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Us

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  34,574 Ratings  ·  3,796 Reviews
Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen-year-old son, Albie; then Connie tells him ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton
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(showing 1-30)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 28, 2014 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it
”’I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.'

'Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?’”


This was the conversation moments after Douglas Petersen’s wife rolls over in bed and informs him that she believes their marriage is finished. Their son Albie is a few weeks away from leaving for college and she “wants to feel this is the beginning of something new, not the beginning of the end.” For some people a conversation like this w
...more
Lynne King
Oct 18, 2014 Lynne King rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-uk, favorites
A major error was pointed out by several GReaders for which I thank them and as a consequence I rewrote the review. I felt that my previous review did not do justice to the book.

I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.

Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?

Now that is indeed a strong statement and how would you, as a spouse/partner, relate to that when your fifty-four year old husband, healthy, an academic and certain
...more
Anmiryam
I approached this novel with some trepidation. True, it was selected for the Man Booker Prize Longlist, a prestigious honor to be sure, but in forums of readers who avidly follow the prize and try to consume the selected books, it was dismissed and denigrated. The snobbery arose from the aura left in the wake of Nicholls's previous bestseller, "One Day", which gave the book a miasma of being less than literary, a sop to populism on the prize list. I have to say, the jacket copy and blurbs from o ...more
Dianne
Jul 26, 2014 Dianne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2015
I just finished reading this for a second time. I only do that with 5-star books and I am revising my rating accordingly. This book is wonderful!

It's the story of a marriage in peril, narrated by the husband, Douglas. He is a British biochemist - a man who is ruled by logic and scientific reason. Douglas is improbably married to Connie, an artist, who is laissez faire to the extreme. Indeed, these two could not be more polar opposites. They have a seventeen-year old son, Albie, who is of his mot
...more
Ron Charles
Oct 05, 2014 Ron Charles rated it really liked it
In hell, we’ll hear echoes of all the well-meaning criticism we gave our kids: every perfectly reasonable judgment on that T-shirt, that friend, that music, that mess, that earring, that homework!

But our intentions were good, right?

In David Nicholls’s new novel, “Us” — longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize — a father discovers just how much those intentions are worth to his hectored teenage son. This is the sort of witty book that guys should read the moment their partners say, “I’m pregna
...more
Gabriela Silva
Nov 08, 2015 Gabriela Silva rated it really liked it
Was it the happiest day of our lives? Probably not, if only because the truly happy days tend not to involve so much organisation, are rarely so public or so expensive. The happy ones sneak up, unexpected."
Seemita
Sep 24, 2014 Seemita rated it it was amazing
Falling in love is a beautiful thing, more so when the love comes surreptitiously at your door which had opened many a times in past to find only empty autumns of loneliness and futile rains of solitude. Into such a heart, when love steps in, the heart does not remain the same, ever. Finding your reflection in another being becomes a hypnotic revelation, empowering you at once, to ironically, surrender your many identities to live in the nurturing shadow of your beloved. You accept sans hesitati ...more
Phrynne
Sep 27, 2014 Phrynne rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I have read by this author and it will certainly not be my last. I loved it so much I ignored a million other things I should have been doing and read it from beginning to end in one day. The story is of a family breaking up and it should have been sad. In fact tears came to my eyes a few times. But overall the book is packed with humour mostly due to the lead character's inability to empathise fully with the rest of the human race. He frequently put me in mind of Don in T ...more
Julie
There is something marvelously cathartic about Us. David Nicholls, graced by both Thalia and Melpomene, succeeds in making a tender salad out of raw satire. Humor, whether it’s on the page or the screen, is so hard to do well. When it works, really truly works, we’re wiping away tears of hilarity mingled with tears of sadness. Because what makes us laugh most deeply, what brings on that cathartic release, is comedy and tragedy sharing the stage.

Douglas Petersen is in his early fifties and his w
...more
Larry Hoffer
Douglas Petersen is a mild-mannered biochemist in his early 50s. He craves order and although he thinks he has a good sense of humor and the ability to enjoy himself, he isn't one to loosen his inhibitions frequently, or give up plans for spontaneity. He and his wife, Connie, have a son, Albie, who is planning to go to college once the summer ends. And then one night, Douglas' life is upended when Connie awakens him.

