It Had to Be You
David Nobbs
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It Had to Be You

3.22 of 5 stars 3.22  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Life after Deborah reaffirms Nobbs as the best writer of comedy and observer of the nuances of human nature that there is today.One man, five very different women.James Hollingshurst is a man shaped by those who surround him. And in James's case, it's some very different women. Be it his trusty wife Deborah, his hapless PA Marcia or his ex-girlfriend Jane. And there's one...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published June 23rd 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published June 1st 2011)
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I hadn't realized this was by the same author as "Reginald Perrin" and am now motivated to go and find these books (fond memories of the TV series).
The story starts with the death of the protagonist James's wife - and the author brings humor to this in a way only the British can: embarrassment from his friends who ask if he could possibly not make the funeral on Thursday as they have tickets to the semis in Wimbledon; James wondering who will do the ironing now and maybe he could take it round t...more
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. The storyline is cliché'd, most (but not all) of the characters are predictable and dull, and I knew how the main character would evolve emotionally and personally in the beginning of the book, which is a bit disappointing. I generally disliked the main character, James Hollinghurst, from start to end. I suspect the reader is supposed to find him whiny, unsympathetic and pathetic in the beginning, but even his strained transition to a "better pe...more
Grace Harwood
I have to say I agree with another reviewer upon this site who states that there is so much more to David Nobbs than just being "probably our finest comic novelist" as Jonathan Coe has stated of him (Sorry, "probably"?? There is no probably about it - he is our finest comic novelist) This book is warm, witty, has some great comic moments, some echoes of Reggie Perrin, but above all it is full of wisdom. From the moment that James Hollinghurst arrives at the end of that initial car journey and De...more
Biblio Files
After seeing the TV series A Bit of a Do, I was impressed enough to see what other shows the writer had done and found that in addition to several TV series, David Nobbs (surely a pseudonym?) has written eighteen novels. His latest was priced to sell on kindle so I bought it and was hooked right away.

Generally, I shy away from literary fiction, finding that while a good author can get you hooked and sustain a novel, satisfying endings seem to be elusive. By satisfying, I don't mean it has to be...more
How do the English deal with loss? James loses his wife in a car accident. She was on her way to her lover and he had been having an affair for five years. Then there is the family: his brothers, their mother and of course Deborah's family. The book shows people for what they really are: self centered. Great dialogue.
Richard Barnes
One of Nobbs' best - his characters are real, flawed people with real flawes relationships.

It is Nobb's stunning writing that will make you care for a man who has cheated on his wife, and the complicated aftermath of her death.

This is a powerful depiction of grief - in times when we are encouraged to sign books of condolence for people we've never known, and weep for tragedies that are far, far removed from our lives - when so many people grieve via the Internet because they want to feel somethi...more
Vittoria D'alessio
I shouldn't have liked this book. I should be describing it here as sappy, sugary soft-porn for "men of a certain age" (see my Thursdays in the Park review), yet like it I did! It's well-written, which certainly helps. And I enjoyed the pacing, the honesty of the narrator's journey and our anti-hero's final deliverance.
Derek Baldwin
Life in suburbia, or Islington at any rate, is something David Nobbs does so well.... and yet for the longest time, while reading and enjoying this book, I was asking myself why.... What is the book actually for? The jokes seemed a little forced, the repetitions of certain phrases cliched, the main character a bit of a bastard, but only a bit. But then all the threads are drawn together so skilfully, and movingly, and the last 50 pages or so are so poignant.... Very good.
Slow and rather tedious and the "twist" was obvious from the start. Not one of his best
Cat Martin
I listened to the audiobook of this in the car over the course of a week. I think my main problem with the book was that I just didn't like the main character, though perhaps older readers may sympathise with him more.
Dave Hodgkinson
Good. Well written, well-drawn characters, nice twist. Echoes of Reggie Perrin, but no worse for that.
I don't give up on many books but I gave up on this one. It's s***e.
Ketan Shah
Gentle and funny. With some philosophical asides.
Carolyn Francis
Light. Fluffy. Mildly amusing.
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