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Dominic Kitchen je svatební fotograf. Od počátku své úspěšné kariéry zachycuje ženicha a nevěstu v nejšťastnějších okamžicích jejich života, kdy uzavírají svazek, o němž doufají, že potrvá navždy. Přitom jemu samému není pomoci, protože se naopak nedokáže vymanit z pouta k ženě, která by pro něj měla být za všech okolností tabu…

320 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Mark Watson

122 books291 followers
Mark Andrew Watson (born 13 February 1980) is an English stand-up comedian and novelist.

Watson was born in Bristol to Welsh parents. He has younger twin sisters called Emma and Lucy and brother Paul. He attended Henleaze Junior school and then Bristol Grammar School, where he won the prize of 'Gabbler of the year', before going to Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied English, graduating with first class honours. At university he was a member of the Footlights and contemporary of Stefan Golaszewski, Tim Key and Dan Stevens. He was part of the revue which was nominated for the Best Newcomer category in the Perrier Comedy Awards at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and also co-directed a revue with Key.

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5 stars
273 (15%)
4 stars
678 (38%)
3 stars
581 (32%)
2 stars
177 (10%)
1 star
53 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 154 reviews
Profile Image for Petra on hiatus, really unwell.
2,457 reviews34.4k followers
May 6, 2015
This is contemporary fiction at it's lightest hiding a dark secret that could have made it fascinating but it needed to be a work of more depth for that.

None of the characters were particularly endearing and most of them weren't particularly believable either. I intensely disliked the ending but that was a personal thing, others might not feel the same.

It wasn't a cop-out though. And there's really not much more I can say about this very ordinary book without it being a spoiler.

Part of me thinks that because I don't read this genre I don't know the conventions of it and that someone who did like light fiction might really enjoy this. So three stars.
Profile Image for Bob.
Author 2 books13 followers
March 5, 2014
I don't say this lightly but, this has to be one of the best books I've read in a long time. Not only is it fun, moving, easy to read, and all the other superlatives that folks use far too easily, but it is really well written. The pace is a delight, it rattles along without the reader even knowing they're doing it. I finished the last chapter, put the book down, looked out of the window and realised I was in Iceland. Time was getting on and I needed beer. No easy task in Reykjavik!
Seriously though. I cannot recommend this book enough. Happy, funny, endearing, heart rending and shocking. There's even a Ford Capri in there (fairly sure that's not a spoiler)
Profile Image for Dan.
684 reviews19 followers
September 6, 2012
Never before have I had such mixed feelings about a book when I've finished it. This book is essentially a fictional memoir which pretty much tells everything that happened in the life of wedding photographer Dominic Kitchen. The titular knot comes in two distinct ways. One is from tying the knot what with their being lots of weddings, both professionally and involving family members. The second comes from the knot in the stomach, the feeling of unease or distress that Dominic has. That unease comes from various things and the main is Dominic's feelings towards his sister Victoria.

Yes, this book goes there. I won't tell you how far it goes but the book is essentially about a man's life where all the "normal" things happen but along the way the man develops inappropriate feelings towards his sister. Had I known this before I got the book, I wouldn't have got it. It's not a story I want to read.

But having said that, a book which tells the entire life of a character is fairly unusual. In places it was fairly predictable but there's all sorts of emotion in there and there's probably something in there that virtually everyone can relate to. It's written in a warm, witty style and the end is very clever.

Maybe I just didn't "get" this book. It's well written but I'm fairly underwhelmed by the main part of the story, whilst enjoying many of the smaller plot points. I'm left with a confused feeling of not knowing whether I really enjoyed it or not.
Profile Image for Allen Vincent.
15 reviews
December 5, 2013
After reading a million books about events, it's nice to read a book about people. And what a book! I found the characters very believable and endearing. The story captivated me in a way not many books do.

Now the SPOILERS. If you haven't read it, DON'T read on.

From early in the book, there are definite signs that Dominic has feelings for his sister Victoria that go beyond brotherly love and that eventually lead to an extreme you can guess. Other reviewers seem to take this as the defining point of the book and the only thing worth mentioning, going as far as saying they wouldn't have read the book, had they known. If that were the case they would have missed out on a book that both warmed and wrenched my heart.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Berengaria.
408 reviews74 followers
May 7, 2021
3.5 stars
I had to DNF "The Knot" (dt: Überlebensgroß) at 65%. Not because of the writing, not because of the content, but because of the length and the head-shaking normalcy of the main character: Dominic Kitchen. Yep, Kitchen. And that's about as exciting as he is, too.