"I said I think our marriage has run its course. Douglas, I think I want to leav
...more
Diane S ☔
May 12, 2014 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
3.5 Douglas, a bit of a nerd but so still in love with his wife, I immediately took to his character. Loved the dry wit in which this story is told and all the talk about art on their travels through Europe. But I had a big problem relating to the main premise of this novel. After being told his wife wants to leave him, she talks him into going on their planned trip with their son albie. I tried to picture myself or my husband going off on a major holiday after this type of discussion and just c ...more
Bonnie Brody
Oct 04, 2014 Bonnie Brody rated it it was ok

I loved 'One Day' by David Nicholls and approached this book with enthusiastic anticipation. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I found the characters dull and prosaic, lacking the ability to to garner my interest.

Douglas, the male protagonist, is a biochemist with as much personality as moss. His wife, Connie is two-dimensional. Once an artist and party animal, she now works in a gallery. As the book opens, Connie tells Douglas "I think our marriage has run its course. Douglas, I think I want t
...more
Reeka (BoundbyWords)
As seen on my blog:



2.5 STARS
I tried to give love another chance. The love for David Nicholls' books that is. I will admit, I liked Us many degrees more than I enjoyed the mess that was One Day , and even laughed at loud on more than one occasion. But as a whole, Us was a self-indulgent, teeth grinder of a book. The main character was a mess, and rightly so, because his wife and son's characters were pretty much the scum of the earth.

I have never felt more inclined to throw a book at my wal
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Sep 25, 2014 Kelly (and the Book Boar) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, read-in-2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Douglas and Connie have been married for a small eternity. They’re about to become empty nesters once their son leaves home and Douglas is excited to start a new chapter in their lives. Connie is excited about starting a new chapter too . . . she just doesn’t want Douglas to be included in her book any longer. With a family holiday already planned and booked, Douglas sets his sights on changing Connie’s mind and winning her back. But i
...more
PattyMacDotComma
5★

Touching, funny, sad and extremely frustrating. I kept thinking “NO, Douglas! Don’t SAY that! Just stop! ARGH$#!”

But that’s the point. Connie loves Douglas in spite of his obsessive nagging and worrying, which is nothing like that of her arty-party London friends. She’s pretty and popular, he’s nerdy and not. Miss Extrovert, meet Mr Asperger. But he’s smart and can make a battery out of a lemon!

He tells us compared to his A4 sheet of past relationships, she has a three-drawer filing cabinet.
...more
Rebecca Foster
Mild-mannered biochemist Douglas Petersen hopes to reconnect with his wife and distant teenage son during an elaborate European tour. This Booker-longlisted follow-up to Nicholls’s bestselling One Day is a charming but unsentimental look at a family in crisis. The plot may sound terribly clichéd – and at first I indeed feared that that would be the case – but the deft mixture of past and present and Douglas’s endearing first-person narration save the novel from being mundane.

I found it to be a v
...more
Michael Robotham
Sep 02, 2014 Michael Robotham rated it it was amazing
I loved ONE DAY and this book is equally good. Poignant. Funny. Moving. Surprising. David Nicholls creates fantastic characters, who are flawed and infuriating, but very easy to care about.
Algernon
Dec 26, 2014 Algernon rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015

Thou only has taught me that I have a heart – thou only hast thrown a light deep downward and upward into my soul. Thou only hast revealed me to myself; for without thy aid my best knowledge of myself would have been merely to know my own shadow – to watch it flickering on the wall, and mistake its fantasies for my own real actions ...
Now, dearest, dost thou understand what thou hast done for me? And is it not a somewhat fearful thought, that a few slight circumstances might have prevented us f
...more
Sarah
Nov 02, 2014 Sarah rated it it was ok
Read this and other reviews at Ampersand Read.

Ah, the Petersons. What a set of messed up hooligans. Here is the central issue with why everyone just can't quite get along: Douglas is a hapless scientist, who just wants everyone to like him. Connie is artistic, dreamy, messy, and doesn't like to be shown the concrete of things all the time. Albie, their son, takes after Connie. Plus, he's a teenager, so he's got that not going for him.

Everyone annoys each other here, and they all ganged up to ann
...more
Carolyn
Us is the story of a marriage. A journey that begins when outgoing, artistic Connie meets the slightly awkward, conservative Douglas at a party. He ends up walking her home and they spend all night talking to each other. Connie finds she enjoys his company and the stability and caring in their relationship, something missing from her previous relationship with a tempestuous artist. Their marriage survives 25y and it is as their son Albie is about to leave home for University that Connie tells Do ...more
Susan Johnson
Jun 30, 2015 Susan Johnson rated it really liked it
Us tells the story of a disintegration of the twenty five year marriage of Douglas and Connie. There are no major blow ups but it is a just a relationship that it is worn out. There is not enough passion to be angry but Douglas is resisting the break up. He still loves his wife.

