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3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,107 Ratings  ·  447 Reviews
Dla Josha Harpera show-biznes oznacza pieniądze, sławę, piękną żonę i główną rolę na londyńskim West Endzie. Stephen C. McQueen natomiast skazany jest na granie przechodniów i ciał ofiar.

Obdarzony niefortunnym nazwiskiem, beznadziejnym agentem i córką, której prawie nie zna, Stephen jest dublerem Josha Harpera, 12. Najseksowniejszego Mężczyzny Świata. Gdy Stephen zakochuje
Paperback, 382 pages
Published January 24th 2012 by Świat Książki (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carrie Hope Fletcher
'For Josh harper, being in show-business means money, fame, a beautiful wife, and a lead role on the London stage. For Stephen C. McQueen, it means a disastrous career playing passers-by and dead people. Stephen's stuck with an unfortunate name, a hopeless agent, a daughter he barely knows, and a job as understudy to Josh harper, the 12th Sexiest Man in the World. And when Stephen falls in love with Josh's clever, funny wife, Nora, things get even more difficult. but might there yet be a way fro ...more

Light entertainment with some laugh out loud moments. You’re promised a good time with this book – and you’ll get a very untraditional ending.

Stephen has a dream. Since he was a little boy, his biggest wish and ambition for life has been to become a succesful actor. Instead, he plays the parts of 'dead guy #4', a squirrel in a kids' show, and the understudy for a superstar. On top of that, he's divorced from the woman he loves, he cannot connect with his daughter, and lives in a crappy apartmen
Feb 12, 2012 Blandine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
Sorry, Daily Mail, but The Understudy was not “laugh-out-loud.” Or at least, in my case it wasn’t. But I knew it wouldn’t be. Because Starter For Ten made me, quite literally, laugh out loud like a little mad woman,thus allowing me to believe that David Nicholls’s second book would be a minor disappointment for yours truly. And indeed…

The Understudy is Steve McQueen. Not the famous one, but a British lesser version of him. While Josh Harper, a handsome 29-year-old, has become a superstar adored
May 27, 2011 Godzilla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
My wife ordered this, as she enjoyed One Day and Starter for Ten, which I've read, and they were ok.

Perhaps I've got Nicholls fatigue, or it's a backlash to the mainly 4 and 5 stars I've been giving recently, but I found this a chore to read.

The characters are all unsympathetic and the story weak. It's easy to read but instantly forgettable.

The story seemed to run out of steam and even the humour began to pall way before the end of the book.

The ending was meant to be a tenterhook, but I found my
David Rigano
It was enjoyable, but there were so many problems. What kept me going was the story (yes, I did want to find out what happened next) even though I couldn't find a character I really cared about.

I especially wondered how someone as apparently untalented as Stephen Q McQueen got to understudy a lead role on the West End. The portrayal of understudies in this book was really rather insulting. I've seen a number of understudies and I know some personally, and you have to be incredibly talented to un
Aug 06, 2015 Bilhan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
''Sevdiğin şeyi bul ve onu tüm kalbinle, elinden geldiği kadar iyi yap; kim ne derse desin.''


Stephen, oyunculuk eğitimini bitirdikten sonra işlerin kendisi için daha kolay olacağını düşünmüş, bulunmak istediği yere bir adım daha yaklaştığı gibi aldatıcı bir hissin peşine takılmıştır. Her zaman hayalini kurduğu parlak ve son model arabalar, eşi ve kızının lüks içinde yaşayabileceği ve her şeyiyle huzur kokan bir yuva, doruk noktasında kurulu bir kariyerin sahibi olacağına da inanc
Annabel Grinbergs
So this book was a little holiday read that I took with high expectations as a friend said it was good...and it was on the whole!

I applause Nicholls for his writing ability. Despite not overly identifying with the lead character I felt nothing but 'get a grip, u sad sack!' i did think well everyone knows a Stephen, someone just trying to make it but being outshone by another...and hasn't everyone been there. If stephen was Ted from scrubs, Josh was definietly cast as Ashton Kutcher a lovable ro
Nov 21, 2010 Doreen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Good solid story-telling. Problem was, I had a hard time feeling sympathy for the narrator, who has a habit of lying whenever he thinks the truth will put him in an unflattering light. Worse, he blames "bad luck" for why he's such a sad sack, and has few redeeming characteristics otherwise. Some of the jokes and set-pieces were entirely too commonplace to be truly funny, and I thought it awfully convenient that he should walk into Number Twelve's dressing room that one scene, thereby finding a r ...more
not as funny as the book cover reviewers made it seem
Juliana Graham
The Understudy is David Nicholls' second novel, following Starter for Ten but preceding One Day. This surprised me as I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other two - somehow it felt less polished and complete than the others and as such I was expecting it to be his debut novel.

