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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Ask Me
Danny Wallace is the foremost exponent of `Bet Non-Fiction' that I know. This is when a bloke says something daft in the pub and follows through; Wallace has started his own cult, his own nation and said Yes to absolutely everything. However, some things are fine as a quirky adventure in the real world, but following people around London and copying their every move...
Published 5 months ago by Sam Tyler

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars oh what a shame
ive always liked danny wallaces books but feel rather let down by his latest offering.In fact i read a third then skipped to the back to complete it which i hardly ever do but was glad i did as the book goes nowhere with cardboard characters set in a world i couldnt believe in.Perhaps everything will be all right next time?
Published 6 months ago by haddock22


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Ask Me, 24 July 2014
By 
This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Hardcover)
Danny Wallace is the foremost exponent of `Bet Non-Fiction' that I know. This is when a bloke says something daft in the pub and follows through; Wallace has started his own cult, his own nation and said Yes to absolutely everything. However, some things are fine as a quirky adventure in the real world, but following people around London and copying their every move? That sounds a little like stalking to me and should perhaps be best explored in the world of fiction. In a world like Danny Wallace's new novel `Who Is Tom Ditto?'

Is it the Tom who works as a news reader for a London based talk radio show? One day he returns home to find a note from his girlfriend saying that she has gone, but not left him. What on Earth does that mean? Tom decides to investigate where Hayley has disappeared too and soon finds a secret club whose members wish to be someone else. Can Tom enlist the help of the eccentric Pia to search for his girlfriend and will he find out more about himself in the meantime?

The great things about all of Wallace's books, both fiction and non-fiction, is the heart. Wallace has a wonderfully warm way of writing that is witty and intelligent, always making you feel uplifted by the end. `Tom Ditto' is his darkest project to date and builds upon the fine work seen in his first work of fiction `Charlotte Street'. That book was about someone finding a disposable camera and using the images to find the women who dropped it; `Tom Ditto' takes this concept of mild stalking and builds upon it.

At its heart `Tom Ditto' is a mystery novel. There may be no murders, but there is certainly a missing person. What has happened to Hayley? The book takes a while to warm up and actually start telling us, we have to get through Tom's anger and denial before he reaches some acceptance and start to do something about it. At this point the book opens up. The idea of following strangers is a dark one, but Wallace uses it to show wonder. Where is that dapper gentleman going? Are that couple married or having an affair? The middle third of the book is a joyous adventure as Tom and Pia set out on adventures of discovery, not unlike those seen in Wallace's non-fiction outings.

It may be that the premise for `Tom Ditto' is a non-fiction concept that Wallace rejected. How can he possibly follow people unwittingly and write about it? By moving the idea into a work of fiction he can explore the idea and create characters too. It is in this area that Wallace has developed more than any other. Tom is a rounded character whose fight with depression adds yet another layer to the book. All of a sudden this is not a book about a jolly series of adventures, but damaged people finding one another after apparently lacking something in their own life.

There is a darkness that permeates the book at times, but that is offset nicely by Wallace's deft use of humour. The Talk Radio elements of the novel are very amusing and the inane work emails cut a little close to the bone at times. There is also one excellent side thread that secretly hides that. Wallace uses real intelligence to weave elements of the story together.

`Who is Tom Ditto' is Danny Wallace's most accomplished book to date, but perhaps not his best. Its slow start and darkness means that it lacks the sheer joy I loved from `Charlotte Street' and `Yes Man'. What it does show is a real progression in style that suggest he is not far from hitting the right balance between heart and character development. Check out `Tom Ditto' and the body of Wallace's work, this is an author who is one to watch in the coming years. Review originally on bookbag.co.uk
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who is Tom Ditto?, 28 May 2014
By 
K. L. Beeden (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
It's fair to say I was intrigued enough by the haphazard nature of the blurb to want to read Who is Tom Ditto? It sounded like a fun, quirky read and I'm always on the look out for something a little bit different to the norm.

