Book Review: Us by David Nicholls 3

David Nicholls
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton


‘I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together. ‘‘Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’  Douglas Petersen understands his wife’s need to ‘rediscover herself’ now that their son is leaving home.He just thought they’d be doing their rediscovering together.

So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.

The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.

What could possibly go wrong?


Purchase Links

 Barnes & Noble

My Rating:

 5 hearts


Favorite Quotes:

 “’Now that Albie’s leaving, I want to feel this is the beginning of something new, not the beginning of the end.’  The beginning of the end.   Was she still talking about me?  She made me sound like some kind of apocalypse.”

 “Albie was standing in the doorway, wrapped in the hotel dressing gown, demonstrating that unique ability he has to shower for twenty minutes and still look dirty.”

 “… it was explained by a Dr. Yolanda Jimenez, in good, clear English, that I would be subject to an operation.  Immediately I imagined the buzzing of surgical saws and my rib-cage being cracked open like a lobster shell, but the doctor explained that the procedure would be more localized than that.  A tube would be inserted into my thigh under local anaesthetic, passing somewhat improbably all the way up into my heart, allowing the artery to be widened and stent to be left in its place.  I pictured pipe-cleaners, dental floss, an unraveled wire coat hanger.”

 “Clearly the key to having a long and successful marriage would be to have a non-lethal heart attack every three months or so for the next forty years.  If I could pull off that trick, then we might just be all right.”

My Review:

 I laughed aloud several times while reading this smartly written, wickedly funny, and clever tome. The writing was crisp and intelligent, and hidden humor crackled on the pages.  I think I wore an amused smile during the 85% of the reading, and while I frequently chuckled, I also felt my breath hitch in my throat and experienced an odd stinging in my eyes during several of his more poignant and heartbreaking revelations.  There were many rather embarrassing remembrances that seldom put the main character in a good light, yet were more often than not, perfectly balanced by the horrendous behavior the other parties were also putting on display.  Artfully written, unflinchingly insightful, totally enchanting, humorous yet painfully honest in describing his contentious, self-effacing, and unpleasant family encounters.  While reading, I couldn’t help wanting the best for him, but also knowing that may not be the outcome he was striving for.

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David Nicholls is a British author, screenwriter, and actor. A student of Toynbee Comprehensive school and BartonPeveril Sixth Form College, he Graduated from the University of Bristol having studied English Literature and Drama.After graduation, he won a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, before returning to London in 1991 and finally earning an Equity card. He worked sporadically as an actor for the next eight years, eventually earning athree year stint at the Royal National Theatre, followed by a job at BBC Radio Drama as a script reader/researcher. This led to script-editing jobs at London Weekend Television and Tiger Aspect Productions.During this period, he began to write, developing an adaptation of Sam Shepard’s stage-playSimpatico with the director MatthewWarchus, an old friend from University. He also wrote his first original script, a situation comedy about frustrated waiters, Waiting, which was later optioned by the BBC.Simpatico was turned into a feature film in 1999, and this allowed David to start writing full-time. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards and his first novel, Starter for Ten was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club.

David Nicholls has a website and he’s also on Facebook.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: Us by David Nicholls

  1. Reply Heather J. @ TLC Nov 14,2014 11:01 pm

    Wow, this sounds like a truly fabulous book! It seems to have hit all the right emotional buttons. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  2. Reply trish Nov 15,2014 2:54 am

    I love humor that’s consistent and subtle like that! It makes me feel like I’m in on an inside joke the whole time I’m reading the book.

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