Writing: very well-written this. It floats us through scenes so smoothly, you don't even notice it's there. The epitome of the writer paring his fingernails in the corner (J.Joyce) 5 stars for the writing! *applause*

Content: much has been made in the GR comments about Dom's attraction to his older sister. Here's the snag. That's THE ONLY THING that saves him from being the most flour-and-water character ever. His sister is 10 years older than he is, wild, sporty and beautiful...everything Dom isn't. Kids so far apart in birth order often don't feel like siblings. It's almost like having a thing for the much older, unattainable girl next door...except at your door. (and there's the key: unattainable. Like a lot in Dom's life. Goes right along with the character.)

Watson treats the topic very gently and never makes a show out of it, but honestly...if Dominic didn't have SOMETHING bizarre to his personality, reading about him would be like reading 400 pages about the contents of a kitchen cabinet. I'm not saying it had to be this, but it had to be something.

Length: a longish novel that could be termed "scenes from the life of a painfully normal guy" is just too much. I got to the point, I just didn't want to invest any more time with Dom. The novel isn't heartfelt enough to be considered heartwarming and not funny enough to be a comedy.

It's not bad, not at all, it's just...flat. Flat as a rice cake that's been run over a few times by a far more interesting potato tractor.

Profile Image for Lorraine Currie.
52 reviews
September 1, 2014
I would not recommend this book to anyone. I even left it behind. It presents as light summer reading, a tragi comedy it states. Its actually a story of incest and I struggled to find much humour in it at all.
Profile Image for Holly.
127 reviews14 followers
October 16, 2021
This is the first book in a long time that made me irritated at real life for getting in the way of reading. Absolutely gorgeous language that so often cuts to the core of the weird, raw, and heartbreaking parts of being a person.
Profile Image for Sina & Ilona Glimmerfee.
1,055 reviews121 followers
December 3, 2012
Dominic ist der Nachzügler der Familie, seine Geschwister sind viel älter als er. Sein Bruder Max ist ehrgeizig, schafft den Sprung nach Oxford und macht Karriere und verdient sehr gut. Seine Schwester Victoria ist unangepasst und Dominic bewundert sie uneingeschränkt, sie ist für ihn ‚Überlebensgroß‘ und noch viel mehr. Sie ist es auch, die in Dominic die Liebe zur Fotografie weckt und so mit einer Kamera, die sie ihm schenkt, den Grundstein für seinen Beruf legt. So ist Dominic jedes Wochenende unterwegs und fotografiert Hochzeitspaare, doch er wird immer unglücklicher.

Der Autor lässt Dominic seine Lebensgeschichte erzählen. Er beginnt in seiner Kindheit und endet als seine Tochter erwachsen ist. Dominic steht im Schatten seines ehrgeizigen Bruders Max, mit dem er sich nicht versteht und der den kleinen Bruder als lästig und ‚Loser‘ ansieht. Ihr Vater ist Sportjournalist, der die Fußballspiele von Arsenal kommentiert, aber Dominic kann dem Sport nichts abgewinnen und so bleibt ihm die Welt, die seinen Bruder mit dem Vater verbindet auch verschlossen. Seine Mutter ist angepasst und ein blasser Charakter. Einzig Victoria akzeptiert Dominic und lässt ihn an ihrer Welt teilhaben. Victoria teilt ihre Geheimnisse, eine tätowierte Schildkröte am Fußgelenk mit ihm, lässt ihn Alkohol probieren und nimmt ihn zum nächtlichen Schwimmen mit ihrer Freundin mit. Sie lässt sich nicht in eine Schablone pressen, trägt raspelkurzes Haar und verrückte Hüte und Dominic verfällt ihrer Faszination. Sie ist die einzige Person, die ihn versteht. Aus Kindern werden Erwachsene und Victoria kann dem Charme eines reichen und erfolgreichen Cricketspielers nicht widerstehen, den sie heiratet und mit dem sie zum die Welt jettet. Max fühlt sich wohl in der Welt der Reichen und sieht voller Arroganz und Peinlichkeit auf die kleinbürgerliche Welt seiner Eltern und seines Bruders hinunter.

