Ewig Zweiter
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Ewig Zweiter

3.25 of 5 stars 3.25  ·  rating details  ·  3,065 ratings  ·  317 reviews
Stephen C. McQueen war schon sechsmal eine Leiche. Im Klartext: Er ist ein erfolgloser Schauspieler. Das Blatt scheint sich zu wenden, als er den attraktiven Darsteller Josh Harper, zwölftsexiest Mann der Welt und Star des Theaterstücks Verrückt, verworfen und gefährlich, im Notfall in seiner Rolle als Lord Byron ersetzen soll. Doch: Josh sieht nicht nur fantastisch aus, i...more
Published by Hörbuch Hamburg (first published January 28th 2005)
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Carrie 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
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...more
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...more
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...more
Although Stephen is older than Brian, the main char­ac­ter in Nicholls’ pre­vi­ous book Starter for ten, the theme is the same: not really know­ing your­self and what you want out of life, then going through a rough and decid­ing time and com­ing out a bet­ter per­son.
And that is pre­cisely what I didn’t like about the book: a typ­i­cal com­ing of age novel shouldn’t be about a man in his thir­ties. You know how it is — the intox­i­cat­ing aphro­disiac that is fail­ure.’ ‘It’s not fail­ure. It’s...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more

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...more
"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...more
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
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
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
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.
Tim Wu
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 2 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about Stephen McQueen (no relation to the famous Steve McQueen) as he works as an understudy to Josh Harper, the 12th sexiest man in the world, for the performance of Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know, the tale of Lord Byron. Stephen meets Josh's wife Nora and almost instantly falls in love with her, and becomes her friend, whilst also visiting his ex-wife and her new (much more successful) husband, and taking his daughter for days out. Stephen isn't a particularly l...more
Greg Stragnell
Another "light" and easy read from David Nicholls; the colleague who lent me "Starter for Ten" lent me this one as well. It has its moments - modest chuckles this time rather than milk-through-the-nose hilarity. If you fancy something not at all taxing, fair enough; otherwise, give it a miss.
il vero problema del libro è che all'inizio ma lentino e che tranne due battute non fa per niente ridere. Poi la storia per l'amor di dio è carina, ma scontata e con il solito mezzo lieto fine.
Appena sufficiente caro Nicholls. Le domande di Brian ti era venuto decisamente meglio.
Annemieke Windt
David Nicholls' novel The Understudy is the second novel by the author that I've read. Set in London, just as One day, The Understudy tells the story of a man not really willing to grow up. Stephen C. McQueen is an actor with a career not going anywhere. He's the understudy of Josh Harper, a successful young British actor playing Lord Byron in the West End. Night after night Steve hopes to get the opportunity to shine, but he's never allowed to do more to play the guy in the shadow, death ready...more
Lea Ann
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway knowing nothing about David Nicholls. Now I'm looking forward to reading One Day (which I hear is being made into a movie).

This book was very good - funny, inventive, but still with a serious angle. The people in the novel feel like real people. The main character Stephen C. McQueen (no not that Steve McQueen) is a leading man in this book but nothing else. He serves as the understudy for Josh Harper, the 12th Sexiest Man in the World. Stephen is divorced...more
Tuğçe Sevin
Bu yorum daha önce www.tugceninkitapligi.com da yayınlanmıştır.

Bir Gün, benim favori kitaplarım arasında yer alıyor ve iki kere okuduğum sayılı kitaptan birisi. Okuyanların bildiği üzere; Bir Gün, üniversitenin son günü tanışan iki arkadaşın, yıllar boyu aralıklarla süren, bir nevi aşk ve arkadaşlık hikayesini anlatıyordu. Romantik ve zaman zaman oldukça da dokunaklı bir kitaptı. Beni en çok etkileyen yanı, doğal anlatımı ve bıraktığı, rahatlıkla herkesin hayatından bir parça olabilirmiş hissi...more
Georgiana 1792
Un nome, un destino

Il destino di Stephen C. McQueen è segnato dal suo nome fin dalla nascita.

«Ciao! Questo è il mio buon amico Steve McQueen»
«Non quel Steve McQueen!»
«Con il PH».

Queste battute si ripetono nel libro infinite volte — tanto che anche noi, al pari di Stephen, ne siamo nauseati. Ora, se un bravo ragazzo inglese, proveniente dall’Isola di Wight, scegliesse di fare qualsiasi altro mestiere al mondo, la cosa potrebbe sembrare divertente, o comunque non tanto esasperante come accade al ‘...more
David Nicholls is one of those authors who just drags you through a book on the strength of character and a smattering of gags. The Understudy has a similar tone to Starter for 10 - loveable loser tries to make good, meets a girl, mostly screws it all up but might yet find happiness. It's a pleasing formula that manages to dole out various surprises along the way. Once again he manages to make us care about a person who does some pretty unpleasant things, though in fairness Stephen C McQueen is...more
I was recommended this book by a user on youtube who I happened to watch talk about her personal opinions on this book. She gave it good marks and said it was a light read despite its page thickness, so I picked it up at my local bookshop.

Overall, I liked this book. It was funny yet sophisticated in a good way and during most of it I felt rather sorry and sympathetic towards Stephen "with a PH", as I wanted him to get his big break.

I would liken this story to the book Mr Commitment by Mike Gayl...more
Da www.sognipensieriparole.com

"Il sostituto" è il secondo capolavoro nato dalla penna dell'apprezzatissimo autore inglese David Nicholls e pubblicato lo scorso maggio dalla Casa Editrice Beat.

Quanti di voi hanno letto almeno uno dei suoi romanzi?
Oggi vi parlerò de Il sostituto (la sua seconda opera), ma se siete tra quelli che ancora non hanno letto il suo primo lavoro Le domande di Brian e il recente Un giorno, vi consiglio di procurarveli per regalarvi delle belle e rilassanti letture estive.

Paul Ritchie
Right now I'm into believable stories, which includes characters, plots, events and outcomes.

The first 90% of The Understudy met these criteria. I couldn't put it down. I was fully engaged as the characters and events unfolded and I was continually telling myself "just one more page". Many of the scenes are exceptionally well written, humorous and cringe-worthy (where called for).

The last fifteen or so pages ("or so" meaning I was using an e-reader and am estimating the number of paper pages) we...more
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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
More about David Nicholls...
One Day Starter for Ten One Day Plus: Enhanced Edition A Question of Attraction David Nicholls Collection (One Day, The Understudy, Starter For Ten)

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“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
“Find the thing you love, and do it with all your heart, to the absolute best of your ability, no matter what people say.” 7 likes
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