The main character is Stephen C. McQueen, a struggling actor who is the understudy for a much bigger star. Stephen is not particularly likeable or dislikeable - he's just a bit dull. As such, it's hard to care hugely w
Jan 27, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was realistic and well-written, but I found it rather grim and depressing. Stephen was so hopeless that I found him hard to like or relate to, and Nora was fairly unpleasant also. I like my main characters to have a few redeeming features as well as a few realistic faults and foibles.

Stephen was repeatedly described as ‘unlucky’, but I can’t get on board with that concept. I think we make our own luck in life. It’s true that some people are born with natural advantages, like talent or good
Jan 17, 2012 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For Josh Harper, being an actor means fame and fortune. Not so much for the quite unfortunately named Stephen C. McQueen. He's ready and waiting to jump on his 'Big Break', but the opportunity just never seems to come around.

This book was incredibly easy to read, and I really enjoyed it. I'd tell myself I'd only read a couple chapters before going and doing x, but find myself still there half an hour later. The characters are funny and I particularly like Steve's sense of humour. He, like so man
Abigail Hillinger
Maybe it's the books I've been choosing lately, but I'm noticing a common thread between them all: inconsistently weak main characters.

This is my second David Nicholls' book. And with both of his stories, the main character (male) does shady things that end up sorely hurting him in the end...shady things that are transpired, it seems, by their insecurities.

It's kind of hard to read a book where you don't much like the protagonist...unless you're Tom Perrotta, because there's rarely a character y
Sep 15, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010

After devouring David Nicholl's latest hit, One Day, I decided to risk backtracking through his catalog and being too familiar with his debut "Starter for Ten" (a great movie if anyone is looking for a hidden gem on Netflix) I went for his sophomore effort, The Understudy.

While the Understudy has its charms I see it as the book Nicholl's needed to write to hone his skills, sharpen his wit and play with various levels of character depth and likability. The lead is a struggling actor who, on the
Feb 08, 2010 Anne-Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"For Stephen, London was less a city that never slept, more a city that got a good nine hours."

I was a little worried about reading another David Nicholls so soon because One Day and A Question of Attraction were a tad bit similar.

The Understudy turned out to be different enough from the other two so as not to be repetitive but I didn't think that it had nearly the amount of hilarious sarcasm

The story was solid though.

His novels are so freakin' British I always find myself reading in an accent
Clara Collins
I liked this book, however I did not love it, and it isn't a book that I would pick up to read again.
It has taken me nearly two months to read this book! I would not say that I'm a quick reader but if I like a book then I can generally get it finished within a week... so it shows how much this book interested me :/. The problem I found was that I could not connect with the main character of the book, and I was not intrigued to know what happened next, which probably explains why it took me so lo
I won this book from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway page. I never win anything, so I was so excited! But, unfortunately, the book just wasn't that good. I didn't feel anything for any of the characters. I wasn't hoping that the romantic aspect would pull through. I really didn't care if the main character succeeded or not. The book jacket says "laugh out loud funny"... uh, not so much. Maybe it's me, but I don't find constant failure to be funny. I don't find drunken and drug binges to be fu ...more
Considering I bought this book on a bit of a whim, it was quite a decent read. The narrative was light and easy going, with enough humour and drama to keep me reading. The characters were interesting - if not slightly unrealistic. But however hard I tried, I found it practically impossible to properly warm to any of the characters as none of them struck me as entirely likeable (but I suspect that's due to the fact that I didn't find them believable enough).