Dominic liebt seine Schwester über alles und schnell wird klar, dass er sie auch als Frau begehrt. Doch dieses Buch ist viel mehr als ein Roman, der Inzest thematisiert. Es ist ein berührender Familienroman und der Versuch Dominics aus dem Schatten seiner Geschwister zu treten und wenigstens einmal im, Leben ‚Überlebensgroß‘ zu sein. Der Weg dahin ist steinig und mit Stolpersteinen gepflastert, doch auch für ihn kommt seine Chance. Nach dem Lesen dieses Buches meint man, Dominic und seine Familie wirklich zu kennen und man hofft, ärgert und trauert mit der Familie Kitchen.
Profile Image for Kelly.
36 reviews2 followers
July 9, 2013
This is one of those books I found myself flipping back to the cover to wonder about as I read. Because the main character is a wedding photographer, the title makes sense, but the light attitude of the artwork seems to contradict the serious tone of the book. Told as a memoir, the story details the life and relationships of Dominic -- those of his immediate family, his family as a married man, and his professional life as a photographer. Anyone drawn to this book because of the wedding photography would be surprised to find the story is anything but that. And yes, there's a secret to be uncovered -- one that is suspected, simmers, then leaves you feeling a bit puzzled and wondering what more could have been done with it in the course of the book. Thoroughly enjoyed and looked forward to reading each night settling down after a busy day of traveling.
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews17 followers
March 6, 2014

Blurb: Dominic Kitchen is a wedding photographer who is used to seeing people tie the knot, an expression that also represents a sensation that he feels in the pit of his stomach. A sensation that emerges when he is in the presence of a certain person who could change his ordinary life forever. They have a secret that only they can ever know as it is something that society, even today, would struggle with. This is a tale of agonising loss and forbidden love.

Written by Mark Watson
Abridged by John Peacock
Reader Julian Rhind-Tutt
Director Celia de Wolff
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.
Profile Image for Jane.
51 reviews1 follower
April 10, 2014
I really, really want to rate this higher but I just can't, maybe 2 and a half at a push. I loved Eleven and was expecting something as complex and well-written but I was disappointed. It's nothing to do with the sensitive subject matter, which was handled about as delicately as possible, I just didn't really warm to anyone. I also struggled with parts of the ending. Victoria finding out their Mothers secret didn't really change anything and I wasn't really sure how Beth suddenly becoming a major character really fitted in.

It hasn't put me off reading any more Mark Watson, maybe my hopes were too high!
Profile Image for Pixelina.
382 reviews50 followers
January 18, 2013
Listened to this while doing other stuff and it kept slipping into the background. Terribly boring for a story about incest. Still, not awful, so a weak 2 stars... I did get my dishes done so I can't complain too much.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lewis.
54 reviews
June 12, 2020

Light read, family drama, often funny, but not very emotionally heavy on the whole.
Profile Image for Arja.
57 reviews
August 30, 2023
3.5 Stern, han das buch in Edinbrugh i some Secondhand Büecherlade für 2 Pfund kauft.
hmmmm weiss wück nöd wie ich über das Buech fühl. Het sehr komischs familie drama und finds komisch dass er das mit dem buech (wie e Autobiografie) sim Chind alles erkläre wet. Zum andere ischs defür sehr liecht zum lese gsi.
Profile Image for Kelly.
1,392 reviews39 followers
March 20, 2016
I was just supposed to start reading this book but once I'd read the first page I was doomed to a one-sitting reading. I thought it was great. The book as a whole is well-written, the plot simple and yet always progressing and the characters were all well-developed.

The book revolves around Dominic Kitchen a wedding photographer who is writing his memoirs, detailing his entire life from start to finish. The interesting parts anyway. This style meant that you know Dom on a really personal and in-depth way, usually meaning that the protagonists emotions become your emotions. In this novel however Dom's skeleton in the closet is darker than most and it drives a wedge between reader and character. Can we like someone like Dom now? Are we tainted because we've liked his character? I was still debating this hours after reading the book which in my opinion adds to the reading and makes it a great read.

In essence Watson has written a really great romance novel, but its tainted because of the relationship of the leading characters and really makes the reader question everything. Beyond the bigger, deeper aspects this was actually just a really well written book.
Profile Image for Louise.
2,554 reviews48 followers
June 16, 2013
For most of this book,I really liked it, out was like a warm fuzzy blanket to begin with...all the stories of being young and trips to beach, and how the siblings were with each other.
It got darker as the book went on, the relationship between Victoria and Dominic, or indeed how nobody's life was quite as happy as they had hoped.
The fathers decline was pretty quickly done, followed by a equally quick death.... then we're left to deal with the next set of family drama.
I loved the speech the mum have at the funeral, and liked the way that finally Dominic pulled himself together, and there was a story of happy ending......
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Clare Hudson.
353 reviews1 follower
September 23, 2013
Hmmm... really not sure about my feelings on this one - didn't like the subject matter and, although it was well written, I had absolutely no sympathy/empathy or connection with any of the characters. They all needed to get a grip and sort themselves out (sorry if that's an over generalisation). Would only recommend it to avid readers - if you don't read very much then pick something else - there's far too many other good books out there, in my opinion. Would be interested in reading another one of Watson's books though and giving him another chance.
September 1, 2017
At last, someone who can write

