It Had to Be You Paperback – 23 Jun 2011
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Praise for It Had to Be You:
‘A beautiful, surprising, sometimes searingly painful account of the eight days between a married woman’s sudden death and her funeral.’ Jonathan Coe
Praise for Obstacles to Young Love:
‘Painfully hilarious, wonderfully observed and slightly sour at the same time.’ Guardian
‘Thank goodness for David Nobbs! He carries on the comic tradition of P G Wodehouse with this marvellous new book; a sweet and touching love story written with his trademark sly and subversive humour. A perfect antidote to these dark times.’ Joanne Harris
Praise for David Nobbs’s novels:
‘Probably our finest post-war comic novelist’ Jonathan Coe
‘A delicious entertainment, as comic and sharp as they come’ Guardian
‘The most satisfying novel I have read in years’ Express
‘A marvellously comic novel’ Sunday Times
‘One of the most noisily funny books I have ever read’ Michael Palin
‘Very funny sketches of provincial newspaper life’ Sue Townsend
‘We should be thankful for the continuing brilliance of David Nobbs … Going Gently is richly funny and rich in many other ways. Buy it’ Mail on Sunday
About the Author
David Nobbs’s first break as a comedy writer came on the iconic satire show That Was The Week, That Was, hosted by David Frost. Later he wrote for The Frost Report and The Two Ronnies and provided material for many top comedians including Les Dawson, Ken Dodd, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd and Dick Emery. Apart from his twenty novels, David is best known for his two TV hit series A Bit of a Do and for The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. David Nobbs died in 2015 at the age of eighty.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
"Globpack! How had they come up with that? He had inherited a bit of his dad's artistic taste and he found it hard to believe that a career that had begun in the Basingstoke Box Company had led him, Nobbs inexorably, to being employed by a firm called Globpack"
While this is going on his wife, Deborah, is driving to a rendezvous with a Man in a White Linen Suit who is hoping that after their lunch they will retire to the room he has booked in the hotel.
She never arrives. Deborah is killed in a collision on her way to her prospective lover and everything changes.
James and Deborah have been married a long time and, while still happy, their lives had inevitably settled into a routine and James has had a mistress, Helen, for several years. OK they both knew that he would never leave Deborah, but now she has gone, what does he do? Is there a formula for telling one's mistress that your wife is dead? "Silence. Words churning through her mind. Thoughts and emotions churning uncontrollably. No social formula in which to clothe her naked feelings. He senses it all, and he felt for her. He knew what it was like"
When a tragedy occurs such as this family relationships and tensions come to the fore. James has always felt inferior to his elder brother Charles, a world famous concert pianist, and his younger brother Philip has suffered in the same way. James's daughter Charlotte has not spoken to her parents for five years and he doesn't know why; his son Max is working in forestry in Canada. All these people have to be told.Read more ›
Having said this, 'It Had to be You' is not a bad book. It's a nicely constructed story of a week in the life of James, UK manager of packaging manufacturer Globpack, after his wife Deborah has died in a car crash. What James discovers about Deborah, his family and, most of all himself, is interesting and the author manages to throw in enough plot turns and surprises to keep the reader engaged. There are some nice observances on modern life and some amusing asides.
However, I'm not sure that this book really knows what it wants to be. It wasn't moving enough to be a genuine depiction of a widower's grief and neither was it so laugh-out-loud funny that it could be considered a comic treatment of this theme. Unlike a certain famous author, I don't think this will be featuring in any literary prize lists for 2011.
The cover talks about Nobbs as a comic novelist; and it is true - he is a great comic novelist. But this isn't a comic novel. It is a thoughtful, sensitive, intelligent, amd frank exploration of a man dealing with the death of his wife. Which makes it sound very 'worthy' - but it isn't at all - it is gripping, funny, surprising and it blows the lid on the world of global packaging.
A new novel by David Nobbs always goes to the top of my reading list, and never disappoints.
It Had to be You covers that awkward time between a death and a funeral - awkward enough without the problems that main character, James Hollinghurst, has brought upon himself. At times it was so truthful as to be sad. At times I wanted to shout at the selfishness of the main character but, by the next page, I was completely on his side. David took a simple life story and made it into compelling reading. I wondered as I read it how many people had been in this particular situation and wondered equally what their outcomes had been.
I really enjoyed it.
However, I should append a footnote of warning to this review. I've been a fan of David Nobbs since I read the Reggie Perrin series at 17 years' old. After I read "Second from Last in the Sack Race" I was hooked. In confess, I love anything by David Nobbs. It's a bit like the time I went to see Green Day - my husband asked me how they were and I told him they were fantastic. But then I love them so much that if they'd played their own shoelaces for three hours I would have thought they were fantastic. See what I'm saying? All I can say is I loved this book. I'm sure you will too.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read most of his novels including the brilliant Reggie Perrin trilogy and he never fails to excite . so sad he's gonePublished 9 months ago by S. C. W. Andrews
Well written. Complex list of characters. I am enjoying it, not finished yetPublished 11 months ago by John Rankine
As someone who has read all of his books, bar the autobiography, I think this is one of the best and yet I didn't find it anywhere near as funny as the others. Read morePublished on 20 April 2014 by John Cherry
I must admit I had high hopes for this book given the authors credentials, but unfortunately, although well written, it just wasn't that funny. Read morePublished on 3 Oct. 2013 by EmmaL
Picked this up expecting the usual tirade of awful puns and corniness, but I have to say I was very surprised. Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2013 by D. Sedgwick
OK. Good read. Only seventeen words to go. Only twelve now. Good gracious, now only four more. One two three four. There done.Published on 8 Aug. 2012 by R. Thexton