The whole 'following' thing was slightly freaky-I have actually found myself looking over my shoulder as I walk around Morrison's, for fear that someone is going to buy the same teabags and own brand Custard Creams as me- but made for an interesting and unusual plot. The whole premise of CC was uncomfortable and yet strangely alluring. I guess we all have that nosiness deep within us where we model ourselves on ours choices and actions.

Who is Tom Ditto? reads very much like Danny Wallace's other books-fluid in style, conversational text, observational humour and quick quips. It is a very accessible book, and I can imagine it appealing to those who don't read a lot as well as avid readers. The characters, especially Pia, had me longing to know more, infact I think Pia deserves another book all of her own-she is fantastically barmy. I think I actually want to be her.

I really love the whole 'Britishness' of this book, I can't see that it would work if it were set anywhere else. There are eccentricities which add depth to the story, along with a serious issue of relationship break ups (or not), yet overwhelmingly this is a story of humour in the midst of despair.

This is a fresh, well written novel with hidden depths. Ideal for fans of Mike Gayle and William Boyd.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and very smart, 30 April 2014
This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
I love Danny Wallace. I might even go so far as to say he’s one of my favourite writers of all time. Charlotte Street was in my top five books from last year. I was so very happy that his newest, Who is Tom Ditto? didn’t disappoint.

Like a few other reviewers, I too was a bit confused at the start of the book. You’re thrown right into the middle of Tom’s own confusion; his girlfriend Hayley is gone but she hasn’t left him. How can that be? Where did she go?

Who is Tom Ditto? follows Tom as he tries to piece together the reason behind his girlfriend’s disappearance. Along the way he meets a group of very special individuals, including an impish girl called Pia who might just change his life. As Tom grows closer to Pia and to the truth behind Hayley’s departure, the hilarity just grows greater.

For me, the thing that appealed the most in this book was just how very normal Tom (and his life) was. I absolutely loved the bits with Tom at work at the radio station — particularly his feud with co-worker Leslie (the Jam Nazi), and the passive aggressive emails sent around by HR. Honestly, it’s not far off from my own office life!

Who is Tom Ditto? is a heartfelt novel that just about everyone can relate to in its ordinariness and the magic to be found in the everyday. This book had me snickering smugly on the bus, knowing full well that no one else was reading anything as intelligently funny as I was. Now this little gem is out there for the masses to pick up and, I’ve no doubt, they will.

Thank you to the publishers for supplying an advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully bonkers, 23 Sep 2014
This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
Synopsis

When Tom wakes up to a note from his girlfriend Hayley saying that she has left but not left him, Tom’s life is thrown into turmoil. With only a small suitcase of her belongings gone, Tom is left in limbo. He tries to carry on as normal but when he hears a strange message on his answer phone from the mysterious Andy mentioning “the place” Tom becomes determined to solve the mystery of Hayley’s departure.

What ensues is a series of wacky misadventures, growing friendships and dare I say it – personal growth.

Review

I have been toying with the idea of reading a book by Danny Wallace for a while. I have purchased a few and they sit on my shelf, tentatively and patiently waiting to be picked up and read. However, it was due to my desire to get my NetGalley percentage up that made me read Who Is Tom Ditto? Sorry Danny.

I’m awfully glad that I did read Who Is Tom Ditto? It is sharp, witty and a little bit bonkers. It is honestly like no book I have ever read before. The storyline came way out of left field. It has also made me a little curious as to whether there actually is a pocket of people who actually do follow people about. I will try to be a lot more aware of folks around me from now on.

Tom, bless him, was just a victim of circumstance. A too trusting guy who was dealt a massive bow by his girlfriend and it was endearing to watch him try to hold his life together and figure out what was going on in his life. The cast of characters around him all added to the story in colourful and interesting ways.

Strangely, even though the book tied everything up neatly at the end – which those of you who read my reviews know is often times my biggest bugbear – I really liked that there were no loose ends in Who Is Tom Ditto? Heroes became heroic and villains got there comeuppance.

One of the highest accolades I can give this book is that I read it in one sitting. I didn’t want to put it down. Danny Wallace has a new fan in Lisa Bentley. I will most definitely be pushing his other fictional work – Charlotte Street – higher up my personal TBR pile.

Who Is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace is available now.