I also thought the ending and certain p
Reetta Saine
Kaksi tähteä hyvälle sarkasmille, joka nauratti ääneen. Nolla muulle kirjalle, joka lähti ei mistään ja päättyi ei mihinkään (kiitos, Neumann!). Tämä elämänvaihe on selvästi ohi ja itsesääliset keski-ikäiset wanna-beet ei jaksa kiinnostaa. Erotkaa ja rakastukaa ja töppäilkää ja miettikää uraanne ja elämäänne epäonnistumisten sarjana, mutta minun ei tarvitse enää lukea niistä :p.
Liz Cohen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm surprised to find myself giving up on this, since I'm almost 200 pages in & since I absolutely adored One Day & highly enjoyed most of Starter for Ten. But no matter how much further I get into this story, the characters don't become more than caricatures, the plot doesn't get less predictable, nothing gets more interesting... I found myself dragging my feet to get back to it & watching trashy tv when I could have been reading, all signs that I need to switch books. I'm hoping si ...more
May 27, 2015 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I loved Starter for Ten - it made me laugh and cry in equal measure. In comparison The Understudy was a huge disappointment. I didn't laugh out loud once, despite the 'laugh out loud' quote from the Daily Mail on the front cover and the 'funniest book of the year' quote from Marie Claire on the back.

Not only was it not particularly funny, I also found it difficult to feel sympathy for Stephen C McQueen or any other character. I found Stephen frustrating and his consta
Feb 20, 2015 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since reading One Day I have been singing David Nicholls’s praises to anyone who will listen. Originally I thought he had only written two books; One Day and Starter For Ten, so it was a nice surprise when I went onto his website and found he had a third (and now a fourth!).

Though all these books are basically relationship comedies, Nicholls sets them in a world so real and rich with authentic detail that I can’t help feeling he is writing these books just for me! A good portion of One Day was s
Sadaf Trimarchi
What Nicholls does well is portray long standing relationships- the heady initial glow, the intimacy of inside jokes between two people who've known each other forever, and the strange disconnect that happens when they fall apart. He did this brilliantly in the novel "Us," which is what led me to go back and try his earlier writing.

This book shows some of the promise that Nicholls will develop later. His scene descriptions are spot on. The way he described the party and characters and boozy dru
Jenine Davey
In choosing this book, I knew I was choosing the work of an author beloved by film directors - I watched the movie version of Starter for Ten while I was at university, and One Day was just being advertised as in cinemas when I stumbled upon The Understudy in paperback format. For that reason, I approached this as more of a light read; something that you could happily read on a short train journey and then pick up again two days later without forgetting what was going on.

To Nicholls’ credit, tha
Aug 18, 2011 Teryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Stephen was just irritating through the middle of the book. I am sure there are people who are so out of control of their own lives that they allow others to drive them into making endless errors of judgement, but I am not so sure I want to read a whole book about them. And yet, I did!

I liked the concept of the book, and the plot was interesting, but it just didn't take off for me. I was relieved to finish it, whereas One Day could have gone on for longer.
Debbie Cordes
I chose to read this book because I absolutely loved 'One Day' but this book didn't capture me like 'One Day' did. The story line was weak, I couldn't relate to the characters and it wasn't very realistic. I didn't enjoy the story line but it was easy to read. The reason I kept reading is because I did want to find out what happens at the end. Overall it's was an okay book that I wouldn't read again.
Tim Wu
Jul 08, 2015 Tim Wu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In terms of cruel painful humor at the expense of a hapless protanganist, this is a masterpiece that made me laugh uncontrollably.

I know others prefer his other books, and at some level the others may be better executed, but perhaps this one was more true to the form for me.

Starter for 10 was so painful I had trouble reading it at times, though I admit I enjoyed it to.
Jul 18, 2010 Anouska rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holiday read
It took me a while to get into this. David Nicholls creates amusing situations, but I found the characters in this unconvincing. Nora was particularly shadowy, I felt, and even by the end, I still did not have a sense of her. However, Nicholl's prose carries you along effortlessly, which just about saved it for me. Not a patch on his hugely engaging One Day.
Dec 27, 2012 Lucy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Does Nicholls struggle with endings? One Day's ending annoyed me, and this, an inferiour book by some way, had a total damp squib of an ending. Spoilers alert!!! The main character goes off with Nora to Paris and I have no idea why she would do that. I mean, they clearly won't make a relationship work. Overall, the book was funny, but pretty forgettable plotwise.
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David Nicholls is a British author, screenwriter, and actor. A student of Toynbee Comprehensive school and Barton Peveril 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
More about David Nicholls...

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“Find the thing you love, and do it with all your heart, to the absolute best of your ability, no matter what people say.” 10 likes
“Josh likes to say he put the funk in 'functional'. Personally I think he just put the ass in 'embarrassing', but, hey, what do I know?” 8 likes
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