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Turning Thirty Paperback – 1 Feb 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Feb 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (1 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340792655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340792650
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,975,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Mike Gayle's previous novels My Legendary Girlfriend and Mr Commitment have already wittily chronicled living and loving among 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 30th 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. (This review refers to the hardcover edition of this title.) --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

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)

A funny frank account of a hopeless romantic (The Times on My Legendary Girlfriend)

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

The male Bridget Jones (Express on M L G)

Full of belly-laughs and painfully acute observations (Independent on Sunday on M L G)

Touching and funny (Sunday Mirror on M L G)

Something near to mid-period Woody Allen...a delicate blend of realism and whimsy...funny and clever...refreshing to find a male writer working in this genre (Guardian on MR COMMITMENT)

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus meets Men Behaving Badly (Daily Telegraph on MR C)

Unputdownable (She on MR C)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 6 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
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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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. I particularly liked that this book featured locations in and around Birmingham so I knew them well. Matt is anxious about turning the big 3-0 and it's basically the journey of the final month of his twenties. It's a book that will appeal to those also who've already taken the journey and are in their thirties and for those like me who are in their mid-late twenties. You'll laugh out loud, have a little cry and generally feel everything Matt feels along the way.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
If you have enjoyed reading either of Mike Gayle's previous novels - the fantastic My Legendary Girlfriend, and the thoroughly enjoyable Mr Commitment - then you'll definitely enjoy Turning Thirty. Most of the tale takes place during the three months before Matt Beckford's 30th birthday. The book has quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, especially when Matt has to deal with his parents 'concern', and his ex-girlfriends regular emails. Those of you who have had the experience of living with your parents when in your late twenties and early thirties will find this novel even funnier. All in all, a really enjoyable read - a book that I had to finnish all in one day. If you want to enjoy some good clean fun, then this is one for you.
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The book is directionless. I liked the beginning and I love the idea of discussing relationships and what goes wrong. The main character is very nice and his general situation may reflect the lives of real men turning thirty. Even though he seems lost, I would've preferred it if the book wasn't. There were quite a few pointless chapters that didn't make the story progress and I started skim reading to get past the pointless parts. I got bored. I did like reading about the character's friendship and past with Ginny and his other friend, especially the memories of school and University, which personally appeal to me.
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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. It makes you wish that you had kept in contact with your old school friends but did go to a reunion 18 or so years ago. Then met up with two close friends for a few days away together. However I digress the story is very entertaining and keeps you turning the pages waiting to see what happens next.
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By A Customer on 28 Feb. 2002
Format: Paperback
I read this book quickly, hoping that it would improve as it went along. It didn't! The main character is painfully bland, and I struggled to sympathise with any of his predicaments - there was potentially so much more mileage available in a storyline about the neuroses and 'what if' factor of passing the landmark age of 30, but it was only alluded too. It was as if Gayle had a great idea and then got bored with it before it really got off the ground, and tried to wind it up quickly to move onto something else. I can't compare this to any of his other books as this has been my first to date - perhaps the problem wasn't so much the book as my over-high expectation of it! Save your money and buy 'High Fidelity' instead - which covers roughly similar ground and is infinitely more entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
Having just turned thirty myself, I thought I would enjoy this book and be able to identify with the main character. The summary on the back sounded promising. The initial chapter was entertaining, I think I actually laughed. Off to a good start. Then it just got silly. There was nothing I, nor I'm sure the majority of those in this country turning thirty, could identify with. The main character is in a fantasy job - currently living in New York and offered a transfer to Australia when he breaks up with his girlfriend. The characterisation was non-existent. I didn't care what happened to Matt Beckford (what a stupid name!). And there was very little plot. I really don't want to read about someone sitting around watching "ER" - I can do that myself! I was so bored! I had to force myself to finish the book. The ending was very unsatisfactory - the story just petered out. It was as if he ran out of ideas (athough actually I think that happened at the end of chapter 1). Not recommended.
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