Gail's Reviews > One Day

One Day by David Nicholls
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Sep 15, 10

bookshelves: favorite-authors, contemporary-fiction
Read in September, 2010

Em and Dex. Dex and Em.

It's unusual to feel a emotional connection of this sort to a couple that so perfectly captures the pop culture zeitgeist. The closest comparisons I can draw are the feelings I (and collectively, we) feel for Ross and Rachel from Friends and Jim and Pam from The Office. What all of these characters (and Dex and Em) have in common is their likability and the way in which we believe every up and down in their relationship could just as easily been one of your own.

A bit of background on this likable gem: The story starts on July 15, 1988, the night of Dex and Em's graduation from college. Bright-eyed, good-looking (Dex) and full of that smug do-goodness of the '90s college crowd (remember Paul Rudd's character in Clueless? Picture him or any member of the '90s-era Real World casts as stand-in for Emma), they imagine what their lives will be like 20 years from now. This is where Nicholls takes over, devoting the rest of the book to exactly that — examining this one day (July 15) in the coming two decades and where Em and Dex find themselves each year it passes.

Reading this novel, you can't help wondering how it is no one has explored this plot device before. And yet, you're glad no one has as it seems unlikely any writer could employ it as well as Nicholls has done here.

In the 400 pages that follow that fateful graduation night, there are broken hearts, broken relationships, mistaken career moves and more than a few good times for Em and Dex. But above all, throughout all of this, there is their well-spun dialogue. Nicholls is a screenwriter and it's no surprise he excels at making this novel's highs (and even its lows) every bit as easy to visualize and celebrate as our favorite TV moments — be it Ross and Rachel finally kissing in that coffee shop or Jim and Pam saying their I do's.

** I won't give away who's been cast as Em and Dex for the film's big-screen adaptation (surprise, surprise, it IS being made into a movie and I think it'll be brilliant) but I'll just say I'm IN LOVE with the selection and already cannot wait for this to hit the theater!
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Chanel Lewis Gail,

Stop marking so many good books as "to-read!" I can't catch up! You always recommend the best books haha.


Gail I make it a personal mission my dear. I figure, you only have so much time, might as well read the *good* ones ;) I really want to get to this one though..and soon!


message 3: by Evan (new)

Evan Do you buy all these books?


Gail A lot of times, yes...sometimes, no. I blame it on a childhood where we never purchased lit, just brought it into the house courtesy of the library ;)


message 5: by Evan (new)

Evan We just go to Half Price books and load up for what we can find for $1 each. I've found some amazing reads just by doing that. "The Shadow of the Wind" is one of them.


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