So many Kindle cheapies are so badly written that I just abandon them. Mark Watson's writing is wonderful. Great characterisation. I really lost myself in this book. I'm just left with a nagging question now. Do people really have such feelings? I can't believe it, or am I being naive? And BTW, I didn't buy the revelation at the end as being in any way exonerating. Will definitely read more by this author. Excellent.
Profile Image for Snoakes.
872 reviews29 followers
January 6, 2014
For some reason, Mark Watson's novels had passed me by until Eleven was a kindle daily deal last year sometime. I really enjoyed that, so I downloaded The Knot and it is every bit as enjoyable. Mark Watson is a very talented storyteller.
I'm really looking forward to Hotel Alpha now.
Profile Image for Jess.
161 reviews7 followers
November 15, 2016
Surprising brilliant. Is it a true autobiography? Easy writing style and totally believable characters. My most favourite depiction was his dad.
Profile Image for gardienne_du_feu.
1,298 reviews12 followers
March 29, 2020
Dominic war in seinem Leben schon auf mehr Hochzeiten, als er zählen kann, denn er verdient seine Brötchen als Hochzeitsfotograf und hat wohl schon so ziemlich alles gesehen, was man auf solchen Feierlichkeiten mitkriegen kann, mit der einen oder anderen Brautjungfer geknutscht und sich dabei eine ziemlich zynische Einstellung zu Hochzeiten und zu den sich wandelnden Zeiten zugelegt.

Fotografiert hat er schon seit früher Jugend gerne und sogar die Hochzeit seiner zehn Jahre älteren Schwester Victoria gerettet, als die Kamera des Hochzeitsfotografen ein paar übermütigen Gästen zum Opfer fiel und er mit seiner kleinen Box einige wenige erfrischend ungestellt Aufnahmen knipste. Und das, obwohl er sich nicht besonders gefreut hat, dass seine geliebte Victoria einen großspurigen Cricketstar heiratet und mit ihm zukünftig ein mondänes Jetset-Leben rund um den Globus führt.

Victoria ist für Dominic immer die Frau gewesen, an der sich alle anderen messen lassen mussten. Selbst als er Lauren kennenlernt und heiratet, ist das Beziehungsglück von kurzer Dauer, mit Ankunft von Töchterchen Elizabeth, einem Schreikind, geht es rapide bergab mit der Ehe, und Dominics Leben gerät immer mehr aus den Fugen, vor allem, nachdem bei seinem Vater eine frühe Demenz einsetzt und eine fatale Begegnung auch noch sein Verhältnis zu Victoria belastet.

Das klingt alles ziemlich niederschmetternd, und Dominic hat tatsächlich in seinem Leben nicht sehr viel Grund zur Freude, aber das Buch liest sich bei aller Tragik und allen Problemen nicht deprimierend, was wohl hauptsächlich an Dominics häufig selbstironischem Erzähltonfall und treffend-bissigen Beschreibungen liegt und daran, dass Mark Watson bei allem vordergründigem Zynismus viel Einfühlungsvermögen an den Tag legt.

Die Charaktere mögen ein wenig überzeichnet sein, vor allem Dominics ätzender Bruder Max, aber nicht so stark, dass es nervt, und die Geschichte der zunächst recht normal bis bieder wirkenden Familie Kitchen erweist sich als vielschichtiger, als es anfangs scheint, so dass mit diesem Entwicklungs- und Familienroman für unterhaltsame und auch durchaus spannende Lektüre gesorgt ist.