Who is tom ditto

You can follow Danny Wallace on Twitter @dannywallace
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4.0 out of 5 stars Who is Tom Ditto?, 30 May 2014
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Hardcover)
I picked this up by chance, and thought it might be something in the lines of a Tom Holt novel. It was in some ways, but not in others. It was not as wacky and way out as a good Tom Holt, but that’s not to say it’s not a good book.

The premise is of a young man, Tom whose girlfriend Hayley has gone – but she hasn’t left him. When he gets a note from her to that effect, he doesn’t know what to do next – should he look for her, do her friends know where she is, and what does it say about him that this could happen to him? The first part of the novel is Tom in all his angst, trying to find answers to questions he didn’t know he had until Hayley left her note. But then the novel takes a new turn, where Tom begins to find out more not only about Hayley but about himself.

This is a witty and amusing book, which while it takes a hard look at a young man struggling with a setback in life, also takes a hard and sideways glance at some of the slightly silly things we take for granted in this world of ours – celebrity, instant media gratification and the way our lives are lived.

I enjoyed this book; while it is generally light and amusing, I closed the last page thinking, ‘yes there is a profound message in there’ – but it’s not delivered with a sledgehammer, it just left me thinking that after I had enjoyed a good read, there was a message about how, when we figure out how to find ourselves, we find a whole lot of other things as well – you’ll know what I mean when you read the book. Suffice to say that Binky the Marmoset finds a new lease on life and Tom finds a new way to live his.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like the fact it approaches some harder issues- never taking ..., 15 July 2014
By 
Mr. Simon Paddon "Simon" (Barnstaple, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
This is Danny's second fiction book and is very good- a lot deeper than Charlotte Street. I like the fact it approaches some harder issues- never taking them full on, but never ignoring them either. The characters are good, even if the premise of CC is a bit 'out there'. In fact, I was well on the way to give it 5 stars- except- the ending. It was a lot weaker than I thought, than I hoped.

Despite this, I still whole heartedly recommend this. And no, Danny is not paying to write this. (He can if he wants though!!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's... a real page turner!, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
It's not often I'll describe a book as a real page turner, as I often struggle with fiction. Liking Danny Wallace and his writing style, I gave this a go. And... it's a real page turner. Clever, well written, nicely paced and really interesting. It makes some nice observations on contemporary culture and our lifestyles, whilst remaining entertaining and "non preachy". The ending is beautifully written and really quite compelling. Fantastic stuff and a hearty recommendation from me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom ditto - classic Wallace, 7 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
Thoroughly enjoyed this latest work from Danny Wallace. Been a fan of his writing for years now, particularly the non-fiction work of yes man and join me. However with his vast personal experiences and having a kid n all it makes sense to transfer to fiction and it's just as joyous and uplifting as ever. Sure there'll be some rocky moments on the way but you've got see the lows to appreciate the highs. A breath of fresh of a read whilst I continue to trudge through a song of ice and fire!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who is Tom Ditto indeed?, 7 Nov 2014
By 
Adele Mitchell (Swindon, Wiltshire England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
A 30-something London radio newsreader's girlfriend does not leave him but manages to turn his world upside-down and as far as I can tell, its the best thing that happens to him. He meets up with a fellow troubled soul, Pia, and she opens a whole new world to him and then his girlfriend comes back and it all comes crashing down.
I really liked the character of Tom and Pia, they seemed to work really well with each other and the bit-players compliment them too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very original, exceedingly well written. Do read this!, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Who is Tom Ditto? (Kindle Edition)
This is the most original and thought provoking book I have read in a long time, and also one of the most compellingly written. It is hard to define its genre - partly mystery, partly comedy, partly a novel about modern society. It is really hard to review this book without giving any of the plot away, so I won't say much. It is the story of a young man who reads the news and weather on local radio, and the impact on his life of his live-in girlfriend leaving. Or rather, not leaving. It is about what happens to him, and the influence this one act has on his life. It is so, so readable and will leave you feeling sad when it ends - simply because it has ended.
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Who is Tom Ditto?
Who is Tom Ditto? by Danny Wallace (Paperback - 12 Feb 2015)
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