 2 months ago by realovesbooks
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
I bought this book in a charity shop as I am turning 30 this summer. It started off ok, but soon got very dull and formulaic. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Reet Petite
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Good beginning and end but the middle was a bit boring but worth reading!!wish there was a happier ending! G
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. I. M. Wain-smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
The only reason I have given four stars instead of five is simply because this book wasn't quite my cup of tea, although i did find it very easy to read and really enjoyed it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs H Boothman
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab, but
Great read and was in high hopes that he would walk off into the sunset with the girl, but. Now have moved onto Turning Forty, and in a quandrey.
Published 7 months ago by Justme
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect beach reading
What a laugh out loud story! A good comedy, with hints of romance as well as dark humor on the experience of turning 30. I am already ordering turning 40!
Published 7 months ago by Aj
5.0 out of 5 stars Now thirty
Takes me back many years ago when I was thirty but I had been married fir over 10 years then so not a similar story to mine. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Diana A
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
A light hearted easy read. Not mega exciting or anything, rather predictable in places, but I would consider another Mike Gayle book, so can't be that bad!
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
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