Leah's Reviews > Charlotte Street

Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace
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Oct 27, 12

bookshelves: books-read-2012, ebooks, favorites, for-review
Read on September 12, 2012

When I heard about Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace, I was intrigued. I love the idea of a girl chasing a boy even though they don’t know who they are, but they felt that they felt something in that brief second when they met. Or, a boy chasing a girl, as this one is. Even the tagline drew me in: “A heartwarming every day tale of boy stalks girl.” Which is sort of true, really, isn’t it? If a girl chases a boy and develops her photos it’s most likely cute and romantic and warm and fuzzy. But if a BOY does that. Well, us girls are going to think it’s stalking, right? It’s wrong, but it’s actually very true.

But, I must admit, although I did feel Jason was stalking, it was actually fun. I enjoyed it. It wasn’t weird-stalking. It was more of a treasure hunt, that time and time again didn’t lead Jason where he wanted to be lead. That added more questions than answers. It’s the best kind of stalking, really, because he wasn’t really stalking the girl per se. More stalkings her photos and the places she’d visited. I loved that Jason was helped in his quest by his best mate and flat mate Dev. That thanks to his job as a reviewer for the free paper London Now, he met the bright and sparkly Abbey. That because of his previous job (in his different life; his life that included a plan, a girlfriend, and a steady job, until it all suddenly disappeared) as a teacher, he became sorta-friends with the brilliant Matthew Fowler, an ex-student of his. Charlotte Street had some of the best characters I’ve read in so long. I felt that if I really did hop on a plane to London and went to Charlotte Street, I would find Jason, Dev, Abbey and Matt having a beer at Postman’s Park. It all felt so real.

Charlotte Street was a genuinely funny novel. There’s a bit where Jason wakes up one morning thinking Dev’s Nissan Cherry is being stolen and, obviously, because that’s the kind of weapon you choose when confronting a burglar, Jason opts for a hairbrush and his inner and outer monologue as he nears the burglar is just bloomin’ hilarious. I was laughing away because it was just so absurd but just so right. Jason’s the kind of person you just root for. No, he isn’t perfect, but it’s his way whether it’s right or wrong. I love someone that will try and track down some random stranger even if it’s not entirely kosher. I’d loooooooooove to do that. It was just like a madcap adventure, that started as a bit of fun, but ended up being something massive. There was even a trip to Whitby thrown in, and I just loved the sort of symmetry to it. I loved that Jason went where this girl had went and even took the time to record his own moments on his own disposable camera.

I absolutely loved Charlotte Street. Danny Wallace is quite clearly a very talented writer and I’m a little bit disappointed this is his debut novel because it means I have to wait to read more from him (I very much hope a second novel is on its way ASAP). It really blew me away. It made me want to visit Charlotte Street. It REALLY made me want to visit Postman’s Park (which I really hope is real, because it sounds like an inspiring idea — it’s where people who have done heroic things (died in a fire saving someone’s life, as an example) are all up on a wall (I think it’s a wall, of some sort) in memorium. It’s quite an amazing and special thing and it featured so frequently in Charlotte Street that if I ever go to London again, I will definitely be visiting.) I wholeheartedly recommend the book. I really, truly loved it. It totally blew me away and Jason Priestly’s story is a story you want to read, believe me.
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