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4.1 out of 5 stars42
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 18 September 2005
This book is very typical of Mike Gayle's style. I started reading the book Friday night - now two days later it's finished, and I am left with a warm satisfied feeling. As usual with Mike Gayle, this book is a look into relationships. At times I felt happy and elated, at other times I was sobbing for the characters. Highly recommend this book!
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on 6 February 2006
Another excellent helping of Mike Gayle, just as good, if not better than his others.
Witty, full of insight into the workings of the male mind, Gayle expresses the confusion of male/female and male/male friendships brilliantly.
Oh, and any author who manages to write a whole page about the great 80s rock legends Van Halen, deserves 6 stars!
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on 2 May 2006
Great, fab, wonderful. I have read all Mike Gayles books and find myself waiting for his next title to publish........so you can imagine my joy when i realised "A Brand New Friend" had been released in time for my holiday, I read it in a day! You just have to know what happens. It was the usual mix of humour and raw emotion, i found myself laughing out loud, and at times just aching for the predicament of the characters. Another great, great book.....keep them coming. Highly recommended
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on 13 March 2006
I am a new convert to Mike Gayle and this is the first novel of his I have read (I actually only bought it as it was a perfect partner with Steve Horsfall's You Are Here).The story sees the central character, Rob, moving to a new city to be with his girlfriend, but then finding he has no mates - his best new friend turns out to be another girl. A simple and breezy plot, written with wit and great insight into relationships. I loved it and will now go back and read some more Mike Gyale books.
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on 9 June 2006
Just to echo a lot of the other reviews on here, Mike Gayle has delivered another excellent offering. They are never going to stretch the brain too much but they do tap into the male mind so well.

Gayle always gives you great, believable characters and is so in touch with modern society. Rob is no different, he's an instantly likeable character, I could easily see elements of myself in him.

I'd thoroughly recommend this book, and all of Gayle's others.
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on 18 October 2006
Mike Gayle has easily become one of my go to authours. When he comes out with a new book I am amungst the first to order it, when I am in a slump and want to read something that is sure to give me a chuckle I pick up a Mike Gayle book. His voice is always fresh and his story lines are certianly not typical and in his latest 'BRAND NEW FRIEND' he delivers all that fans have come to expect from him.

Gayle has a knack for taking his readers on a laugh-out-loud funny journey into the male mind. Unfortunately it seems that all the men in his books are pretty similar (which makes me wonder...is that so unrealistic?) they love a good beer, hanging out with their friends in crappy bars, music, and talking about nothing (okay so it is pretty realistic!). But somehow he comes up with innovative story lines that force these men to make some tough decisions and examine feelings that they would much rather be kept buried. Gayle never, in my opinion, takes unrealistic turns in order to wrap the story up in a neat little package...everything doesn't always end up the way we would hope and 'BRAND NEW FRIEND'is no exception.

When Rob decided to take the plunge and move in with his girlfriend of two years, Ashley, he is forced to leave behind one of his most cherished assets...his friends. Because of Ashley's job Rob moves to Manchester two hours outside of his home town of London and is forced to try to make a new life for himself but that is not as easy as it sounds. Six months into the move and Rob has not yet made one single new friend, and not for lack of trying. After numerous "bloke dates" orchestrated by Ashley Rob is just about at the end of his rope when he meets Jo. She and Rob have everything in common and have the potential to be great friends...only problem is that J-O is not J-O-E.

Will Rob's relationship with Ashley survive his friendship with Jo? And is it possible for a man and a woman to really be "just friends"?

'BRAND NEW FRIEND' is at times hilariously funny and at times heartbreakingly realistic. This is definitely another winner from Gayle!
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on 25 October 2005
Along with Nick Hornby has really found the voice of the married thirty old male. Definately has a voice that both sexes will enjoy. Sometimes in the past you get the feeling that he deinately writes his books without planning the ending but this is perhaps his stongest ending yet and in someways is the most satisfying.
The story is simple and whilst perhaps the dialogue could have been stronger the "thoughts" of the central character more than make up for any dialogue shortcomings.
Still suprised that Gayle doesn't seem to have made any real impact on any best selling charts
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on 8 July 2006
Firstly let me say that Mike Gayle is my favourite author. However this book was not one of his best. His previous books could be enjoyed by male and female readers. Being a male myself, I did not feel 'Brand New Friends' appealed to me, but I would imagine that the female reader would get more out of this book.

If this is your first Mike Gayle book, I would recommend that you forget about it, to avoid disappointment and try 'his 'n' hers' or 'my legendary girfriend, first.
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on 13 October 2005
Mike Gayle never fails to warm the cockles of my heart with his tales of relationships of all kinds. He has an intuitive sense for picking out those ordinary moments that we can all relate to and yet he makes them seem oh so important. I think he is incredibly underrated as a writer - Brand New Friend shows his natural gift for touching the reader and drawing you into the heart of his story. Gayle fans will love it and non-Gayle fans may find themselves falling for his charming style.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 June 2013
Rob has his group of mates, they understand one another, can count on each other, but while living in London Rob's girlfriend lives in Manchester. Tired of the commuting to maintain their relationship she gives Rob an ultimatum, move to Manchester or it's over. While reluctant to leave his mates, Rob finally agrees, but it is not long before he misses the association, and seeks some mates in Manchester. His girlfriend wanting to help but places an ad, but the results are not good, but when Rob meets the right mate there is a problem, the mate is a girl. That us when the complications begin, and they only become more complicated, with plenty of opportunity for humour.

The concept is fine and offers many possibilities, but what lets this down is the quality of the writing, if you look for prose that can be enjoyed in its own right it you won't find it here; in fact I found it a struggle to get through this so uninspired was the writing.
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