They decide to still do their month long tour with their 17 year old son, Albie, touring Europe from one corner to another. Douglas is hoping to rekindle the romance and Connie, frankly, just seems to want to travel wit
...more
Emma Flanagan
Nov 04, 2014 Emma Flanagan rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookclub
My rating of this is probably a bit unfair. For my own personal reasons I never connected with the story and never enjoyed it. I found it work. However it is well written. Nicholls creates characters which are extremely realistic if not likeable. You'll never find yourself rooting for any of them. Nicholls has a brilliant understanding of humanity, of people, with all their flaws. He shows in a realistic manner what it's like when relationships break down, be it a relationship between two partne ...more
Carol Brill
Jan 24, 2015 Carol Brill rated it really liked it
I rated this 4 more as a writer than reader, because while I found the story slow at times, there are number of elements of writing craft that I really admire. As a reader it was more of a 3 for me. What I admire most in the writing is the voice of the narrator, Douglas, which never wavers and reveals him as conventional, staid, organized, and self-deprecating in an insightful, witty way. Another strength is that David Nicholls transitions seamlessly between past and present to tell the story of ...more
Mark Hebwood
May 10, 2015 Mark Hebwood rated it really liked it
This novel tells the story of a married couple, who, after some 20 years of shared history together, decide to call it quits. Well, actually, she decides, and reveals her intention to him on the first page of the novel. The idea is that they spend a last family holiday together, the two of them and their teenage son, and see where it takes them.

There are two things about this book which strike me, the first one is more tongue-in-cheek, but the second one is a more serious observation.

Here's the
...more
Ken
Sep 18, 2014 Ken rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Episodic. In fact, to the point where author David Nicholls numbers the episodes for readers (for you number wonks, it comes to 180). This domestic month-in-the-life is about a British family of three -- scientist hubby Douglas Petersen, his Bohemian wife Connie, and their typically-moody teen son, Albie. Connie has announced she's thinking about divorce, and Doug puts all his hopes in the Petersen family's upcoming "Grand Tour of Europe." Can you see disaster coming? Of course you can! Sooner r ...more
Jill
Aug 12, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
US may very well be a litmus test for how you view marriage…and parenthood.

Douglas Petersen is a literal-minded scientist who has long believed that you don’t get what you want in life simply by wishing it so. That is, until he meets Connie, beautiful, artistic, impulsive and bohemian. This unlikely coupling works – he is “the rock” and she gives his life meaning – until, right before their silver anniversary, she tells him, “I think our marriage has run its course…I think I want to leave you.”

T
...more
Maxi (slothreads)
★ 2016 AtY Reading Challenge ★: A book with a beautiful cover.

This book would be shit if it wasn't for the writing style. Not only it was hilarious but it had also the same type of humor I really appreciate.

Other than that, the characters were idiots.
The biggest one was Douglas, the main character.At first I was sad for him and his wife leaving him but then I got mad because he wasn't getting the point.
His wife is a 50 years old edition of a manic pixie dream girl. And his son, being a teenager
...more
Connie
Still debating......

While listening to the audio of this book, I found myself chuckling to myself and at times laughing out loud (the scene in Amsterdam with the motorcycle club) or inwardly groaning at the rather "clueless and socially inept" Douglas as he struggles to maintain a marriage that may be past the expiration date. The reader is invited along and allowed to see the budding of a relationship, the building of a marriage and family, and finally the pieces of that marriage as they crumb
...more
Cher
3.5 stars - It was really good.

While I can easily see how this novel will not appeal to some, I really enjoyed it and found the MC's voice to be refreshing and unique. I appreciated the armchair travel opportunity as the family gallivanted across Europe and relished in the dry English humor.

The main character was endearing to me (long live the nerds) and I loved his snarky but practical sensibility. The son, being a stereotypical, melodramatic and egotistical teenager was hated for almost every
...more
Janet
Feb 20, 2015 Janet rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama
Well-written, great protagonist, completely engaging, but I can only give it a 2 1/2 because I found the character of Connie to be so distasteful. She is incredibly selfish in general, she was reckless and self-indulgent early on and miserably judgemental later. I was so irritated with her need for everything to be her way. Douglass could never do anything right for her and he lived in fear of losing her from the day they met. She squeezed him out of a relationship with their son by playing the ...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
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“From an evolutionary point of view, most emotions - fear, desire, anger - serve some practical purpose, but nostalgia is a useless, futile thing because it is a longing for something that is permanently lost . . . .” 41 likes
“I had always been led to believe that ageing was a slow and gradual process, the creep of a glacier. Now I realise that it happens in a rush, like snow falling off a roof.” 24 likes
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