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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  53,919 ratings  ·  5,244 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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Sandra Durkee I know I am late to the game on this but I wanted to add my thoughts on whether to quit or not. I am 62 but long ago, I worked with a woman who loved …moreI know I am late to the game on this but I wanted to add my thoughts on whether to quit or not. I am 62 but long ago, I worked with a woman who loved to read so we always talked about books we had read. She would ask what I was reading and if I was enjoying the book. When I told her I wasn't she would ask why did I continue. I told her I am not a quitter. She said, do you read for enjoyment? Yes, I said. But if you are not enjoying the book, why continue, she would ask. So one day she told me that since there are soooo many good books in the world, read to page 100 and if you can't get into it or are not enjoying it, put it down and move on. That is what I do now and I feel great about it. So try that Laun!.(less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  53,919 ratings  ·  5,244 reviews

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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 28, 2014 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
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
Lynne King
Oct 18, 2014 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 cer
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Ron Charles
Oct 05, 2014 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
Gabriela Silva
Nov 08, 2015 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." ...more
Sep 27, 2014 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
Sep 24, 2014 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
Larry H
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Reeka (BoundbyWords)
As seen on my blog:

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
Diane S ☔
May 12, 2014 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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
This was a well written book with reference to the quality of the prose, its poignancy, its deconstruction of a marriage... So I can well understand how it was long listed for the Booker Prize back in whatever year that was... but my god did I hate this book. I hated it. It felt like some sort of slow torture... which admittedly might have been David Nicholls' aim because it is about the minutiae of the ugliness of family life... but I still hated it. It felt painfully repetitive to me. I mean h ...more

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.
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014, arcs
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
Mar 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.3] Us is an assemblage of scenes from a courtship, marriage and parenthood. Witty and tender, not many novels follow a relationship and its unraveling so exhaustively. There were parts that resonated deeply with me. Unfortunately, by the halfway point, its 400 pages became plodding and repetitious. And I had only one thought for both the marriage and the book - Get it over with!
Bonnie Brody
Oct 04, 2014 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
Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
US is poignant, convincing and laugh out loud hilarious novel that give us an intimate insight into a 25 year marriage – a marriage that’s run its course.

Douglas and Connie Petersen are preparing for the ‘Grand Tour’ across Europe, taking their 17-year-old son, Albie, before leaving home for university. This will be their last tour together as a whole family, and to educate, prepare Albie for his departure. However, at 4am one morning Connie drops a bombshell; she tells Douglas she can’t see the
Michael Robotham
Sep 02, 2014 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.
Anne (On semi-hiatus)
Jun 24, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
3.5 stars

52 year old Douglas narrates this book and it starts out hilarious. David Nicholls' wit is on full display. I was laughing out loud. As the narrative progresses there are fewer and fewer laughs and more poignancy. Douglas is a scientist while his wife Connie is an artist now working as a rep for other artists. They've been married for 20 years and have one teenage son, Albie. At the start of the book Connie wakes up Douglas to say that she thinks she wants them to separate. Douglas is d
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk
Us is a novel about a marriage in crisis. It’s well-paced, humorous and contains many great insights about marital life. Connie, who works in an art gallery, tells her husband, Douglas, a biochemist, she wants to leave him. This happens just before they are about to embark on a grand tour of Europe together. Douglas persuades Connie that they need not cancel their holiday.

The narrative alternates between past and present. Nichols is particularly good at dialogue and finding the humour in typica
Eddie Owens
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maria Espadinha
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marriage and the Common Case of Unexpressed Identity

The nerd type of guy can easily fall for a glamorous artistic moody beautiful woman!
It's an obviously expected event, cos we can see it as a simple case of physics applied to human relations.
A very simple case indeed -- the one that joins protons and electrons to balance the unbalanced
That's what happenned in the Us of Connie and Doug -- individually they were unbalanced, but together they conquered some stability.

However, for the moody kind, r
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another beautifully crafted story by David Nicholls. His writing is absolutely, brilliantly, very British-ly perfect, so many passages vacillating between comedy and heartbreak, characters trying to communicate and often misunderstood. The main protagonist Douglas, while a scientist, has an offbeat way of looking at the world with insights that are metaphorically creative and laugh out loud hilarious:

‘I was wary because parties, and dinner parties in particular, had always seemed to be a
Nov 02, 2014 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
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Douglas has planned a trip around Europe as a perfect remedy for his failing marragie to Connie.
The Grand Tour is devised after Connie wants to leave him seeing as their son Albie also also set to depart the family home for college.
Surly this failsafe plan of bring the three together will succeed...

The trip seems to be going quite well on their first stop in Paris, though teenager Albie would quite like to do his own thing in the French capital.
It's the train journey to Amsterdam where the first
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
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very well written book! humor and laughter in times of pain and heartbreak... I am not sure if I can ever be like that, but Douglas has handled this pain so well.

We, humans, endure so much of pain for love...

This book is indeed worth a re-read, maybe in few weeks. Thank you David Nicholls for Us.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Dec 26, 2014 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
Violet wells
There was much to admire about One Day, not least of all the brilliant one-liners about contemporary relationships, so I thought maybe Nicholls might have ironed out some of the faults of that novel and come up with something more comprehensively worthy of praise. However my overriding emotion while reading this novel was exasperation. How much you enjoy Us will be hugely dependent on how much sympathy you have for its narrator, Douglas Petersen.

Douglas is an industrial biochemist (though he co
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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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