Der Titel "Überlebensgroß" gefällt mir ausnahmsweise tatsächlich besser als der Originaltitel "The Knot" (wobei dessen Mehrdeutigkeit im Englischen auch durchaus passend ist). Dominic empfindet die selbstbewusste Victoria immer als "überlebensgroß" und sich selbst im Vergleich dazu als unbedeutend und langweilig, bis er irgendwann begreift, dass auch er im nötigen Moment über sich selbst hinauszuwachsen imstande ist.
1 review
January 23, 2019
This book is about a wedding photographer and his journey through the ups and downs of life. While there were parts of the book that was exhilarating and suspenseful, other parts of the book was a little bit boring and it felt like it was dragging on and on without adding too much to the story. Something I liked about this book was how Dom's life was portrayed and how you watched him grow up. You really get to know him as a person and understand him. While some of the things that he does may not seem like such great things to do, you gain a sense of understanding to why he may be doing these things. And it can relate back to real life when you have to understand certain problems in a person's life, to fully understand why they're doing what. One thing about Dom's character though that Mark Watson included that I would criticise, is that Dom is seemingly always either thinking about or doing acts related to sex. While mentioning it a few times can get the message across about what he's like, too much of it takes it to the extreme and doesn't justify that he isn't really like that. And then there's his secret, which I'm not too bothered about, but I didn't the way that Mark Watson tried to change the seriousness of it by revealing Victoria's secret. By leaving it as is, there would have been such a bigger impact on the reader. However, once nearing the end of the book, you start to feel for Dom and want him to find success in life, with his wife and daughter, and finally with coping with his secret. While it was a decent book, it definitely wasn't a book that I couldn't put down.
Profile Image for Lauren Scott.
18 reviews
March 2, 2023
The Knot authorised by Mark Watson is a telling story proposed from the perspective of Dominic Kitchen. Throughout the dramatisation of his life from the spiteful age of seven when we are first introduced to him, to his eventual signing off in his letter addressed to his stand alone offspring - Elizabeth, detailing adventures through his life and his ponderous feelings knotted together for his sister - Victoria.

Despite the unfaithful and indifferent emotions of incest shared between these siblings - causing a break even separation after a somewhat harmless night together, their relationship all in all is one built up of affection and pure love for one another regardless of these undesirable wishes.

The reader is taken along for every wedding that Dominic captures in his graduating photographic career, his eventual meeting to his future wife - Lauren, the birth of their daughter - Elizabeth, to even common things such as the relationships with his brother & sister, his parents, more imposingly the degenerative health of his father, the secrets kept from his mother & the final climax of the story resulting in the diagnosis of Victoria’s cancer - the aspect highlighting to Dominic of how this will allow him to let her go truly.

Upon the completion of the story, I can only appreciate with sheer gratitude the compelling story telling & the phrasing with more delicate matters depicted through a light layer of humour to becoming attached to these pieces of fiction as they weave their way through their lives. I do highly recommend this novel, purely for the fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mindbait.
275 reviews
April 23, 2021
I'd read Watson's "Eleven" and really liked it, so decided to give this one a go. His books are not hugely hilarious or action packed, but he just builds his characters so well you really want to keep reading and see how things pan out for them.

Though Watson's day job is comedy, his fiction writing (based on the two of his books I've read so far) seems to lean more towards touching, slightly quirky drama (with occasional bits of comedy). They focus on fairly invisible lives (nighttime DJ, wedding photographer) but offset against one big shocking event in their past. In the case of 'the knot' the book takes something that is still, and will likely always be taboo...

...and somehow softens your opinion towards it slightly by making you experience it through the narrator's eyes.

I did find the book a little bit depressing in places. It covers the life of the narrator so he goes through the loss of loved ones and the breakdown of some relationships, which always leads me to think too much about the future, my own mortality and my uncertainty about finding any kind of lasting relationship. I guess good art should make you feel something though.

NB: A couple of years after reading this, I met my wife so I'm currently on course to not die alone.
Profile Image for Sarah.
313 reviews32 followers
November 11, 2016
I thought I'd reviewed this when I finished it, but I must have forgotten! This was purchased quite a while ago on a Kindle Daily Deal whim because I like Mark Watson as a comedian so I fancied giving his fiction a go.

The Knot is both a funny and heartbreaking story of growing up, and of family in all its intricacies and difficulties.

I had just two niggles. The first was that Dominic ages through the book from quite a young boy to a man well into middle-age, yet his character and behaviour didn't seem to change a huge amount. I would have liked a more perceptible difference in the older Dom than the younger.

The last is quite a big one and SPOILERS behind the cut... .

Nonetheless, I found the story and the writing compelling and will definitely be trying some more of his books in future.
Profile Image for Hugh Mullan.
92 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2018
I absolutely loved this.

Mark Watson is such a talent. I've always enjoyed his comedy and I picked this up thinking it would be a literary extension of his stand up work but that's not the case; it's much more than that.

This is a nuanced and compelling read. Written in the first person, we follow Dominic Kitchen - a talented wedding photographer - as he narrates the events in his life. This is such a bare description but it's best to go in without spoilers because this is a engrossing but uncomfortable tale.

Really well fleshed out characters and easy prose make this a fantastic and easy read.

Looking forward to picking up more from this author in future.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 154 reviews

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